Posts Tagged ‘Behind The Project’

Behind the Project: Michael Roulier

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Michael Roulier is a photographer specializing in food and cosmetic visuals, having published more than 30 books in collaboration with three star Michelin culinary chefs. His project on Behance, Michael Roulier, contains photographs featured to help create a book for Anne Sophie Pic, a three star Michelin chef herself.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I was commissioned by Hachette, a French Publishing company to create a “sumptuous” book about Anne Sophie Pic, a French 3 star Michelin chef, a woman in a man’s world; an exception. Hachette knew very well that I would have to be left completely free on the creative part to accept a three weeks time project.

I had already worked with Anne Sophie, so we knew each other quite well. At this level, being a chef, means above all being an artist. This project was supposed to be her published food “manifesto.” The text was written by Stéphane Davet, a journalist specialized in rock & roll, but equally passionate about food.

The 48 images we had to do, like a true photography book, would appear naked, unadorned, and apart from the text.

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The difficulty with a project like that is dealing with the “ego” of everybody. The main artist remained Anne Sophie Pic. My job was to find a concept, translate her poetic world, and at the same time give (with humbleness) my own artistic vision of her food creations. When all the cursors are at the right position, it works.

There is something very pure in the personality of Anne Sophie; she is at the same time very fragile and very strong. The idea of a “white book” imposed itself from the beginning; Her mind is white and beautiful. The leading concept was to make it become almost “surreal”. We played with shades of grey, giving an aerial feeling to the plates; they where likes “frames” for creation.

Then would start the real work: composition.

We had asked Anne Sophie’s team to bring everything in a kit, so that we could start constructing the images with our own inspiration. We had previously spoken on the phone about making mandalas, but I found it too restrictive and wanted to leave everything pretty open.

Sometimes, by the time we had found the composition, the food was “gone,” so we would shoot it with an iPhone to keep a trace for later. The kitchen was kind enough to re-start everything (and it can be a huge job!) and bring it freshly prepared, so that we could recompose and finalize the shot with a high pixel digital back.

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Being a 3 star Michelin chef means that you have very precise ideas about the way you are going to compose food for your clients; Anne Sophie gave us complete freedom to visually revisit her dishes: I think that she wanted us to surprise her. When the job was finished she told me that we had inspired her a lot for the future, it was the biggest compliment she could have given us.

She had a little booklet on her desk, like an artist’s notebook, and we often looked at it to understand better what inspired her when conceiving her food creations.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
This project was quite technical. Achieving an interesting result on a white background without having the feeling of something simplistic was a bit of a challenge, but I had a clear vision of what the outcome could look like.

Leaving my studio in Paris (and all my usual tools) and going to her hometown in Valence was quiet an adventure because it was impossible to reproduce the quality of food preparation & techniques her team achieved, even with the best food-stylists.

Actually that was the difficult part: doing a technical job in an uncontrolled environment.

When we arrived there with my team, Emmanuel Turiot, the food stylist I work with, and Thomas Naggabo my assistant, they showed us around and asked us where we would like to be installed. I was lucky enough to discover in Anne Shopie’s private office a huge glass wall that separated her office from her secretary. That wall was going to be the magic tool: we covered it with tracing paper from top to bottom, and there we had a huge gorgeous soft light: we could play with hot spots behind and control things pretty well.

Michael Roulier 1

Bringing a food stylist with me was essential to create an interface with the kitchen (an army of 35 cooks dedicated to their goddess Anne Sophie Pic); they speak the same language. The way I like to work is like being in an experimental lab: we have to try, restart all over and over again until we reach satisfaction. Emmanuel Turiot facilitated the relationship we had with all the cooks behind the door, who could not always understand why we wanted them to restart the whole process again.

What sparked your desire to work with food? 
I started working in the luxury business 20 years ago. Cosmetics, fashion accessories etc… I stumbled on food by chance 10 years ago, and loved it because Art directors had no idea of how to deal with it, or actually didn’t really like working on this subject. So there was an incredible freedom for my creativity. I could become a Photographer again!

