Thursday, March 23, 2017

FINE ART NUDES – A DIFFERENT APPROACH




Many photographic topics are quite difficult to do if one tries to find a different approach, something that has not been done by other photographers before.  That is especially the case with fine art nude photography.  The nude has always been a very popular theme of the arts, including photography.  Regardless of how one approaches the subject, it probably has been done in one form or another before.

I had been looking for such a different approach for a long time, and finally decided to use Photoshop to reach that goal.  The result is “Photosculptures,” where I use photographs of sculptures and combine them with photographs I have taken of models.

That might not appear to be particularly difficult.  After all, Photoshop is used to alter images in just about any imaginary way.  However, Photosculptures require a lot more than just replacing part of the sculpture with a photograph of a different person.  It is important that the pose of the model and the lighting coincide with that of the sculpture, however, it is not my intention to produce a perfect copy of the original.  Then the two images have to be carefully matched in size.  Finally, the transferred image has to be modified to match the color and texture of the sculpture.  All of this is not an easy process, and it is very time consuming.  But the end results can be quite rewarding.

 
This is the most difficult sculpture I modified,
because it consists of three different individuals.

 
The original, raw images of the three models, all taken with Leica equipment.

The original photograph of the three models required considerable modifications.  All had to be right and left reversed.  Then all three had to be matched in size to the size of the sculpture.  In addition, the posing angle of the models was altered to match that of the sculpture. Then, after masking off the background, the images of each model were transferred to the photograph of the sculpture.  Each model was altered to match the white marble of the sculpture.  That included lowering the contrast of the facial features and the hair to again match the sculpture.

 
The finished Photosculpture

 
      Original                                                                       Photosculpture

The original is a photograph of the Rolls Royce hood ornament.  Since the pose of the model was not identical to that of the sculpture, it required considerable modification of the hair flowing in the wind.

 
       Original                                                                       Photoscupture

 
       Original                                                                       Photosculpture

The two examples above required little modification since the poses of the models was close to that of the sculpture.

 
      Original                                                                        Photosculpture

This example required a considerable amount of work.  While the poses are quite similar, the arms did not look right at all.  It required to remove the hand on the arm of the male which, in turn, required the arm of the male in the Photosculpture to be lengthened.  In addition, marble texture and color was added to the Photosculpture.

 
        Original                                                                     Photosculpture

Even though the pose of the original and the model are quite similar, this example required a considerable amount of detail work.  The upper arm of the model had to be lengthened to match up with that of the original sculpture.  The left wing of the swan had to be lengthened a lot to bridge the void that otherwise showed in front of the model’s face.  In addition the head of the swan needed to be moved further from the neck.  Since the position of the left arm of the sculpture and the model are quite different, a fair amount of reconstructive work was necessary to cover the arm of the original sculpture.

 
         Original                                                                   Photosculpture

This example was relatively easy to convert.  However, the strong lighting of the original required close attention to the lighting of the model.

 
       Original                                                            Photosculpture

 
Original                                                                          Photosculpture

 
Original

 
Photosculpture

 
Original

 
Photosculpture

 
Original

 
Photoscupture

Accurate posing of the model definitely makes this kind of work considerably easier.  For that reason it is advisable to work with experienced models that are able to strike a great variety of poses and do it accurately once they see a sample of what pose is required.  I have worked with most of the models shown here on several occasions, with some of them even for several years.  That has created a very good working relationship which is also very helpful for this kind of work.

I would greatly appreciate any comments and critiques of this work.

Thank you,



Heinz Richter


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

THE OTHER COMPANIES AT LEITZ PARK





Leitz Park II (background) and Leitz Park III



Several of the photographs of the new Leica Camera AG headquarters at Leitz Park II in Wetzlar show two other buildings and many might have wondered what the companies are in such close proximity of Leica.

The building immediately to the left of the Leica Camera AG headquarters is Weller Feinwerktechnik and the company of Viaoptic GmbH to the left of it.

