Tag Archives: Still Life

Making of Frame Magazine Covers with Thomas Brown and Andrew Stellitano

Frame Magazine assigned photographer Thomas Brown and set designer Andrew Stellitano to create visual interpretations of four themes for their four latest issues – they always work in series for their covers, which they treat as an art project in themselves.

This way of working was an ideal fit for Thomas and Andrew, who enjoy the process of creating a thematically coherent series with colour and abstraction as the central concepts. The only stipulation that Frame made was that the images should be colourful, and there should be an environmental, spatial feel to the images, with architectural depth.

Having worked often together before, they took the initial proposal as a framework but built on it as the work progressed.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this project was the discovery of new ideas to try, as they arose from the initial concepts. It wasn’t all chin-stroking….there was a lot of laughter along the way, as these behind the scenes photos show – enjoy!

 

Nº 1 of 4: Doubt.

This was inspired by the idea of image as deceptions – thinking about the current geopolitical situation, fake news, the difficulty of knowing what is actually real.

“For the cover of this issue, we created a spatial experience that is all in the mind. The world seems to have flipped on its head, and nothing is as it seems. A tunnel that extends off into the distance is, on close examination, made out of a modular toolkit of materials”  — Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

‘Using wood, paper, watercolour, acrylic, glass, organic materials and glycerine, …[they] built a multilayered world that hovers between fantasy and reality. Aptly titled Doubt, it’s their first cover in a series of four’

—  Frame Magazine

Nº 2 of 4: Ephemeral.

Exploring the idea of temporality and events such as fashion shows that are hugely involved but fleeting. Flashes in eight different colours captured blocks falling around the static forms.

“Inspired by the speed at which the world is changing, we wanted to create a sculpture that is more than the sum of its parts and that can be captured only as a photograph. With our camera, we compress time.” — Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

 

“Using stroboscopic lighting in combination with long time exposures the photographer captured moving elements around a static object, creating a feeling of impermanence.” —  Frame Magazine

Nº 3 of 4: Environment.

Here, the duo considered the enviroment in conjunction with illusion and image-making. It’s full of opposites – bringing the outside inside, gravity defying rocks, objectifying the natural and slicing the outside into contained bars in the background.

“We were inspired by a Diane Arbus photograph taken behind the scenes at Disneyland. The image shows huge boulders on wheels against the vast Californian landscape – an artificial backdrop at second sight. It’s a spellbinding scene that puts our expectation of reality into flux. ” — Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

 

 

“An outdoor environment that doesn’t play by the normal rules of physics. Rocks become easily transportable objects, and panels function as portals to an alternate reality” —  Frame Magazine

 

Nº 4 of 4: Food.

For the final image, they chose the theme of food. Though it’s ubiquitous, it’s not often an environmental element. The can is revolutionary – its invention changed our relationship to food completely. Its reminiscent of a bitmap, modular, reactive with its simple silver surface which both renders it invisible and responds to the environment around it with reflection and distortion. The shallow water below joins the elements by rising to the right height to make the cans appear to unite, and the projection of Kyoto adds yet another layer of texture and colour.

Shallow water was just below to join elements

“Photography can be a wasteful business, but the contents of all the cans on this issue’s cover were either donated to food banks or turned into amazing corn bread, corn curry and corn fritters. We never want to eat corn again”

— Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

“To round off their series of four covers, designed to explore materiality and space [they] … chose food packaging as their medium. Stacked to form primary shapes, the tins create an intriguing landscape.” —  Frame Magazine

Client: Frame Magazine
Photographer: Thomas Brown
Art Direction: Studio&
Set Designer: Stellitano Studio
Post Artist: Aljaz Bezjak / Recom Farmhouse London
Photographer Agent: Webber Represents

 You can also see the final images without the magazine type on our website and on Behance

Recom Farmhouse is on InstagramFacebookVimeo and Twitter!
More work at recomfarmhouse.com.

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Volume of Light - Undecided

Volume of Light by Thomas Brown

Volume of Light is an innovative and interactive project, created in the studio by our friend and regular collaborator Thomas Brown. Beginning as a small series, it extended in scope to become a four year mission.

In an intriguing new approach to the way art is marketed, an online campaign encouraged people to adopt one of 469 images. We adopted image № G_150204_0097 – Just been thinking.

Recom's image

As an adopter, you receive the book which is a directory of all the images. The book comes with a print of your adopted image, which is a limited edition of one, just for you. Each image is also shared on Instagram and Twitter with its newly bestowed name.

The project culminated with exhibitions in London and New York, and the recently published book.

It’s a beautiful object, with iridescent cover and rainbow foiled type – the video shows the lovely textures and colours.

Thomas explains:

“The assigned titles will forever be linked to the image.  Volume of Light wants to know what you see, how you see it and begin to understand why certain choices are made. It is an exploration and investigation of semiotics, the phenomenon of Pareidolia and authorship….Each image represents the record of an action, a passage of time and a movement of light…In their abstraction they represent no thing but leave space to become everything.”

 

“I can’t say VoL offers a new way of experiencing art…people are visually assessing the world every second of the day, but maybe for some people it causes them to think a little bit more about what they were looking at, or to reflect on their experience of looking. It certainly offered an interesting way to interact at the exhibitions.”

Volume of Light Exhibition

With all the images on display as small postcards the viewers were encouraged to take them from the wall to get a closer look and move through the space, breaking the conventional gallery environment.