Today, there is a new generation of Art directors who actually specialize in the food business: it became a trend. I love working with them. We mutually inspire each other.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
Not really, it’s now an old story. We are working on new projects. We are already different people.

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Behind the Project: Cinema

In this series, we look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Franck Bohbot is a photographer and visual artist, mainly focusing his artistic research on public spaces and urban landscapes. Each one of Franck’s series features certain photographic intentions — through their enigmatic atmosphere, documentary-style approach, and timeless feel. We were fortunate enough to delve deeper into one of his projects on Behance, Cinema.

What was your inspiration for this project?
For The Cinema Series, my principal inspiration was to honor the Art of Cinema by showing the atmosphere of movie theaters specifically in the state of California. Entering a Cinema instead of watching movies on your smartphone or computer gives a real emotion to the public. I think because of the new media, we are losing step by step, the pleasure to going to your local Cinema.

Cinema

In my hunt, I wanted all the Theatres to be still running. Most are still showing movies and few became auditoriums for concerts or operas. I have always been curious about how Hollywood was built. This phenomenal movie industry was created in the desert in Los Angeles, and for me the state of California represents the American Dream.

Most of the founders of the Hollywood movie studios were immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 1920s. Some of them like Adolph Zukor ( Co-founder of the Paramount Studios with Jesse L.Lasky) decided to build the Paramount Empire as well as their studios. He decided for example to build an incredible movie palace temple for The Paramount Theatre in Oakland (designed by Timothy L. Pflueger of the architectural firm J.R Miller and T.L Pflueger). I found it interesting that such places were built for watching a movie. It is an important reason why I wanted to spotlight some classic movie palaces of California.

Shooting the architecture of the movie theaters in California is to talk about the city of L.A and its history or the surrounding small town, which has its own past. The history of California is being represented by interiors empty of people but still running, where people used to go and still go every day.

“To be honest, what I tell artists and photographers is just to find your own style with passion. Work is the key. Get your own art to be you, even if at the beginning nobody understands. Just follow your instinct, with references or master in your mind.”

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Can you describe your process in creating this project?
It was a long pre-shoot, before coming to California. My wife and I organized every shoot, for the whole trip, 2 months before travelling from New York to San Francisco. It was difficult at times to find good Theaters that would be in the “Series” and to approach them. So we decided to look at all the cities in California where historical theaters were located. I wanted to included Lobby, Indie Screen, and contemporary movie Theaters. As Stephen Shore said, everything deserved to be photographed. I really like this philosophy, as it is what I do when looking for a theme. An opera or a basketball court in the street deserves to be shot in the same meticulous way.  But when working on a subject such as the Cinema series, I had to make the selection, so I carefully chose the places.

In terms of lighting, I used lusters, lamps, neon, projector screen, or the small amount of available light that I had. I had to improvise sometimes. With the medium of photography I was able to light some walls that were in the dark. Even the public does not see the auditorium as it is in the photograph. That is what I was looking for. Light up those movie theaters by showing the architecture and give them an atmosphere of greatness.

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Every shot was made using a medium format camera. I wanted the photographs to be sharp in term of detail and color, with a great depth of field and the ability to produce large color scale photograph.

I find it interesting to photograph what I have in front of me. When I was in Paris, I focused on Swimming Pools of Paris. I then moved to New York, so I decided to photograph the basketball courts. The soul of basketball is in New York, more here than in Paris or Tokyo. From there I decided to go to California and the subject Movie Theatres and Cinemas had been on my mind since I started the Theaters Series in Paris. I visited and shot the “Max Linder” Cinema. And in the next future it would be another subject in another city.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Not too much. Color is essential to me, so I took a little bit more time in postproduction for Cinema. I wanted to personally appropriate the places and to respect the work of the architects at the same time. So I have to be very meticulous in all the steps, framing, line, composition, light and color.

