When we founded NEOPRIME we knew that we wanted to illustrate our story in a unique photographic way. That's how we came up with THE STORY OF NEOPRIME. But as you know, there's always a story behind the story. So let's take a look behind the foggy scenes.
We both had a very surreal look for the story in mind, so we desperately wanted to shoot in a foggy and slightly creepy location. Martin had the great idea to produce in the mountains near his hometown Hofheim, right next to Frankfurt.
Since it was rather cold in April this year, nature still had this particular winter look we needed. We only had one day to take the shots, so the only chance for seeing some fog was in the early morning. So we had to do what every ambitious photographer has to do: Set the alarm to 4:15 AM.
As smart as we were, we had the glorious idea to roam through Frankfurt City till 1 AM to turn the early rise into an even bigger pleasure. To our surprise we both woke up all excited like kids on christmas morning. We drank a quick espresso, grabbed our gear and got into our four wheeled freezer with a steering wheel. After 30 minutes we arrived in at the pitch-dark and foggy forest in the mountains.
When we entered the forrest we could barely see our own shoes. All of a sudden a thought occured to us. What if a wild boar appeared out of nowhere? What if we stepped on one of its beloved piglets? How do you even fight a wild boar with a cam? Flash it to death? Hit it with the tripod or climb on top of it? Since the Story of NEOPRIME wasn't called "The story of a furious wild boar, six scared piglets and two running photographers", luckily nothing bad happened.
As far as the gear was concerned, we brought a tripod, Marius's 5D Mark II with a EF 28-105mm 3.5-4.5 lens to give the shots a more dramatic wide angle look, Martin's Fujifilm X-Pro1 with a XF35mm 1.4 and of the utmost importance: the remote release. Since we both needed to be in the shot and we didn't have a third person to hit the shutter, we had to use the remote control to take our photos. You find a great spot to stand, calmly get the right posture and simply click the remote. To put it in a nutshell, it's just incredibly convenient - if it works. It didn't. Not at all. So we always had to set up the 10 second timer of the cam and...
Although this made the whole shoot slightly more exhausting, it made it a hundred times more fun. Besides that, it really helped us stay fairly warm in this freezing scenery straight out of Silent Hill. It was really slippery up there as well. We were always one step away from face planting which gave the shoot the suspense it deserved. Especially when we had to run up the rock. It took us probably 5-10 times to make it to the top within 10 seconds. Sometimes we had to change the position of the tripod to make it in time. So no matter which photo you are looking at, one of us was always exhausted from running there within seconds. It's cool to see how well they turned out compared to how incredibly ridiculous it looked to produce them.
But it wasn't only the running that looked weird. When we produced the track photo with the skyline in the background the night before, people must have thought we were crazy. In order to get the ghost effect we used a long exposure. We stood in front of the cam for 15 seconds and then made a few steps forward for the remaining 10-15 seconds. That's basically how you achieve this double effect. Since we couldn't look back during the shots, we were always afraid that someone might steal the cam that was standing on a tripod 10 meters behind us. Considering how idiotic we looked walking back and forth in front of the cam for half an hour, who could've blamed them?
Despite the fact that we had a certain vision of the shots in mind, we improvised basically everything on the mountain. We weren't really familiar with the location nor did we have any clue where to find the next best spot. It certainly took us many cold and windy kilometres to produce all photos. However, it was such a great experience to explore this calm and surreal playground for photographers despite the biting cold.
As much fun as it was, after almost three hours our hair was frozen and we could barely feel our hands and feet anymore. We decided to keep our limbs, packed our stuff and headed towards our car through the forest. In case you are wondering whether we got attacked by a wild boar on the way back, don't worry. Not even the wildest boar wanted two frozen steaks like us for dinner.
A whole lot more of impressions:
While making this Behind the Scenes Article, Martin worked on another very surreal photo set from this session. If you want to see even more photos from this session in a very different style just click here.