Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Spirit

What is a "Contact Sheet" ?

Loosely defined, A contact sheet is a hard copy analogue photo print having the positive image from a few strips of negative film [color or black & white]. All the strips coming from the same roll of film.

 This contact sheet is an [8 x 10] print [as per contest requirements] which I entered in an Absolute Vodka Photo Competition [Asia] years ago.  Now, how did i compose this mosaic of sorts or photo puzzle, -- for lack of better descriptions ?  Well, I sketched a "compre" first and figured out how the layout of the individual frames, based on the shot sequence and arrangement of the six strips of negatives [each strip had 6 frames each] would eventually combine to complete an image of a bottle.  Having done that, laid out my colored crepe paper sheets accordingly, set up the Absolute Vodka bottle, waited for the right amount of sunlight -- then, with my sketch beside me, stood firmly on one spot, and patiently took one shot at a time then glancing at my sketch before taking the next one -- until I had taken all 36 frames.  I used Fuji 35mm ASA 100 Color Negative film.  Then had the film processed, specifically asked the film roll to be cut in 6 strips [w/ 6 frames per strip]- and requested that the strips be laid out according to my sketch - hence the resulting Contact Sheet.

Never expected my mosaic/puzzle to be seamless because I did not have the appropriate lens,  and even if I did -- it would still have been EVEN MORE tedious.  I felt that even an approximation of a complete bottle would be enough for my creativity and originality to show.  Then after achieving that image, challenged my creativity again and tried a few more photo interpretations of the bottle.  [I actually had about 5-10 bottles].

I went as far as photographing AV bottles silhouetted against open flame, air-brushing an AV bottle with military camouflage color patterns, gluing a small scale model [authentic, off course] of the Space Shuttle.  Had a shot of an AV bottle where the background is my air-brush shooting some flames towards the bottle [like a minature military flamethrower !!].  Was so into it, I simply tried every idea I thought off.

The prize money was big.  Yet, it was also the challenge of creating a Good Advertising Image of the AV bottle that drew me.  All that Effort, Time, Money and a whole lot of prayers that at least I could get an Honorable Mention, a 3rd Place or even a 1st place , Why not ? Baka makatsamba. 

That hoped for phone call or notification Never came.  So, said to me self - 
At least you tried to outdo yourself, accepted the creative challenge and just did your best  - No regrets -  now -  That's the Spirit.

About a year or so after that contest, I bumped into an acquiantance of mine, who used to work with the marketing arm of Absolute Vodka.  She claimed to have been present at the last few deliberations among the judges leading up to the final selection of the winners.  She stated that from about a total of 5,000 entries, my Absolute Vodka Mosaic made it to the Top 25, then was eliminated.

brosi gonzales

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