How Eli Meir Kaplan makes tools look cool.


How do you make a tool look cool? Washington, D.C.-based photographer Eli Meir Kaplan is no stranger to the challenge of bringing out the magic in machinery. Eli started his career doing documentary work, and has done a lot of shooting in industrial and agricultural settings over the last few years. Recently, he created these images for CRAFTSMAN and DEWALT and their agency, MGH. The shot list required real locations with very specific equipment, like industrial machinery, trucks, hydraulic pumps, and HVAC systems. Shooting in the factory of his client, the famed chair company, Emeco, as well as a second location found by a scout, Eli carefully pre-blocked the sets and lighting. That meticulous planning really paid off. The people look real, the settings are just the right balance of gritty and polished, and Eli’s skillful lighting and composition make the tools the hero in every shot. Pretty cool.