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Written by Matthew Watkajtys      Add a comment

Surveying our Layout Work

Hello Fuse Readers,

Matt Watkajtys, Fuse Photo Editor, here. Last time I talked to you through this blog was last year in the lighting studio. Well, we are in the lighting studio yet again for this edition of The Lightbox. 


For me, the most stressful part of the year is the weeks before our latest issue goes to print. Before you, the reader, can read the latest issue of Fuse we have to print it. Before we print it, we have to design it. And before we design it, we need all of the content (both copy and photos) in line and ready to go. 


Sometimes that process is easier said than done. 


For this latest issue, I was working diligently at getting all of the imagery set for the issue. I had everything assigned, our photographers were doing their work, and everything was great. But all that changed pretty quickly. See, when you are a staff member at Fuse, you get the entire professional experience. You have to work autonomously, you work with a professional team of staffers, and your deadlines occasionally get pushed. 


Well, needless to say, our deadline was pushed up by two weeks. We needed all of our work to the designer yesterday. These things happen. It's a part of life. And we handle it to the best of our abilities. And in this case, I needed to send a lot of emails and make a lot of phone calls. 


I put everything we needed done on a priority rush. My photographers went to work and our last few assignments started trickling in. Things were okay. 


Until we get a request from our designer. 


We needed to get some white sweep shots for the Women of Athletic Training article and the Doing it All Article that appears in this edition of Fuse. We had three days to get this particular shoot done.


Below is what we eventually provided to the Designer. Look for these shots in the magazine! They were integrated pretty well.


Raw Image Used in Doing It All Article


Raw Image Used for Women of Athletic Training Article


Let's take a look at how we did the shoot. You've seen the photos in it's finished design. You've seen the raw images we sent to the designers. Now let's talk about how we went about taking those images. Here are some photos with commentary that explain our process to make this shoot happen. 


Allison Rolls Out The White Background


Our first step in the lighting studio is to first roll out our white background. Allison, one of our staff photographers is pulling out the background. The other Matt, one of our staff photographers took all of these behind the scenes images. I am off frame "supervising" [read: avoiding manual labor]. 


Matt and Allison Attempt To Figure Out Placement of Items


Now that we have the background rolled out, we have to place all of the items as naturally as possible. Judging by our expressions, we really don't know how to tackle this immediately. It seems like an easy concept, placing items on a table and shooting them. But let me assure you, this is a little bit more difficult then one would think. This is our typical studio set-up. We have two flashes table left and right. You can see them lighting up our background. These two lights provide the even lighting on our background so we can get that perfect white. The black object, frame left, is our main front light. This lights our object. Three lights = perfect exposure in the foreground and background. 


Matt Arranging Items for the Photoshoot


Now we need to arrange. We've already started the process in this image. We are currently arranging the image we used in the Women of Athletic Training article. I'm trying to come up with the perfect place to put this little basketball and an Ithaca Pennant. The issue here is arranging can look terrible if you do it wrong. We want something that not only looks good but also looks natural. Like I said above, easier said than done. There is no real science here. If we place it and it looks good, that's pure magic. If it looks dumb - then we fix it. 


Allison Photographing the Layout


After we've arranged everything, we shoot it! In the above image Allison is shooting the Doing It All image that will be used at the base of the spread in the magazine. We shot both this and the Women of Athletic Training photo insert we were setting up in the above image on the same day. This entire process happened in 30 minutes.


We already showed you our final images from the shoot above. Take a look in the magazine and see if you can find how the design team integrated our images. I'm happy with the final result. 


That's a peak into our process. Both in terms of actual photography and logistics. There is a lot of work that goes into this little magazine. And on behalf of the entire Fuse staff - I hope you enjoy. 




Photo Editor


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