Tasked with promoting Winsor & Newton’s line of fine art materials, Pete Calbert and Rod Taylor, from the London-based creative agency, Mercieca, hired photographer Timothy Hogan for the job. Timothy’s background with technically ambitious and inventive product photography made him the ideal candidate for the project.
Before being awarded the contract, Timothy had created a pitch-deck presentation complete with a mood board to outline his ideas for the shoot. Since both the agency and the client are based in London, Timothy remembers many early morning calls discussing those concepts.
The original idea of the shoot was to display fine-art materials as works of art themselves by presenting them on gallery-style plinths. Timothy and set designer, Lou Blackshaw expanded and added complexity to the concept by using multiple plinths positioned to form intricate geometric patterns.
In midst of this process, we discovered what makes this concept unique. You can see it especially in the photograph of the Series 7 brush. The camera angle, extreme depth of field and position of the plinths align to create an optical illusion that tricks your eye into not knowing what’s foreground and what’s background. Once we discovered how to create that illusion intentionally, it was off to the races.
The intentional illusions of space resulting from these efforts made for some very graphically compelling and dynamic images. Everything came together beautifully — the form of the pictures worked in service of the content. Minimal, yet visually complex fine art images of fine art instruments.
I really enjoyed the moments when I was working on a composition and the elements began to align to create an optical illusion. Once I saw one section start to align, the rest of the image took shape quite organically.
To achieve such a high depth of field throughout each picture, Timothy combined, depending on the scale, up to 50 images into each composition using focus stacking.
Timothy was thankful this project allowed him enough time to make something he considers truly unique.
Considering today’s production standard is “How many shots can you get done in a day *silence* – OK, you need to do twice that,” the schedule was incredible.
He gives credit to Pete and Rod at Mercieca for standing by his vision and giving him the time and budget to create something worthwhile, as opposed to cramming a bunch of images into a day. “Not many clients think like that these days,” Timothy mused.
The project has received rave reviews from the client and garnered recognition from industry giants, winning two Communication Arts awards and more recently, a nod from the London-based publication Creative Pool. Since the shoot, Timothy has continued to work with Winsor & Newton to push the concept even further. In fact, he just recently finished another image for the campaign.
See more of Timothy at timothy-hogan.com