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Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
For the moment the project is done because I decided to focus on California. I have 3 other movies theaters to photograph there. I will move forward for Cinema Part 2 (not now), in another city, state, or country. Every finished project needs a break. I think this series deserves a parallel version in different places of the world.

Behind the Project: Cloud City

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Together, Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft are The Makerie Studio, a creative collaboration producing unique three dimensional paper sculptures for both commercial and artistic purposes. They are inspired by forgotten worlds, rare prints, and the beauty of details, allowing them to create unique pieces. Cloud City is their most recent project uploaded to Behance.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The inspiration for Cloud City came from an obsession with Moroccan arches and architecture, something we’d been eyeing up for over two years and really wanted to use for one of our pieces. We’d started drawing up a few intricate designs based on real buildings, but that had us stumped for a while because the buildings were already so beautiful. It was hard to know what to do next, and how to make them our own in some way. But when we distilled what it was that we loved about them – the pattern making, the colours, the structure – we thought it would be lovely to take these very rational details into a dreamier, illogical realm. And that’s how we ended up with floating egg palaces connected by ladders in the sky…

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Behind the Project: Stamps, Post Denmark

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Peter Dam is a Odense, Denmark- based illustrator and designer. “Stamps, Post Denmark” is his first project on Behance.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I was working on another project making a visual portrait of Denmark. When surfing the web for pictures of Denmark, I suddenly spotted—between two pictures of Hans Christian Andersen—a funny picture of a plate with two pieces of danish. I remember thinking “that’s so typical of Danish culture!”

Later that day, I was waiting in line at the post office and saw a new stamp series with a motif of Danish allotments in the sun. That was also so typical of Danish culture!
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Behind the Project: Experiments with Instagram

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Javier Perez is an Ecuador- based graphic designer and audivisual producer. His other projects include experimental animations, clever stop-motion ads and playful projects using Vine. We spoke with him about his recent projects Instagram Experiments, part I and II. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
The simplicity within common every day items. These objects are beautiful by themselves and my work is to add a visual meaning to them. Every day I discover different meanings.

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Behind the Project: A Different Family Portrait

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Camilla Cantrambone is a Florence based photographer. Her other projects include the cover of “Piazza Italia” magazine, and playful posters and direction for the Little Veg Book. We spoke with her about her recent project “Portraits of my Family,” creative takes on the traditional portrait using beloved objects.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I’ve always been fascinated by objects, and I think every person is represented by their personal objects; the objects they choose and the way they use them tells you a story. When I started doing this project, I felt that the objects belonged to my relatives. They were still full of energy and capable of reminding me of moments I shared with them. In order to recreate specific memories, I started to reorganize these objects. For example, if I look at an image of my grandpa Mario, I can go back to a time when we sat at his writing table and fully feel the mood of that moment. The objects represented in every picture don’t talk about the entire life of my grandpa, but they deeply describe a moment I shared with him.


“The objects represented in every picture don’t talk about the entire life of my grandpa, but they deeply describe a moment I shared with him.”



 Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?

Not at all! Being a personal project I’d never thought to be so popular, but I’m glad I could communicate and share my feelings to people I don’t even know

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Behind the Project: Voting System Behance Reviews

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Pau Alekumsalaam and Dani Llugany are the cofounders of Domestic Data Streamers, a Barcelona based creative labTheir other projects include various forms of data visualization, art installations, sculptures, and even handmade cards. We spoke with them about their project “Voting System Behance Reviews,” a voting system that allowed attendees at their Behance Review to visualize the popularity of projects they voted for. 

1) What was your inspiration for this project?
Following Domestic’s “modus operandi” and working as a creative laboratory, we try to focus on new visualization methods. There was a significant evolution between the first project -where we worked two-dimensionally- and the last one. It was conceptually designed to take place in one of the rooms in the Moritz factory, an old beer factory remodeled under the instructions of Jean Nouvel. You can imagine what a challenge it was for us!

