Oasis was an English rock band which was formed in Manchester in 1991. The group initially consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs (guitar), Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums and percussion). They were soon joined by Liam's brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitar and vocals). In 1994 Tony McCarroll was replaced by drummer Andy White.
In early 1997, and at the height of their success, Rob Munday was offered the opportunity to shoot and create unique holographic portraits of the band at his studio in Richmond-Upon-Thames, London.
Liam Gallagher - Rock A Bye Baby, 1997
Prior to the shoot Rob spent several days considering both the creative and the technical aspects of the shoot. Firstly he had to consider how best to build his unique pulsed laser hologram portrait camera in order to achieve the best lighting for the portraits. Laser beams had to be carefully balanced in order to achieve the correct hologram brightness and contrast and a background chosen. Rob's assistants at the time included designer and now independent artist Jeffrey Robb and holographer/artist Inaki Beguiristain. Lastly, preparations also included arranging a convenient location to park the Oasis Winnebago. This was to be as close as possible to Rob's studio in Marlborough Road at the top of Richmond Hill in Surrey in order to enable the band's members to run frequently between to two without being spotted by eager fans! A spot was conveniently chosen in the car park of a nearby pub called The Hole in the Wall (since closed).
Liam Gallagher and Andy White pictured at Rob's studio.
Photograph by Jill Furmanovsky.
Early on the day of the shoot all five band members duly arrived along with their official photographer Jill Furmanovsky. After a brief introduction by Rob and a tour of the studio the shoot began in earnest. It was decided that brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher would be immortalised first whilst the other band members retired to their Winnebago (and later the pub garden).
The lights were duly switched off and the two brothers instructed by Rob to sit in a particular position and adopt a suitable pose. It has to be admitted that it was not necessary to offer any 'artistic' direction regarding poses as, embracing the medium and the moment, both Noel and particularly Liam proceeded to offer up all manner of spontaneous poses themselves. One such pose, and probably the most successful of the portraits, is of Liam Gallagher sucking his thumb. Quite why he spontaneously decided to do it we might never know but it has since become an iconic portrait of Liam which Rob christened 'Rock A Bye Baby'.
Another successful and arguably very apt portrait again typified Liam's energy, spontaneity, imagination and, to some extent, uncontrollability. Noel sat circumspectly in the chair waiting patiently to be recorded when suddenly Liam cupped his hands and lunged towards Noel. Liam must have thought that his brother was looking far too serious and so screamed in his brother's ear. It makes for a unique image which perfectly expresses the brothers well publicized relationship as well as the character of each individual.
By lunch time 15 portraits of Noel and Liam had been recorded by Rob. Some were immediately processed by either Rob himself or Inaki Beguiristain but most were left until the next day to be processed at Rob's leisure.
It was at this point that Jill Furmanovsky retired with Noel and Liam to the comfort of the pub whilst Rob was left to shoot portraits of the remaining three band members. A further 9 master holograms were exposed making 24 in total.
Over the succeeding weeks Rob devoted himself to creating glass plate white light reflection hologram artworks from the various master holograms, selecting the best portraits and determining the visual attributes of size, colour, composition, dimensionality and 3D image plane for the final works.
Soon after the shoot, in September 1997, Jill Furmanovsky requested that she show Robs portraits in her her exhibition of Oasis photographs entitled 'Was There Then'. NB: Sadly erroneous credits were given in both the exhibition itself and its catalogue.
From left to right: Noel Gallagher, Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs,, Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan, Andy White.
2013 - A new portrait
In 2013 Rob Munday developed a new process to convert traditional laser illuminated hologram portraits into 3D lenticular prints. The process involved photographing the original laser lit master transmission hologram from a multitude of angles using his specially designed 'VIP' 3D digital camera system. The basic idea is to photograph the subject of the original hologram as if he/she is still actually there, sitting in front of the camera. This requires a special laser and optics to provide a undistorted image. Once recorded the image sequence is processed and used in the usual way to create a lenticular print.
Many thanks to Laser Quantum for lending me the laser to be able to conduct this project.
Rob's optical set up which he built at Halliford Film Studios.
A close up of the master hologram being filmed.
A stereoscopic anaglyph portrait resulting from the project. Please view with red-cyan 3D glasses.