Podcast: Why Do It Twice? Visual Engineering, with Steve Giralt


Steve Giralt is an accomplished still life, food, and product photographer and director with a list of advertising clients that includes Harman Kardon, Godiva, BBDO, Starbucks, PepsiCo, Petrossian, and Verizon. With a deep background in digital tech and engineering, and a long list of awards for his still photography, he began to include motion capture in his repertoire and is now on the cutting edge of what he has dubbed, “visual engineering.” This term is an attempt to describe what he does, but more so, to describe a new way of shooting in which photography, video, and modern imaging technologies are integrated—integrated within the creation process, as well as in the final product he offers to clients. To complete assignments with this level of integration and with the highest quality of reproduction, Giralt has had to invent new methods for image capture, as well as the tools needed to do so.

On today’s episode, we visit Giralt in his Manhattan studio and talk about his theory and process for shooting stills and video simultaneously, and the lighting systems and mechanisms he has developed for these tasks. Of course, we ask him about his cameras and lenses, but we also discuss 3D printers, Arduino controllers, LED panels, robotic arms, and an array of old and new tech that he combines to create stunning explosions, slo-mo splashes, and cascading hamburgers! Join us on this forward-thinking discussion to see how much thought and work goes into “visual engineering” before and after the shutter button is pressed.

Guest: Steve Giralt

Petrossian caviar advertisement
From Budweiser advertisement
Food test shot
Splash test
Catapult test
Vince Camuto advertisement
Phantom and Hasselblad dual camera setup
Dual-camera setup for splash test
Allan Weitz and Steve Giralt. Photograph © John Harris
Steve Giralt, except where noted



Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves


I didn't fully appreciate Steve Giralt's brilliance until I saw the video clips. Thanks for another wonderful podcast, Guys.

Doc...I couldn't agree more...and thanks for the feedback on the podcast, really appreciate it.