You can adopt an image of your own at https://volumeoflight.com and see more of Thomas’ work at http://thomasbrown.info

CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Detail

100% : Virgin Broadband

Cable specifications! Some might say it’s strictly of interest to your more hardcore nerd, which of course we are. But this is what brings everyone the high speed internet we all love. So we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating Virgin’s DOCSIS®3 Tech cable for a multi-platform campaign – both still and moving assets for print and video adverts.

One of the main challenges was creating a photo-realistic cable. This sounds a lot easier than it is, because when you look at a seemingly smooth metallic material in extreme close-up, it is never perfect. The minute imperfections are actually what gives metal its particular character. In previous campaigns, the cables were photographed – setting the bar high.

We developed custom shading networks including microscratch details giving them the imperfections of the real materials.

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The braiding of the cable housing is perfect, right down to the compression of the snipped ends in the wires.
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A myriad of tiny details were included, such as the champfering of the cable housing shown here.
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Every bend and kink of the copper wiring was faithfully replicated
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For flexibility in animation we developed a rig with which we could quickly adjust both the shapes and the timing of the cable’s growth.
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We made three executions of the idea – Home, Gaming and Video versions.
CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Cable

CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Cable

CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Cable

..and the video work formed the backbone of the motion campaign

The ads were shown all over the UK in an enormous variety of formats, all working well due to the extremely detailed CGI.

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Credits:
Made in Maya
Rendered with V-Ray
Animation composited in After Effects
Stills retouching in Photoshop

Making of : Exogenesis by Alessandra Kila

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Alessandra Kila is a photographer and close friend of ours. She pops in and out of the studio nearly every week and when she asked us to help her with her new series of images, we were as usual very happy to collaborate on her fantastical voyage to another planet as her work is just unlike anything else. And it’s stunning!

In this series called Exogenesis (or Life Outside of Earth) Alessandra ventures to unfamiliar territories looking for life forms beyond our planet. In her pictures the carefully constructed sets are overturned by the surprise of the unexpected. Alessandra is indeed an avid collector of oddities. All of the organic matter encountered in her still life comes from places she travels to – from the Atlas mountain of Morocco to the slate quarries of Snowdonia.

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When she goes on a trip she always takes with her empty boxes and rucksacks that she then fills with stones, rusted metal wires, seeds, flowers and everything else she stumbles upon. She then re-assembles everything in her studio creating new juxtapositions which are both evocative and surreal.

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We helped her in creating the lush colours of these fantastical worlds by refining the strong tonalities of her pictures and by blending together the many layers that form these not-so-still still life photographs.
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Making of : Duckstein Beer by Markus Mueller

Duckstein_Wolken_main_FinalArt1

For the new Duckstein campaign, photographer Markus Mueller was asked to visualise two men drinking on top of a pint of beer with the foam spilling out and blending into a cloudscape. For this surreal scene Markus contacted CGI director Thorsten Jasper Weese at Recom because he needed to create most of the image in CG. Markus provided us with lots of backplates of real clouds shot during the numerous flights he had taken to photograph the other images for the campaign. We ended up using his shots for the clouds in the distance, and the ground visible through the gaps of the CG clouds. We then developed together with Markus the visuals for the foreground clouds in CGI.

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The boxes above are called ‘Bounding Boxes’. They effectively define the boundaries of each of the clouds’s volumes that we have created in CGI.

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News : Construct by Thomas Brown

We worked with photographer Thomas Brown on this still life project made in collaboration with set designer Robert Storey. We loved enhancing the subtle tonalities of greys whilst enriching the wood texture and the overall graphic of this highly stylized series.

TBrown5 Continue reading

Making of : Versace Perfume Bottle

When we find the time we like to experiment with making full CGI images for our product-based portfolio. In the past we created a full CGI visual for an Estée Lauder product, this time our New York team have produced a Versace perfume bottle. Continue reading

100% : PLAYING INSIDE A BOX (Part II)

Perspex Box MushroomNearly 1 year ago we posted on Mad Love a personal project which consisted of a series of perspex light-boxes enclosing different types of pure, simple arrangements of raw materials made in CGI. We had a small cluster of clouds, drips of black goo and splashes of paint. This time we enjoyed modeling some mushrooms and a formation of crystals.

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The Making of: OUR CHRISTMAS CARD

Recom Farmhouse Christmas CardClick on the image to enlarge or click here if you can’t see the animation.

With Christmas sneaking up as every year also comes the question of what to send out to our friends – so this year we decided to start a hopefully popular series of collaborations with some of the amazing photographers we get to work with. The first one is with the super-talented duo Kila & Rusharc, who created together with us this gif animation, depicting a Christmas dinner building up to its climax and ending with the inevitable come-down and clean-up afterwards – repeated in a neverending cycle. Continue reading

The making of: UHU glue

UHU glue retouching by Recom Farmhouse

Some time ago agency Kolle Rebbe with art director Jörg Dittmann asked us to help with an UHU glue gun advertising campaign. The idea was to represent some iconic souvenir figurines such us a Nutcracker, Cupid, Buddha and Ramses as if they were about to be threatened by the glue gun. The headline for this wonderful project was “Hands Up”. Photographer Bernd Westphal, modelmaker Arndt von Hoff and Jörg started searching for the figurines in all kinds of touristic shops. The problem? They all looked perfect and never had their arms up! Continue reading