PDN Photo of the Day

Art in Context

Artist Steve Driscoll wanted to show his paintings in a new way. He came up with the idea of placing them in a variety of environments and, through the suggestion of a design agency, Grand, enlisted the help of editorial and commercial photographer Finn O’Hara to capture the scenes. Over the course of one weekend in December 2014, O’Hara and Driscoll produced a series of 10 images in 10 different locations for their series, “Giving Context.

“The locations were chosen by committee,” O’Hara says. “From there, we put together a locations list that paired Steve’s paintings with our ideal locations.” The team agreed that shooting over a weekend would allow them five locations per day, and would draw the least amount of attention. Over a few pints at Steve’s studio the night before their first shoot day, they worked out the details. “I devised a route using Google maps that took into consideration time of day and the ebb and flow of the city.” Using battery-powered Broncolor Move packs, and a Hasselblad/Phase One camera system tethered to his laptop, he was completely off the grid. “Steve and his assistant used a cube truck to securely transport the paintings.”

All of the images, except for one [Slide 10, in which several frames were combined to create a busy street scene], were shot in-camera. Using two C-stands, four Manfrotto Magic Arms with Superclamps and a few sandbages, they devised a way for the painting to stand on its own. “We wanted the paintings to really live in each of the spaces,” O’Hara says.

Once the project was completed and published online, Driscoll self-published a book of the work. To the finished images, they added behind-the-scenes photos made by Matt Quinn.

Related: From Personal Work to Paid Assignments: How Tobias Hutzler’s Light Drawing Experiments Led to Commercial Jobs (For PDN Subscribers only; login required)

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