Shooting liquid that defies gravity and summer in Denmark in October – Photographer Mikkel Jul Hvilshoj shares his secrets
October 8, 2015 by Oksana Svirchevska
MIKKEL JUL HVILSHOJ is a photographer from Denmark creating works of minimalism and serenity, combined with a dynamic, elegance to produce beautiful high-quality images. When introducing Mikkel to our Production Paradise world, we had a wonderful and unique opportunity to get to know Mikkel and a few of his shooting secrets he uses while creating his masterpieces.
Working with liquid splashes, gravity in the kitchen, shooting summer in October (in Denmark) and capturing perfection within a professional kitchen. Secrets, techniques personal preferences, these and many more undeniably interesting subjects for Mikkel’s repertoire. Enjoy.
One of my absolute favourite types of assignments are liquids and freezing the liquid mid-air. There is no clear recipe to getting the liquid to look just right. You can use many techniques to make the liquid splash and I usually start with one technique and move on to others to figure out how that specific liquid reacts. It is fairly difficult to control and you just have to keep shooting until you get a shot you are happy with. In this case the liquid is put together of multiple shots.
Once again a product shot including splash. The name of this series of kitchenware is Gravity and to get the proportions, light and reflections just right, we hung the products with fishing line. That also helped us perfectly visualise the final composition. Water etc. was then shot and added afterwards.
I probably could have shot each product individually and done it a bit faster, but I am sure this was the right way to do it, especially because I wanted the correct and most realistic reflections in each product.
This assignment was quite a challenge, which I often meet. Shooting a summer campaign in October. In Denmark that means cold, grey weather and a bit of rain. We wanted the view to be the Copenhagen skyline, so we found a roof top terrace in the central part of the city. We didn’t want to replace the background if we could avoid it. Due to the weather we did replace the sky, and naturally we had to light the scene to get that sunset feel.
I was actually quite happy with the weather that day, as I could easily control the light on the set. As we wanted a sunset on all the images, having the sun shining from a clear sky throughout the day would have made it difficult the get the right mood.
I did this editorial shoot for Scandinavian Airlines, portraying René Redzepi and Noma, the world’s best restaurant at that time. Unlike most of my other assignments in the studio, which are very controlled, this was all about constantly being aware and discovering interesting situations. It was a great experience being in a kitchen where everything is so professional and well planned. Everyone was really busy and yet they were so calm. There was clearly an expectation of perfection with each plate that left the kitchen.
My most recent published work is an editorial showing classic Danish furniture design mixed with Oriental accessories. I am very pleased with the colors and mood of the series. Danish design is world famous and it is always a pleasure to photograph such beautiful and iconic products.
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