Life Before Photoshop: GATX

Look ma, no Photoshop!

Look ma, no Photoshop!

I can tell you from lots of experience that the glory days of advertising yielded some pretty far-fetched campaigns; some of them made me laugh out loud when I was sent a rough layout of what the art director wanted me to shoot.

The process of getting the final advertisement into a radio spot, a television commercial, a magazine, newspaper, or on a billboard was (and still is) daunting at best. If the advertising agency was one of the larger ones it had to go through several levels before a sketch was offered to a group of photographers for a competitive estimate.

First, several teams made up of a writer and art director create a campaign. Usually the writer comes up with the concept and writes the copy, then the art director comes up with the visual. Each of these teams makes a presentation to the client in a big meeting in the conference room.

The client picks the campaign and then it’s off to the races. First it will be submitted to different focus groups that will evaluate the product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. Then if there opinions are positive the campaign begins and the money starts pouring out.

I’m telling you all this to let you see how sometimes a very stupid idea can make it all the way to your eyes and ears!!

I was doing a campaign for GATX, a leading railcar leasing company based all over the world. My job was to paint one of their railcars, then add the lights to make it look like an ambulance (are you with me so far???) and have it appear as if it were speeding down the track and coming to the rescue.

If this same photo was done in today’s digital world, it would have been easy to create in the computer. As I tell my online students that take my Stretching Your Frame of Mind classes, when I was producing these photographs Adobe was a type of house in the southwest part of the country.

I’m not trying to repeat the proverbial phrase our parent’s said…something about walking three miles in a blinding snowstorm to school. I say to my fellow photographers to meet the challenge and try to get as much in the camera as you can, and let clicking the shutter be the final step in capturing your idea; then tweak it in either Lightroom or Photoshop.

I digress.

So here’s how I did it all in the camera:

After having it painted by a close friend I always used to solve any problems, and make anything in the world I asked for, we waited until the blue hour after the sun had set.

A frame was made for the headlights and then lit by a generator. To get all the lights to look the way they did, we smoked the area up with a fog machine.

To create the right exposure ( Kodachrome 25) and make it look like it was screaming down the track, I open the shutter to record the sky and the all the lights. Then, during the time the shutter was opened,  we moved the railcar backwards to create the feeling that it was moving forward.

Nothing to it!!

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”

After the click

” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”

Dale Yates
Lightroom Quickstart

Classes Starting Soon!

Understanding Exposure and Your DSLR

Instructor: Bryan Peterson Duration: 6 Weeks Cost: US$169 Without que…

Wireless Flash Techniques for Outdoor & Nature Photographers

Instructor: Rick Burress Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Learn Photoshop…

The Real Photoshop Course

Instructor: Charlie Borland Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Are you a …

The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Bridge CC

Instructor: Rick Burress Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 The Anti-Catalo…

After the Click – Refining Your Vision in Lightroom & Camera Raw

Instructor: Mark English Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Why do some ima…

Editing in Adobe Camera Raw

Instructor: Rick Burress Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 If you love pho…

Exploring Adobe Photoshop Lightroom & Lightroom for Mobile

Instructor: Holly Higbee-Jansen Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 In this …

Lightroom Quick Start

Instructor: Holly Higbee-Jansen Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Do you w…

Mastering Apple Photos

Instructor: Jon Canfield Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Mastering Apple…

Luminar Essentials

Instructor: Jon Canfield Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Luminar is an …

The Art of Printing and Selling Your Art

Instructor: Mark English Duration: 2 Weeks Cost: US$76 The print is the…

The 50 Most Useful Tips in Photoshop CC and Photoshop Elements

Instructor: Roger Morin Duration: 2 Weeks Cost: US$76 This two-week cla…

50 MORE Photoshop Tips & Tricks

Instructor: Roger Morin Duration: 2 Weeks Cost: US$76 This two-week cla…
Translate »