How we made the Koi Grotto
LZF recently released a new series of images called Life Size Dreams, which dared to dream big. The photo shoot, coordinated by Marivi Calvo, brought together talented and motivated people from many different facets of the design community, culminating in a beautiful and bizarre series of images.
In this piece we focus on the making of one of these images, namely the Koi Grotto.
The image shows a Koi, swimming through a one-time magnificent residence, now an over grown grotto.
From start to finish, the process of creating the photograph is a deceptively long one. It is fraught with many small adjustments here and there in an attempt to create a harmony within the final image.
The Life Size dreams photo shoot took place at Palauet de Nolla, a rundown 19th century Spanish palace, outside of Valencia.
The first order of business was to mount the Koi on scaffolding and center it within the camera frame. Once completed, work begun on the grotto garden.
To build it, a timber frame was first constructed to house the pool, over which a waterproof membrane was secured. This was then slowly filled with water until we had an inside pool.
Floral foam was attached to the rim of the pool and used to secure all the visible plant material you see in the final photograph. The stems of the plant material could be pressed into the foam, which would hold it in place. In this way, the stylists were able to add volume to the image and create a truly dream like and surrealist landscape.
With the grotto completed, work began on the photos composition. This meant positioning the Koi, adjusting the plant material and arranging the artificial and ambient lighting within the image to highlight different elements within the photo.
The final image is actually a mosaic of several images cut and pasted together later in the editing room. The exact same photographic frame is taken over and over again, with changes to light and illumination recorded in each. Then once the shoot is complete, Marivi and her team choose the parts of each photograph which they like the most and sew them together to form the final image.
Project Director: MARIVI CALVO
Assistant Director: ESTER COLOMINA
Concept and Styling: MASQUESPACIO