Soliders Can’t Dance

6 03 2013

Flash – a-ah – saviour of the universe.
Here’s part one of my weekends shootings. More to come soon.

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This week Soldiers Can’t Dance were treated to the Deadl.ie treatment and were the first in line to scoop up a free shoot. The shoot took place in an abandoned building in the city that was as scary as it was amazing. With thin corrugated iron crumbling beneath our feet, pigeons taking flight and shaking the walls in the process, not to mention the eerie discarded children’s toys littered about the place, the building is one that after this weekend, I’ve probably seen enough of.

The band arrived as I’d hoped. Stylish, on time and up for a good explore of the place. The building was huge so after a good 30 minute search of the place, we’d found our locations. First up the ‘X’ wall (picture 1). A flat wall, with one light pointing at it, with a smoke bomb between the guys and myself and a light above the smoke and the band was how the shot was set up.

As I couldn’t have the light directly above me – given I was shooting quite zoomed in, and the assistant would’ve been visible in the shot, I had the light come from the left. This gives a small fall-off in the light come the right side of the image, but nothing I don’t find acceptable.

The second shot was in the main body of the building. It was full of thick, thick dust, pigeon shit and oddly, rolls of film. There was a large walkway that led down the building about 9 feet above the ground. I raced down this and placed a light at the first crossing of walkways,  point back directly towards the camera and a smokebomb in between the two. The flash behind the smoke was set to full power to really blow out the background, and as the light was slightly tipped up, it also gave a slight fill to the dungeon-like background.

The smoke bombs run for above 30 seconds outdoors normally. Given the dark conditions in ‘the cave’ and the lack of wind, they ran about twice as long. Even after this, they hung around in some sense for a while. Initially they looked too thick, but after a few moments it became manageable. Unfortunately – I missed a few ideal conditions of the smoke given my flash recycling time, but overall I’m happy.

This time I was closer to the band, shooting wide, so I could have my assistant behind me lighting the scene evenly. You can really see the difference. It’s much more even and it’s my personal favourite of the shoot.

I deliberately left Luke (in the orange shirt) to either side of the shot. The guys were all wearing dark colours initially (Luke had a leather jacktet) but I needed to make them stand out slightly. We ditched the jacket and I felt it too obvious to put the only guy in black in the middle.

So there y’are now. Any questions, just ask. I’d be more than happy to help.

Big thanks to Aaron Corr and Aisling Finn for assisting on the shoot!





DollyFrocks

12 02 2013

Here’s a shoot I had with DollyFrocks last weekend. Before I dive back into music photography, I gave one last go to something outside my comfort zone. Fashion confuses me, but photography I can do. With stylists on board, I’m free to shoot the way I like without having to worry about things I know little about (clothes, to be specific. I’m a jeans and tee shirt kinda guy). We headed to Bull Island and avoided the crowds by heading off the beaten track. It was pretty chilly and exposed (not to mention all the dog doo we had to avoid), but it made for some cool backgrounds.

I’d planned to head to the long grass there, and use the Anne Liebowitz ‘Rhianna’ shoot as my basis for the shoot. Unfortunately the weather didn’t break as well as I’d planned and the sky was pretty overcast, but I think I got something acceptable.

All shots were shot with two lights, excluding the ambient light.
I exposed for the background first as always, introduced my first light, then based on the ambient light reading. With a shutter speed of 1/200 and an aperture of f/14 (ISO always at 200 for shoots like this), I brought in the large softbox first. I wanted to get close with the softbox, to retain lots of softness. This was great as I needed the flash at 1/2 at about 4 feet away for most shots. I added a rim light too. To be perfectly honest I’m not that specific with my rim lights. If it defines my model and isn’t massively over-exposed, I’m not going to tweak it too much.

 

I brought some smoke bombs with me, but as they burn for about 30 seconds max, you really have little room for flash misfires, model blinks, dropped poses etc. I’m sure I’ve one, but none presentable at present. In the meantime hopefully these are pleasing to your eye. I’ve a few more ideas for shoots later on in the year, but for now, I think I’ll concentrate on bands.

Models: Chelsea Byrne, Jade Stapleton & Paul Lyons 
MUA: Julia Babahina 
Style: DollyFrocks Clothing, Dublin 
Assistant: Yan Bourke