The ‘I SEE’ campaign features leading ‘Visionaries’ in their field of expertise to be photographed – wearing their Nikon spectacles. They include Washi Innovator, Economic Strategist, Sustainable Chef, Fashion Designer, Travel Photographer & Cardiac Surgeon.
The brief was to shoot a portrait and a video interview of Kulwinder Lall. The requirement was for a strong portrait of Kulwinder with a backdrop featuring an iconic London building / monument. The guidelines and specifications in the brief were very specific and needed to be followed to meet the brief requirements. These were discussed in great detail during our online conference between myself, the creative team in Tokyo, Japan and at Nikon Optical’s HQ.
A few locations were scouted in London and The Oxo Tower restaurant was chosen which provided the perfect setting for the shoot with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background. With the images being shot on a balcony from the 8th floor, the setting was just near perfect. The only major concern was what if it rained during the shoot as there is no canopy on the balcony!
Once the location was decided, I had to do a test shoot 2 weeks before the actual shoot so the creative team in Japan could assess the images and send the feedback to me. I shot the images as required following the brief for lighting & composition and also worked out and fine tuned the actual logistics. The images were ftp’d to Japan and the the final look for the image was decided.
Once the test shoot was done, then the final preparations got underway. As most of the logistics were worked out and sorted, I still had to be prepared for the unexpected and from past experience, things do happen which aren’t planned for!
The kit used for this campaign were:
The Nikon D800 was the perfect fit for this assignment. Large files were required for this assignment and the Nikon D800 with its 36megapixel sensor produces just that. Plus, both the D4 & the D800 are capable of HD video.
I chose the Bowens 400RX with the travel kit as I needed to have something that was very portable, very quick & easy to set up. This kit is extremely reliable, compact, flexible and adaptable.
The night before the shoot, we travelled to Central London and stayed at a hotel near the Oxo Tower Restaurant. I must thank Martyn Greswolde & Barry Curl for assisting me for this assignment.
We had a early start at 5.00am and left the hotel by 6.00am to be at the Oxo Tower to set up and start the shoot at 8.00am. As this is a restaurant, the only time we had the use of the restaurant was between 8-10.00am & 4-6.00pm in the afternoon. However, as it was late October, I only had available ambient light till 5.00pm. So in around 3 hours I had to do the stills as well as the video interview.
On the day, we had the team from Nikon Optical UK & the creative director Kensui had flown in specially from Tokyo for this shoot. We started with the stills and managed to shoot the images in about an hour. The test shoot really helped as I knew exactly what was required. This saved a lot of time and the creative director & the Nikon Optical UK team were very happy with the images. We then set up for the video and started the interview. However, this is where we faced some unexpected issues. As we were shooting very close to the kitchen area, we were picking up noise from the kitchen and had to stop/start the shoot due to this problem. We then had to pack up everything by 10.00am and both the stills & the video were pretty much shot.
We then reviewed the footage & the stills and then went for a nice lunch along the River Thames. In the afternoon session, we did some more stills & video to make use of the fantastic sunset and ‘soft’ light to give the creative team additional footage & images.
A long & exhausting day came to a conclusion. It was very hectic and high pressure but we managed to shoot all the footage & stills we needed to and get the results we were after.
My sincere thanks go to Martin, Nicola, Parmar, Kensui at Nikon Optical, my friends & assistants Martyn & Barry and the staff at The Oxo Tower for their warm hospitality and looking after us all day long.