The life of an advertising photographer can bring many different work places and complex exercises in logistics and model direction.
Such was this series of illustrations for a bicycle distributor shot in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens early in my career. The shoot was firmly controlled by the Art Director from the Brisbane office of Pemberton Advertising – my friend Gary Edgar. The only paid talent was the young girl hired from a model agency.
Many thanks to Denise Moran (Sabcar Model and girlfriend), Francis O’Brien (long suffering receptionist and all round good egg – Frank where are you, and please contact me……), Doug the ABC technician (equally where are you today and please contact me). How the bikes were transported to the Gardens has been lost in the annals of time. I can report that this was a time when four hours of riding and photographing bikes did NOT bring park rangers tumbling out of the bushes demanding permits, park fees or threatening incarceration.
As is common with all start-up photography businesses I was confronted with a client brief that wanted EVERYTHING and had a budget that would barely encourage you to get out bed in the morning! The brief called for a range of photographs illustrating bicycle use across a range of ages – and naturally was to be pleasant to view and show fun. There were no lyrca clad bodies called for in this series of shots.
Nothing has changed in forty years.
Working with both 6x6cm Hasselblad and an F3 Nikon outfit, and attempting to document in both black and white and colour transparency, it was a case of using almost every piece of equipment that I then owned. The 200mm Nikon lens was longer than my 150mm Hasselblad lens and was pressed into use to achieve the Art Director’s demand for long shots across the duck pond. Whereas the 50mm Hasselblad Distagon worked perfectly to achieve Botanic Gardens Bicycles I – look for the double notches on the left hand side of the illustration proving Hasselblad use.
Fortunately the light was soft (insofar as Brisbane sub-tropical light can be) and the exposures for the transparency film (Kodak Ektachrome) were not too difficult to monitor during the afternoon. Looking at both the black and white negatives and the transparencies I am pleased to report that the exposures were uniform and well exposed. Obviously some careful metering done during the assignment.
I have no memory of taking a European holiday on the proceeds of this assignment, but I do recall that there are probably worse ways of spending an afternoon working. I apologise here for the bell-bottoms, the flares, the stripes and the wild and woolly hairstyles.