We’ve been busy this summer here at Stableford Studios! While we’ve been shooting like crazy, most of our work has been around our home in the high rockies, allowing us some relief some the summer heat. Well that luxury came to an end this past weekend as we traveled to the desert in Northeastern Utah, just outside of Vernal to shoot Ariat International’s newest line of work boots and flame-resistant clothing.

In that seemingly never-ending-search for authenticity, we found ourselves back up on a working oil rig, decked out in our own flame-resistant outfits and baking under the hot August sun.

We had a lot to accomplish in a single day push. To work as efficiently and effectively as possible, the plan was to shoot in two teams; Tyler and Ben worked together while Kate and Draper teamed up to cover the eighteen setups we needed to capture. As usual, we found ourselves getting up and shooting the sun as it rose over the flat desert landscape. Once the sun was up, we shot throughout the day, pulling out all the stops to craft and mold the harsh, high desert light into workable product lighting. Saving our epic hero shots for the best light at sunrise and sunset we did tighter product shots using scrims and reflected light to make the most of day. However, even with our lighting techniques going at full tilt, at a certain point, the light just isn’t there. In this case, literally! This location had some of the highest light and shortest shadows possible when it was full on high-afternoon light.




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Tyler, hanging out at work. Kate and Draper setting up on the storage tanks behind him.


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Tyler talking with our Oil Rig talent and safety supervisor.

Finally the long shadows and beautiful light returned! We headed back to our pre-scouted locations for the final push of epic hero shots for the sunset light. For Tyler and Ben, that meant a climb up onto the rig itself. Kate and Draper set off to shoot on the storage tanks on-site and we finished the day strong. Desert sunsets never seem to get old, particularly when you have a flat horizon that lets you draw out every last drop of rich, colorful light.



We’re in the midst of processing the shots now; thankfully for this part of the job we can enjoy the swamp cooler-cooled studio. No Flame Resistant clothing required!