I have been working with Darren from One Artisan for a few years now. His work with concrete is steadily increasing and I’ve seen his progress from making his spherical lamps all the way up to making and delivering huge pebble shaped seats. It started out as fairly straightforward product photography. I have also spent time at his studio documenting his process and shooting some of his bigger pieces before they go out to clients. I then followed the whole journey of his work from delivery to installation. As he continues to grow his client base new challenges have arisen. That in turn sends new challenges my way.Having had his pieces around my studio for long periods of time I have kind of got used to the way they look and feel. To get that look and feel across to the viewer in a picture has been tough. A lot of his work uses light and resin to create, not just practical objects but, works of art. Between Darren and myself the final images chosen to try and promote his work have often been a compromise. Trying to portray a piece of work in all its beauty often goes against a truer representation which could be seen as less attractive. What the camera sees is not necessarily what the eye sees.
This created a problem for Darren whereby clients expect a piece of work to look a certain way. The most recent project I have undertaken for him has involved the production of accurate samples to convey the true colour and texture of his concrete. Darren produced fifteen tiles from different types of aggregate. All have slightly different colours and structures. These tiles are not small. At roughly 12 inches square and at least 7kg each they are not practical to send out to potential clients.
This is where I come in. The latest project has involved both image capture combined with accurate colour reproduction, both on screen and physically on paper.
Viewing his samples on screen will always yield varying results. There are so many devices out there that colour will never be accurately replicated. To try and minimise the chances of there being too much of a colour shift I provided Darren with a few options. All of the digital files I provided were physically compared to his samples while I had them in the studio. I did this on both a calibrated monitor and a backlit LED monitor. Both versions were provided and as you can imagine the differences were noticeable.
As I have the ability to print I decided that the best way to take out the screen colour shifts was to physically print accurate swatches to hand to potential clients. After much head scratching and a few wasted sheets of various types of paper I finally got matches by printing on premium lustre paper. The three images above show the first print run with slightly larger prints on gloss paper and two subsequent runs on lustre paper. The gloss was less accurate mainly because it was more reflective as you can see but the lustre really blends in, as seen in the bottom two images. It is worth noting that even though I have a calibrated monitor I still had to adjust colours due to profiles not quite re-producing accurately. To finish off I have sourced boxes to mail the printed samples to clients. I’m sure someone has done all this before and accurate re-production is relatively simple but I found with this project the trial and error factor was quite high. Having the physical samples available meant I had a reasonably high success rate with minimal waste of resources but had I being doing it remotely following capture on location I think the task would have been more stressful.
I am meeting with Darren soon to hand over what I have produced. Between us we will make a decision on what works best and he can put them to good use and increase sales.
You can check his work at www.oneartisan.co.uk and maybe you’ll end up with a sample pack made by me.