Smashing Pumpkins… Watermelons

23 11 2012

Righty-oh, so. Given the massive viewing figures of my last post (I was ‘this’ close to double-figures), I thought I’d update you on some of the best bits over the year since The Darkness post.

First up, Tuner knocking seven shades of shite out of watermelons.

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I started to realise my photos were getting a bit samey; band with guitars here, band against a wall there. Y’know, it started to get a bit dull. My first idea was to fling paint at them, but y’know, that’s messy and a bit over-done. So I thought, why not push the shutter on the next one. Go for that split mili-second look, y’know the speeding bullet going through an apple… or that woman micro-seconds away from being gored by her dog.

Anyway, the initial plan was to smash pumpkins. At least, it was for me. However July isn’t exactly pumpkin season. It is indeed Watermelon season, so we went with that. We bought four, and four melons as testers. The guys really got into it and after four successful attempts with the melons, the guys wanted to try a few other things before we got onto the main event.

Not our best idea. After someone lobbed a Ramiro pepper at Stephen, who promptly smashed it to smithereens, we had to take a small break to clean our eyeballs and wait for the burning to die down. Anyway, as you can see from above it went quite well in the end.

I placed two umbrellas either side of the frame 90′ left and right. It stopped the light spilling into the background and also gave a nice round shape to the light on the models. The shutter speed was at 1/200, the faster the shutter sync most Nikon camera’s will allow. The aperture wasn’t overly important thereafter – it was at 4.5, but truth be told, it was what it was – any narrower and it would’ve made the scene too dark. I was already firing both flashes at 1/2 power and it made sense.

Then we played around. I exposed for the sky, while keeping everything as well lit as I could. It gave me this for Al… Who had a beer thrown at him and caught it right on the hop. Nice one, Al!

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So there y’are now. #1 of the year so far, only 11 months late. More to come.

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Rugilė Šilalytė

21 11 2012

Hello again!

It’s been *ages* since I’ve been on here, but I’ve decided to make a long-awaited return, because, well the fan-mail was getting to much to ignore…

Anyway, I’ve been up to loads since you last heard from me, most notably moving from music photography to portraits. To that end, here’s a shoot with the simply fantastic Rugilė, (the best model I’ve worked with yet) in the Phoenix Park. I was also assistant by the fantastic Richard Timmons.

We were blessed with the weather, the sun was glorious and golden even as early as 2pm and the wind died down as soon as we arrived. We found an ideal spot for the three of us to shoot away from the surprisingly large crowd in the park at that hour on a Tuesday. All in all, things were in our favour. That and I’ve really got my head around the whole strobist thing.

Unfortunately Rugilė, is heading to the UK soon, so this was the first and last chance I had to shoot with her.  Personally , I was really impressed with how the shoot went – she posed like a pro and had the patience of a saint throughout.

I used only one strobe, rather than complicate things like I normally do. It meant we depended on the sun as a kicker throughout, but it also allowed us to get some creative glare shots without any major hassle.

Photoshopping was very easy this time. Infact, there was hardly a need for any – the light was perfect and the soft-light that we got from the softbox made for some great glamourous light – no surface blur was required in any of these shots. If anything, the only tweak that was needed was to the colour balance. It was hard to see the exact colours on the back of the camera in the light that day, so when I got home I added a shade of blue and magenta to some of the more sun-drenched shots.

We got some smoke involved too, nothing more than some glycerin, water and food colouring let off in a safe environment behind the model. It looked great with the light coming through it.

Anyway for more, see this LINK. There’s a load more shoots coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned; same Bat-time, same Bat-channel…