Dan Wolfe

Armor All

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Advertising photo-illustration is about assembling objects in
front of a camera to tell the intended viewer a story. The photo
is intended to catch the viewer's attention and inspire them to
read the copy and ultimately to buy the product. Choosing the
right elements and support styling, properly arranging and
determining the direction, intensity and balance of the lighting,
composing and cropping the subject matter to encourage the
viewer to get the message as quickly and simply as possible.
Advertising doesn't leave much time for beating around
the bush.

Unlike photo-journalism, which is a completely different kind
of art, photo-illustrators need to "fake" many or all of the
parameters. This Armor All ad is a good example. They
needed to produce an ad showing how Armor All provides
protection for automobiles from harsh winter conditions. The
problem is that the shot needed to be accomplished in
August. Temperatures were well above 100 degrees pretty
much everywhere that it was practical to shoot.

Fake snow wasn't a solution because the shot required very
high detail. The answer was basically thousands of pounds of
pulverized 80-pound blocks of ice carefully configured to look
like a snowdrift. A couple of custom crafted icicles completed
the look. Naturally the overheated summer conditions exposure
ad needed to be shot in the dead of winter. A different set of
photo-illustration challenges.