David Lund – Diamond Shoot

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to share with you a project that one of my ex students David Lund has recently completed. David was previously a student of my courses having purchased my Advertising, Product and Still life course a few years back. Over the years he’s become a good friend of mine and has visited me in my studio and i’ve always been up for giving him my advice and time.

David comes from a design background, he had his own design studio before he switched to photography about five years ago. Back then when I got to know him i knew he’d make it, simply down to the passion and drive that he had to succeed as well as the natural talent that he showed.

This recent project that David completed was for the company “Boehmer et Bassenge”, one of the worlds biggest diamond companies. It was the first time that he had taken on a project that was purely a video commission and during the shoot he filmed over £10 million pounds worth of diamonds!

However this didn’t phase David as he used his great skill in lighting and drafted in the right film equipment and crew to create the video. David’s role was as lighting and photography director and I hope you agree that the results are absolutely stunning.

You can check out the behind the scenes video below (the final video is shown at the end 😀 ) which gives you a great insight into the amount of work that goes into a project like this.

David’s summary of the shoot:
‘Inaria design agency in London specializes in the promotion of luxury brands. They contacted me to discuss a exciting opportunity to promote something very unique.

A client of theirs called BOEHMER ET BASSENGE of Paris whos brand involved diamonds of a rare quality. In the pursuit of perfection the brand deals in flawless diamonds and as such their earrings within the video shown are worth an estimated £10 million pounds, the most expensive in the world at 50 carrots each. Diamonds of such quality are only sold through Christies action house.

The storyboard and overall styling was one of sheer elegance with a story line revolving around the word ‘reveal’. The movement of the silk and opening of the flower all lead to the presentation of the diamonds.

We shoot all the footage using a Phantom Flex shooting the silk scenes at 1500fps. We searched high and low for the high material in the end only pure silk gave the right material properties that worked with the high-speed wind machine.

A huge amount of preparation goes into the planning of a shoot like this. Often involving a lot of problem solving. But it’s funny how sometimes even on very big shoots how the very simple can come into play, like turning the model in her seat. An extended pole being pushed and pulled, the longer the pole the smoother the chair movement.

The flowers were especially brought in as they where very late in the season, so it took a few days to capture the time lapse, 1200 shoots in all for the sequence. All shoot on the Hasselblad 5HD-50 mega pixel camera. Which afforded me the ability to zoom in on the 8500pixel wide time-lapse movie in to individual petals.

The shoot started at 7am in London, when we first arrived and we left just before 11pm stopping only for 20 minutes for lunch.

The model was beautiful but the problem with video over stills is it’s far harder to touch up. However using Davinci Resolve, and a few other special tricks I managed to retouch the models face to the same standard as in Photoshop. Very rare for the director to direct, produce and do all the editing and post work, but I had a vision for the project and the client let me run with it!’

Note from Karl:
I’d like to add and what I love about David’s message above is that his ethos is the same as mine: preparation, planning, problem solving are all words I use regularly when talking about quality commercial advertising photography. You can see David talking about exactly the same things above.

We hope that you can see why I am so proud of David as a student of mine who started off simply by taking our Advertising, Product and Still life course and who has gone on to reap so much success out of his photography.

I look forward to sharing with you some more of his impressive work in the future.


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