I recently photographed a workwear campaign for Walls Outdoor Goods with 2TWO1 agency here in western Colorado. The goal was to capture real-deal images of heavy industry, ranching, high-vis workwear and hunting. During the course of the two-day shoot we worked on a variety of locations, including a cattle ranch, an airport, a metal yard and a high-country hunting zone. Here are a few tips on how we created both dimension and a gritty look for the photography:
Shoot Through Objects in the Foreground: I often like to add more depth to my photographs by shooting through objects, such as through grass, a truck door, or a piece of equipment. This provides a strong foreground that creates a level of dimension to the images.
Use Selective Depth of Field: I also like to shoot with a more shallow depth of field, which effectively draws the viewer’s eyes to the subject and their clothing. It is important that the background textures can help tell a story, although I like to keep them out of focus so they don’t distract the viewer’s attention from the subject of the image. The image above of the farmer and the irrigation system was shot with the Canon 1DC camera and Canon’s new 35mm f/1.4L II lens at an aperture of f/1.8.
Use Lightroom To Create A Powerful Mood: To produce a grittier look for the imagery, we crafted a visual style in Adobe Lightroom by reducing both the vibrance and the saturation, and boosting the clarity. We also darkened the highlights in many places, often the sky, to create a tone that matched the rugged feeling of the workwear itself.
Here is a collection of the imagery from the Walls campaign that illustrates the above tips. Additional images from the campaign and other new work can be viewed here.