Shooting the "Deadliest" Crew

This striking image (pun intended) was shot by Blair Bunting for a Deadliest Catch ad for Discovery Channel. Curious to know how he did it? Well, luckily for us, his assistant Paul Morton filmed the whole thing, and Mike Maez was kind enough to edit it down into a digestible and inspiring video. Do not worry, it did not take any knocked out teeth or injured sailors to get the job done, but rather a couple of Pro-7a units and 3 high powered leaf blowers. Have a look and see for yourself!


via the ProFoto Blog

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40 Comments

Rex Larsen's picture

Too bad the picture was way over-processed.  Never had a chance at looking real.
How much did the rights to the music cost ?

Your statement is a matter of opinion. It depends on what part of the industry that you're in. If you're a wedding photographer than yeah this is over processed. If you produce commercial work for Discovery, Nike, Gatorade etc than this is perfectly acceptable. The "hyper real" look, as I like to call it, is actually considered common place in this form of advertising.

One day, like HDR, "over processed" images will be looked down upon, or at least unfavored.  It's just a fad, and eventually these clients will realize what a waste of money they are.

At least that's what I'd hope.  Nothing against Blair's usual style, but this is a little bit too overprocessed for my tastes.

Kevin Garrison's picture

I'm gonna have to agree with Robert.  I love that style and it's quite marketable.  It depends entirely upon your industry.

oh Rex, silly boy. It's a guy getting hit in the face by a comically large steel hook with cartoonish sprays of blood spraying out of his mouth. How real would you like it to look? The processing seems incredibly appropriate for the image.

That look is Bunting's style. Realistic or not, he's getting paid for it. :)

Andrew Keane's picture

Not realistic - sure, not likely to happen - possibly, a good image - definitely.  I like it.  It is not photo realistic, but I reckon that was the whole idea.  It achieves the purpose of an advertising image in that it communicates what the show is about.  Personally, I like it as an image, even if some would say its not a photo (I would).

Chris's picture

"not likely to happen - possibly".

Pretty sure this is depicting an actual incident that really did happen on Deadliest Catch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHX0_SVDgoc

I love the concept, including the post processing -- it is very appropriate for the job! Great video, thank you for sharing.

i agree with Pratik on this one this one post processing is amazing and the concept fits the advertising campaign

The problem with the post is that its not very good for even that style. It looked flat. You see so much of this look going around and once you see the best in the industry (my opinion) its hard to say this is good. Yes is the art director liked it, its a success but when it gets posted on a forum that allows photographers to give their opinion, don't expect us to say, "well if the art director liked it who cares" all the time.

Dave Hill and Jill Greenberg own this style in my opinion, and would have done a cleaner, better job.

But they didn't hire Dave Hill or Jill Greenberg, they hired Blair Bunting, and he killed it...

Okay. Not my taste. That's what these white boxes are for. For us to post our opinions. I didn't personally diss the man and his character, I just didn't like how his retoucher (he said he used one) edited his work. I went to Wendy's one day and got the new spicy chicken nuggets. I thought they were too hot and not that good. I wasn't dissing DAVE THOMAS personally and his employees didn't get mad because I didn't like them. (yes I know dave thomas is not making my food)

i thought it was an assistant checking the gear until he started taking the photos as well, is this Blair like 15 years old?  And what's he doing with all that profoto gear..

Obviously i'm not jealous in anyway...

Haha Blair is something like 28, and he's been shooting high profile clients since he was 19. He's a really cool dude who has a lot of talent. He was featured in one of last year's Digital Photo Pro magazines as someone to watch out for. 

Age in this industry is no longer considered a factor, of course experience is but look at Joey Lawerence for example, doing it since God knows how old and he crushes it and is considered an industry leader for commercial photography. 

He's shooting at Loft 19 in Phoenix, AZ. It is an amazing, enormous studio that anyone can rent time in. They are well stocked with all the Profoto goodies you can imagine. I got to shoot there a while back and I sure miss the place. :)

Uhm - what song is this ?

Jef Gibbons's picture

Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi, classic!

Thanks - guess I should´ve guessed. But I didn´t :(...

Lindy Melendez's picture

I think the processing goes well, very movies poster like

Actually I'm 29 now, come on Jaron, get your facts straight :)

Does your mom know you're out this late?  Seriously though, awesome work BB

I've always been terrible with birthdays and ages. To me, you're just a dude with some serious skills.

Chuck Carver's picture

Blair, Really great work! Do you do your own post or work with a favorite "retoucher"?

I usually do very little post honestly (try and get it a lot more in camera via lighting.  As for this shot, there is a lot of post, mostly due to the nature of not being legally allowed to crush models with hooks (at least in America).  So I hired out someone to do it as I truly am terrible with Photoshop

To be honest I did not like it. Too much post processing. Might as well do everything in Photoshop with this kind of processing. 

5 out of 10

How else would he have done the processing, know of any other industry leading software? lol

A lot of negative comments on this, pretty surprised for FStopper readers, more haters than I would have expected, mostly people who have a) never shot commercial photography b) have no idea how to use photoshop or achieve the affect and c) are masters of instagram. 

Now on to a real legitimate question...

Blair, what kind of background is that you're using on set? 

That is a 21% even grey background.  We had 4 made for the shoot (14%, 18%, 21% and 25%)

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