Impact Printing

Impact Printing is a Ballycastle based printing firm who are developing a brand new website.  Like many businesses they have a website but months and years pass and it doesn’t get updated and thus becomes out of date.  Adrian over at Three Sixty Create originally passed me the referral.  They would be handling the development of the new website and i would be crafting images for it.  The Impact Printing website would be picture led meaning my images would be very important.  The images would depict the services offered and their hands on approach.

I am a Belfast Photographer and as a result this means that the majority of jobs i do are in Belfast or the surrounding area so i relished the chance to work outside of the city for a day!

Before the actual day when the photos would be taken i met with Peter to discuss what he wanted in terms of photography.  From talking with Peter i got the sense that he wanted the website and thus the images to reflect their hands on approach at Impact Printing.  Whilst he has the latest in digital printing equipment they still use a lot of traditional printing equipment.  These are big machines that take tremendous skill and patience to use.  They literally cause blood, sweat and tears!  Ok maybe not blood but you know what i mean.  So Peter wanted close up images showing the machines being operated and the things that they produce.  He wanted to show the human side of the business.

So after the meeting the date was set for Impact Printing and this Belfast Photographer was excited and ready to go!

We set aside four hours to get all the shots needed.  We had a list of required images that included the machines being operated, abstract shots, product images and staff head shots.

When i turned up at lunch on the day we agreed i almost didn’t know where to start because every where i looked there was an image ready to be taken.  So i printed off the shot list and methodically worked through the points, it really helped me focus.

The room in which all the equipment was stored and operated from was noisy and hectic.  There were employees moving around machinery which was clunking and shuttering and spitting out freshly printed leaflets and books.  The guys were always manually adjusting the equipment making sure that the final output was consistent and accurate.  Yes they could use the digital printer but because of operating costs its cheaper to use the manual machines for big print runs.  I would often find the machine operators elbow deep inside readjusting a screw or roll to make sure everything kept working.

The majority of my time at Impact Printing was spent getting shots of the equipment.  Because of the hectic and busy nature of the shop floor i had to be very careful where i placed my lights as i didn’t want to get in the road of the guys doing their work.  I attached a phottix radio receivers to two speed lights and as the roof was low and an off white colour i would use it as a bounce source.  That way i didn’t have to worry about people bumping in to umbrella’s.  Yes bouncing light off a roof is a bit more “rough and ready” but in this environment it was practically the only thing i could do.

After the equipment shots were completed it was time for the staff head shots.  Time was already against us at this stage so again i had to keep the set up simple.  I had one medium sized soft box to the front of the subjects then i placed  two speed lights either side and to the rear of the person.  The two speedlights were about 10 feet behind the subject at half power.  This helped light the background but also provided a bit of fill light on the side of the subjects head.  All the portraits were shot at F2.8 at around 150 – 180mm so of course i had to be careful about losing focus.

All in all it was a really great day at Impact Printing.  It was definitely a memorable job.  I wont forget the smell of the inks and the craic from the lads on the shop floor.

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