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The Story behind Wittur’s Winning Photo

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The winner of this year’s EW Photo Contest “Elevators” category

One of the most exotic shots EW Photo Contest 2014 received is explained.

Photos are, indeed, impressive objects, and sometimes real attention grabbers. Although they intend to capture the world as it is, they also have the power to focus viewing eyes on details and bend viewers’ perception; they let you see the world from a completely different perspective.

To achieve this, sometimes, only the eye of the photographer is needed. In other cases, however, a certain degree of preparation must be added to the picture. Take the first-place winner of the “Elevators” category in the ELEVATOR WORLD Photo Contest 2014, for example. It depicts a round panoramic car in the context of the Italian Dolomite Mountains, a setting which became a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2009 as an area of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.

As UNESCO points out:

“The site of the Dolomites comprises a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks, which rise to above 3,000 m and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys.”

Local lift installer Liftkom specifies Wittur products for its elevator installations. In this case, the company wanted to place Wittur products in the natural setting of the Dolomites for its advertising campaign. Liftkom contacted Wittur, which readily supported the challenging project and began formulating a concept to showcase a panoramic car in a natural mountain panorama. In most cases, to achieve such a photo would mean taking a product shot and using a digital photo retouching system to insert the setting around it. But, because Wittur wanted to create real empathy between the product and the setting, its team felt, from the beginning, that the photos had to depict a real car in a real mountain setting.

Wittur’s Osaka round panoramic car was chosen as the best example of a Wittur product for the task. In particular, we used a mirrored stainless-steel finish to achieve fusion between the mountains and the product: literally, all car surfaces had to reflect the mountains around them to create an explosion of light and color.

Finding a natural setting was even more difficult, as there are so many choices in the Dolomites for a beautiful natural background. In the end, the area of Mount Cherz near the Campolongo mountain pass was chosen for its breathtaking view of a wide range of Dolomites in their white winter splendor. The only possible transportation means in this area in winter is by helicopter. A suitable 500-m2 area in which to assemble the car was prepared in the nearest accessible place. This entailed the removal of 3 m of snow, taking two entire days.

The shooting took place at the end of March, when the weather forecast was rather grim: heavy clouds covered the sky for most of the week, delaying the shooting, but also sprinkling some new snow on the nearby mountains. Finally, the sun was scheduled to make its debut between Saturday and Sunday. The team prepared itself for the job: the car components were assembled in the camp in the valley below, while another team reached the target location atop the pass using three snowmobiles.

In the early morning of the next day, as the sun was rising on the horizon, the helicopter arrived and was able to place the car within centimeters of the marked setting place. After some final onsite assembly, the car was shining in the sun, becoming the best possible target for a series of superb and unusual photos: a truly panoramic car, indeed!

 After the first shooting, we left the car on site overnight. Early on Sunday morning, a layer of frost had formed on the car surface, and the red morning light offered another beautiful setting for more photos. In the evening, after taking the car back to the warehouse, the whole team, including Liftkom Director Fabio Guarino, photographer Ugo Visciani, Wittur Technical Specialist Egemen Koç and your author celebrated the moment in a local bar. We were satisfied with the accomplishment of a most unusual photo shoot, being able to show how beauty can be found in both natural settings, like a mountain landscape, and in manmade objects, such as a round Wittur elevator car.

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Elevator World | December 2014 Cover

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