Why Bear Stock shoots 2D Backgrounds the way it does

We asked Urs Buhlman to share some of his insights with our readers and here’s where we got to …

How important is it for you to have scouted a location before you shoot or do you prefer to roll with it on the day?

“I like to do both.  For my night locations I’ll do a recce.  This will have prepared me for the shoot – the angles, light and traffic conditions.  For the day shots I aim for a backlight where possible which will help add more tension, texture and shadows.  It’ll give a sheen to the road and works well for my end use.  I actually like shooting in the rain for the luxurious surfaces plus the water tends to hide the uneven tones in the road”

How do you decide what angle to shoot a certain scene and what impact does this have on camera height etc?

“The type of road I’m shooting will dictate the camera height.  I tend to shoot lower on a sealed road than a dirt road.  This will depend also on the type of vehicle that will be rendered with that road.  Sedans and sports cars  often look better at a low or more aggressive angle while the off road SUV’s and 4WD’s work better at a higher angle.  I like to tilt the camera to add tension and will always aim to shoot several angles per location to allow a greater scope in the post production process.  The locations will soon tell me what’s possible based on the safety aspects and that’s something I need to work with”

Let’s talk gear and equipment.  What camera and lenses do you like to work with for your 2D backgrounds?

“I work with a 40 megapixel digital back and wide angle lenses, a tripod and of course the all important cable release which eliminates camera shake in the longer exposures”