Still Life Photography in Advertising. Lighting Setup. Special Effects by Ilya Plotnikov, Maxim Plotnikov and Alexandra Leroy

• OverviewProcessVideo
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to publish a book on advertising photography.

The authors of the book believe there are no two similar projects and no two identical shoots in advertising photography. Each object requires a new approach and a unique lighting setup. The book does not teach how to “frame a shot” or “set up light” but rather educates how to think and look at things like a photographer and introduces all basic methods of shooting various objects.

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Title opening

The authors, all famous and experienced advertising photographers, describe the process of creating their best shots: they talk about techniques, effects, retouching, etc. They are convinced that after mastering the provided principles of working with light, readers will have mastered almost all secrets of advertising photography.

First, you need to forget about the base light, fill light, etc.—just get them out of your system and never think of them again. There are no such concepts in the world of advertising. Their use only hinders the photographer and creates awkwardness with the client. Getting rid of thee notions, on the other hand, allows to easily create lighting setups that would allow to obtain images far exceeding the expectations of the art director and the client.

More good news: the advent of era of digital photography and the ability to immediately see the result on screen have eliminated obsolete devices such as a flashmeter or a gray card. You no longer have to carefully measure the intensity of light and compare its color temperature with that of the film. Previously, the delay between pressing the shutter button and seeing the result was so long, it took years for beginner photographers to achieve mastery. Now this time has been reduced to a few seconds.»

From the chapter “Process and Technologies”

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art director

chief typesetter


cover designer






production manager

  • authors

  • Ilya Plotnikov started his career in advertising by working in 3D visualization and retouching. His experience of setting up lighting in 3D scenes allowed him to quickly master working with real light and look at traditional setups from a new angle. Ilya shot for international advertising agencies including BBDO, McCann Erickson, DDB and Lowe. Ilya is on Lürzer’s Archive’s list of 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide.

  • Maxim Plotnikov has been photographing since he was fourteen with FED-5V as his first camera. Back then he was experimenting with still life photography using lens extension rings. This interest was later forgotten only to come back as a profession in the age of digital cameras. Having worked for a long time as a designer and acquired a good understanding of requirements to advertising images, Maxim was able to quickly find himself as an advertising photographer and producer.

  • After getting an education in art, Alexandra Leroy worked as a graphic designer in Moscow’s leading design studios. After several years spent in search for more creative freedom, she started doing photography with Ilya Plotnikov stylizing shots and coming up with unusual ideas. She has also worked as a creative director in a fashion magazine where she was in charge of photo shoots and style. Alexandra was included in Lürzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide list.

  • In 2007, the authors founded Doberman photography studio.
  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 220×290 mm (8,7″×11,4″)
  • Press run: 3000
  • ISBN 978-5-98062-087-5
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