Many professional photographers will tell you that the key to great photography is a great client. The great client, by definition, will hire the pro for her reputation, talent and vision, provide a goal and then stand back and let things happen.
When Nikon hired fashion and beauty photographer Therese Aldgård to create end-result photos with the D3x, the goal was to showcase the camera's capabilities, and Therese applied the D3X's 24.5-megapixels of detail-rendering power and superior color fidelity to capture a series of fashion, beauty and still-life images united by a rainbow of bright, brilliant colors.
The rainbow idea made it possible for Therese to link all the photographs. "It would be obvious that it was the same theme for all the photos no matter where they were used or how they were divided up," she says.
For Therese, who normally shoots with medium format gear, the assignment was a dual adventure: shoot with a D-SLR and control nearly every aspect of the assignment. Normally on an advertising shoot she will contribute ideas, but the client will oversee the scenario. For the D3X shoot, Therese got to call the shots, from the concept to the clothes, accessories, models and makeup. It was, she says, an ideal way to work and "the best kind of assignment to get—to be able to create your own ideas and then make them real."
The D3X captured the range of bright, bold colors as well as the subtleties of skin tones. It also proved to be incredibly easy to handle. "I loved that the D3 was so light, so easy to carry around compared to medium format," Therese says, "and I was impressed with the color and sharpness of the photos. That was the main thing—the colors. They were the key to it all."
There was also a second assignment involved in the rainbow connection. Steve Heiner, Nikon senior technical manager, was charged with creating still and video images of the shoot for an online multi-media presentation. Steve chose a D300s and a D3S to capture HD video clips. The former was fitted with an AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED; the latter, an AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens. Depending on what was going on and what he wanted to show, he switched back and forth between the two rigs.
And he added a third component: time-lapse imaging. "With time lapse I could cover the entire day's events and get what I hoped would be an entertaining perspective," he says. For those images he used a D5000 with an AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED that was clamped to a stepladder stationed at the front of the studio area. The camera was programmed to shoot a still frame every 30 seconds for the first day of the shoot; on the second day, Steve varied the D5000's position.
For variety, he put an AF Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D or a PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED on the D3S and shot hand-held as he moved around the studio. "I have a motion picture storytelling mindset when it comes to my photography," Steve says, and he often likes to take an establishing shot, follow it with a closer view, then move in for a detailed close-up. "I developed that technique as a news photographer because I liked to have more than just head shots of my subjects."
Steve welcomed his assignment for a number of reasons, one of which was the opportunity to put some long-held movie-making ideas into practice. "With Nikon D-SLRs with HD movie, I've got the tools that'll allow me to apply those ideas."
To see more of Therese's work visit her website.
Be sure to check out our coverage of Therese's D3X shoot in the online version of Nikon World magazine which will be available at the end of May.
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