Defense Weapon Photography


There is a lot of talk about personal protection circulating on all sides but the fact remains that law enforcement and concerned citizens will always have an interest in protection and preservation of an orderly society, whether it be in a public emergency or on one’s own personal property. I had the opportunity earlier this week to photograph one of the finest custom built weapons for that purpose made by Spike’s Tactical LLC in Apopka, Forida. Our local source for the weapon was Roll call, LLC on Keyser Avenue in Scranton.
ar15 weapon in studio scene
Not being a gun aficionado my first impressions were surprising! I was amazed at the precision and beauty with which this gun was crafted. The detail and agressive lines in the design are more than just functional. This is a work of art. One by which the owner would be inspired to do better in their practice and would be drawn to each time tactical training begins. It made it easy to find the lighting and composition that accented it’s beauty.

In order to do it justice and to tie in with the company’s spider-like logo theme, I decided to create a set involving spider webs along with something that connotes the rugged individuals who would use such an instrument, cinder blocks! The challenge was to get cobwebs into my studio (no jokes about the ones already there, please) attached to the bricks and not resort to cheap Halloween Store webs. So I created a ‘Web-Slinger’ from plans I found online and started throwing webs onto my bricks!

After I finished creating the webs, I was ready to manage the atmosphere with my fog machine. It was different than my usual fog shots in that less was better and I found myself actually just giving the fog a short little burst to cover the background of the bricks and avoid hiding the gun.

ar15 weapon in scene

I found the black-on-black finish a challenge with lighting and decided to use variuos colors to accent the shape.

ar15 weapon in scene

The background changed several times through the shoot and between the color of light, fog and backdrop I achieved a good variety of looks for the scene.
After almost 8 hours of shooting I was finally well satisfied with the variety of effects and angles covered.

ar15 weapon in studio shot

I try to eschew most forms of digital manipulation in my work and what you see is pretty much what I saw when I was taking the shots including the little spider figure which I cut out of paper and colored with a magic marker!
Overall I had fun creating these images and from the response I have had on Instagram from gun enthusiasts, they all seem to agree it was succesful! For commercial, industrial, advertising and web content your best option is a skilled lighing and design professional to make the product come alive! So, if you have a gun, clothing accessory, jewelry piece or even a spider to photograph give me a call! I do it all!

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