The location of these two companies so close to the Leica Camera headquarters is no accident.  They are both closely connected to Leica Camera.  Their Chairman of the Supervisory, Board Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, bought both companies through his capital management company ACM.

From left to right: Viaoptic GmbH, Weller Feinwerktechnik, Leica Camera GmbH, Leitz Park III (under construction)
Photo: Roland Elbert


Weller Feinwerktechnik


Uwe Weller Feinwerktechnik develops designs and produces premium mechanical products in the company’s state of the art production facilities.

With their own galvanic surface technology and assembly operation, they are able to offer their clients from the strategic fields of precision optics, medical equipment and transportation sophisticated solutions from a ‘one-stop shop’.

In 1994, Uwe Weller took over Leica Camera AG’s machining division, thus laying the foundations for the company in its present form.

In 1997, the business then merged with his father’s company, Günther Weller Feinwerktechnik, which specialized in precision turned parts for the automotive supplier industry. The merged operation subsequently moved into a production facility on Wilhelm-Loh-Straße ibn Wetzlar.

In 2005, the mechatronics division of Leica Microsystems in Weilburg was integrated into the business, followed in 2006 by the machining division of the Zeiss-Hensoldt Group in Wetzlar. Both operations were at that time manufacturing their products in leased premises in Wetzlar.

In early 2009, by relocating to the new facility at Am Leitz Park, the company was able to combine every manufacturing division and technology ‘under one roof’.

In May 2009, the new surface technology division began operations at the site on Wilhelm-Loh-Straße.


Uwe Weller Feinwerktechnik GmbH
Am Leitz-Park 3
35578 Wetzlar
Germany

Phone:+49 6441 90190


Viaoptic GmbH


Viaoptic is a leading supplier of plastic optical and mechanical components, technical injection molded parts and injection molding tools.

They are optimally equipped to react to customer requirements in development, tool design, injection molding, surface coating and assembly.

Viaoptic has over 30 years of experience and history.  Viaoptic in its current form has been situated in Wetzlar since 2002.  They moved to their brand new building at Am Leitz-Park in the beginning of 2009 which offers greater opportunities for growth in the future.

Their customers are specialized in automotive industry, optical sensors, telecommunication, medical industry, lightning and optical industry. Their products are used in several different applications for light optics and imaging optics. Typical products include e.g. barcode scanner, LED illumination optics etc..

Viaoptic is an independent medium-sized company, supported by a broad-ranging network of partners.

Both companies are not just financially connected to Leica.  They do a large amount of work for Leica Camera.  Especially Weller Feinwerktechnik does almost all mechanical pre production work for Leica Camera as well as Leica Microsystems.


Viaoptic GmbH
Am Leitz-Park
35578 Wetzlar
Germany

Phone:+49 6441 90110



CW Sonderoptic GmbH

Also located at Leitz Park is CW Sonderoptic GmbH.  They currently are in the same building as Viaoptic GmbH, but will relocate to their own building at Leitz Park III once it is finished.  CW Sonderoptic was founded in 2008 to design, manufacture and market Leica-branded cine lenses for film, television and commercial production. The “CW” stands for “Cine Wetzlar”, a reference to both the company’s mission and legacy.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority owner and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG, started CW Sonderoptic to design and develop what became the Leica Summilux-C and Summicron-C cine lenses. The concept behind these lenses was originally conceived by photographer and filmmaker Christian Skrein along with Hollywood rental house owner Otto Nemenz.

The dream for the set of Leica Summilux-C lenses was for them to be the most advanced cinema lenses yet created in regards to size, performance, mechanical precision, and optical tolerance. To create such a design they brought in legendary cine lens designer Iain Neil. Together they determined the specifications and features of the lenses and began production with the first sets delivering in early 2012.

Under the guidance of Managing Directors Gerhard Baier and Erik Feichtinger, CW Sonderoptic continues to develop and manufacture new and innovative products for cinematographers all over the world.


CW Sonderoptic GmbH
Am Leitz-Park 1
35578 Wetzlar
Germany



Phone:+49 6441 90110


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