We were interested in translating votes into a piece of work that had a relevant presence in the. Our intention was to generate a dynamic data stream that was reordered and created a tridimensional graphic—which was a literal bar chart.


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Behind the Project: Instagram Redesign Concept

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Aymon Shaltoni is a freelance Art Director and designer specializing in Web and Graphic design. His other projects include numerous brand designs, several mobile apps,  as well as a redesign concept for Google. We spoke with him about his project “Instagram Redesign Concept”

1) What was your inspiration for this project?
Instagram is one of the most distinctive social networks, so my inspiration was initially personally motivated.  I felt like there was a lot to improve in the Instagram design: the app needs new concept with some new features.

2) Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Dealing with social networking requires understanding user. I made a new concept redesign of the application with these new features:

Login interface
New simple design; flat and out of the way.

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Behind the Project: Infographic Feast

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Ryan MacEachern is a Bristol, UK based design student. His works include a project featured in the curated Branding gallery, as well as an innovative take on the bookmark. We spoke with him about his recent project, “food x design”, an infographic tracing his eating habits over two weeks.

1) What was your inspiration for this project?
I’m currently studying Graphic Design and was an assignment to collect a weeks worth of data on a personal habit and then create an infographic poster.  My biggest inspiration while doing this was a project by Peter Ørntoft called “Information Graphics in Context” that I had seen years ago on Behance. I was astounded by the simple concept and striking visuals and knew I wouldn’t be happy creating a vector based solution if I were to create an infographic myself. So, years later and working on this assignment, it immediately struck me to use actual food to chart my food intake. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any projects online that had used this before.

2) Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I knew I wanted to track my food intake and wanted to create a photographic solution. I briefly explored digital, but it was soon apparent the photographic idea stood out and communicated information more effectively.
I had just started a low carbohydrate diet that was very dull and boring in appearance and considered stopping the diet in order to create a more colorful and varied project. Ultimately, I decided to use the food simply as a visual aid and didn’t directly link it to my actual consumed food.
I’m a capable photographer, but felt overwhelmed by the task ahead of me—I did some test shoots using natural light and the photos needed extensive post-production work. Luckily, a friend was able to help me get ahold of some studio lights and I set them up in my living room. I also spent around £60 on food, which about 2 weeks worth of food on a student’s budget, so I made sure it didn’t go to waste. It was very strange cooking a whole chicken at 3 a.m. just to take photos of it.

3) Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
Loads of blogs have picked it up and I’m getting a steady flow of followers on Behance, but I really didn’t expect it to get such immediate attention. I thought the work was good and nice to look at, but I wasn’t so sure other people would be able to see how much work went into it I’m really glad people like it, Im surprised at how extensive the behance community is I have had people follow me from all over the world which really is a great feeling.

4) Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
This project has two main components: the visual, which in this case is a graph or pie chart, and typography, which communicates all the data and helps the flow. It was challenging to balance them both. Once I chose a font, my next challenge was to adjust lines and labeling to ensure the project wasn’t too crowded with text.

5) Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
The assignment only lasted two weeks, so I’m not sure I worked out all the kinks in the design. I’d like to return to the project soon and make it more extensive, covering other areas, like weight. I’d also like to work more on the coloring.

Behind the Project: Subjective Guide to Life

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Michael Pharaoh is a New Zealand based graphic Designer. His other projects include a rebranding of Cadbury’s chocolate using 3-D modeling and a brand identity for a hypothetical bicycle club. We spoke with him about his recent project Michael’s Guide to Life, a guidebook based on personal experience and advice, modeled after family health books.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I personally just wanted a way to collect what I thought were important pieces of advice or skills I’ve picked up that have helped me through my life. I’ve always liked the design aesthetic of those big family health guidebooks, so I drew inspiration from that and wanted to create one for life.