Astley Access Automation


Marketing and PR photography. Something that tells the viewer “This is me, and this is what I do.”

This particular image was shot for Astley Access Automation, a company that installs pretty much anything to do with automated access. From dinky remote fob reading systems, to enormous gates that either slide or swing open. And that was the brief for this particular shoot. To be brutally honest, the brief wasn’t much more than “Shoot what we do, and don’t make us look ugly.”

Fair enough.

Chris, the chap in the image, is the company director. And unusual for a director, he enjoys the dirty side of the job, rather than pushing a pen. Unfortunately for Chris, that meant he was going to have to play at being a model for the day.

As you can see from the sky, we were lucky to have a nice clear sky, along with some sunshine. What you can’t see is the fact that where Chris was installing the control panel for the gate had no sunlight. The area was shaded by the wall and trees to the left of the frame. I needed to create the sunlight that would match the background lighting.

Frame left, I placed an Elinchrom ELB400 firing through a 30x140cm honeycombed stripbox, firing at 5.5. This provides the accent light along Chris’ back and provides the texture to his hair.

Chris’ nearest side was actually quite dark. I needed to add sufficient fill to give enough detail, without losing the effect from our accent light. I used an 80x80cm softbox at a height of 6.5 feet, angled slightly down towards Chris’ shoulder. It was mated to another Elinchrom ELB400 firing at 4.0.

A simple two light setup.

The overall warm tone was added in post by shifting the colour balance slightly in Lightroom. This gives the whole image a feeling of being shot late afternoon.

1/160th sec ISO200 f8

And if you wonder what Astley Access Automation actually do, here’s a timelaps video we shot at another of their jobs.



Astley Access Automation can be found at

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