Friday, April 30, 2010

Todays Shoot - Motionless In White

I got a call from my good friend, Hall of famer - Matt Pike.

He wanted me to do a shoot with a band called Motionless in White, who I had heard of due to them being named after the Eighteen Visions song "Motionless AND White". as well as the fact that they are friends with MickDeth of 18V.

Anyway, I knew this band was a darker band, and wanted to give them that type of look.

I rolled into the studio, and found my white paper background was gone - wasnt even there - someone ripped it down and threw it away (FUCK!) - so I had a friend of mine run out to get one while I shot the band on location.

Luckily - the mighty Jeanne Sagan from All That Remains was there to help me with lights/video stuff (as i do behind the scenes footage of my shoots now)

I really wanted to get all i could out of this shoot, so i brought my 16-35 - my 24-70 - and three lights (2 dynalite uni400s with umbrellas, and 1 with a beauty dish on a boom)

we started by shooting in the elevator using just the boom - this was the same spot i shot the shadows fall promo which can still be seen as the header of their myspace -

I wanted to give it a different look - so with the boom and a tighter crop (using the 24-70) I jumped to F14 - iso100 - at a 10th (to try to get some of the cold light soaking in) - and this is what we got - sidenote: while we were shooting the elevator was called up to the top floor - some dude jumped on - was REALLY confused as to what was going on - jumped off - and i just kept shooting the entire time haha

After shooting there, we moved just outside the elevator, and like the shoot with sarah wolf - I wanted to get mostly ceiling and cut out the background a buck - so i shot at a very upward angle with two umbrellas at a 35 degree angle toward them - they were at the same power but for some stupid reason the light on my left (their right) was a bit brighter then the one on my right - and in camera i didnt notice it until i loaded the images - and with out mentioning it - hopefully you wouldnt have noticed either... ISO100 - F10 - at a 20th (locking in more ambient lighting with out getting a blur) - 16-35 lens.

We finished up there, and I went to see what outside looked like - and it looked like 40+ mile per hour winds!! soooo umbrellas were out! - I just used the boom up as high as possible - and I had little jeanne holding onto the boom so it wouldnt go flying with the wind gusts. - about 3 shots in - it started SNOWING!!!! WHAAAAAT?!? - yes! - SNOWING! - and the wind was killing their hair - so I shot quickly - then we hit another spot - however - these are by FAR my favorite shots of the day. - totally worth it. - for this i shot at a 160th at F14 - while the sky was actually a stop or two below that - I just wanted the sky to go a bit darker - and give them a more creepy feel. - these were all shot with the 24-70mm

We went against a wall just behind where we were shooting hoping that it would block the DEATH WINDS and SNOW! but it didnt help much so we just did a quick set here - with the same settings - however in ALOT of the shots - the singer is a bit brighter due to being taller - being up front - and having a partially shaved head - so i had to even that out just a tad in post.

We ran back inside and i looked at the photos and realized in the earlier outdoor set one of the dudes had their hood up and went dark - so i was like - ok guys - we gotta go back out and get some more shots... and we did - but they werent as good as the original ones - so i scrapped it - the wind was harder - hair was more messy - meh - whatever - i torture bands for shots sometimes - its worth it!

I also did some natural light shots in the hallway - and outdoors when it stopped snowing - but i just wasnt into them - so - you dont get to see them - sorry... I think with natural light shots i really like super clean full backgrounds, and if i cant get that I probably wont be into it.

We then rolled to the open part of the basement - and I shot an area with a bunch of pipes - first with split lighting which was OK - then with just the boom and i liked those much better - this one is at F14 - at a 30th - and again the 24-70 lens

The last spot we hit in the basement was an area with grey brick - I shot it with split lighting to get alot of shadows and just - I wasnt into it - the dudes love it - but I couldnt back it - so i popped up the beauty dish up front pointed directly at them (rather then down above them) - and used it as a fill while the umbrellas on the size gave them an awesome circular halo of light around and behind them - my settings for this are - F11 at a 30th

After that we rolled to the studio - got some cheesesteaks/food - and waited for the white background to show up - and as soon as it rolled in - we started shooting RIGHT AWAY as they were already late for load-in (yep, im a dick! i make bands late sometimes!)

We started with just a beauty dish above (this time profoto compact300s) F10 at a 160th - and i believe I was using the 24-70 the entire time.

I then did some solos of chris - and jumped the fstop to 14 - as again - hes taller - and reflects more light then the rest of the band - due to his height - his hair - and his awesomeness (obviously)

I finished up by shooting them for my tattoo book - but looking at the images I forgot to push my lights back to 50% and so the shots of chris are a bit over-exposed - so HOPEFULLY I can get those dudes back in the studio again in the near future to re-shoot them for it. The shots of the Angelo are fine but for some reason Chris is just a giant light reflector *shrug* these are F16 at a 160th - but the exposures are SO different - as you can see...

These dudes are awesome - and hopefully they will find some solid use for the images and we will absolutely be shooting again in the future

It was really cool to work with a band that was super excited to shoot with me, as I was to shoot with them. check them out - they are bound to hit big when their record drops!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Todays Shoot - All That Remains studio report day 2

My second venture into the recording studio mostly had me shooting video, and some photos, so the majority of what I shot, you wont be seeing on here

Today Mike and Oli were doing some tracking, and Phil was doing some brootul vo-killz

I started off shooting in the guitar room - while Mike was tracking some guitar parts, adam was throwing money at him and moshing around him - kinda amazing haha - I got that on video but not in a shot

for these shots - I was using the 24-70 at about 5.6 at iso400 - using the 580ex 2 with diffusion - then jumping up to iso 1600 at 2.8 and shooting at a SCARY low speed (20-45) for no-flash - because the rooms are SUPER DARK! AHH!

I always feel kind of weird taking photos or video in a recording studio setting because I always feel like - ok - i have a job to do - BUT IM IN THE WAYYY!!! AHHH!! - so I try to be as sparse as possible.

I then went into the room where they do vocals - and was shooting phil between takes (i didnt want the mic to pick up my shutter going off while recording) - its hard to get a solid image shooting at a 20th - any movement kills the image so you really have to have steady hands and patience in order to get the image you want

looks like ill be back in there friday - so make sure to check back!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Todays Shoot - The New England Metal and Hardcore Festival: Day 2

AND IT BEGINS! the last day!

So! when I first got there I had only a possible shoot with the LEGENDARY! Vic Firth! happening, and then a possible photo shoot with the (also legendary) definitive death metal band - Cannibal Corpse!

No big deal... AHHHH!

I started off by rolling up doing some candids of the early crowd - it was a nicer day then the day before, but a bit more chilly - not a cloud in the sky - so I was shooting a bit higher for a speed (1500-2000) when in direct sunlight - but in the shadows i was around 500ish

I immediately ran into John and Dave from XtyrantX - who I kinda forgot to get in touch with, because I forgot they were even on the show (DOH!) I set up a shoot with them - because it would be VERY uncustomary to NOT do a shoot with those dudes - who are some of my favorite people in straight edge hardcore. And obviously - Dave RULES for photo shoots - he is the only person with a two page spread in my book "bring the noise" So I did a quick shoot with them - natural light - these are all at 2.8 at a 320th at ISO100 - using the 24-70 - I really wanted to play with depth and focus (or depth of field for photo nerds) with the two singers - I thought it looked cool.

I went in and shot a slew of the earlier mainstage bands (I didnt miss one!) For these my settings were generally - 40D - 580 EX2 - with the lumaquest 80/20 pro-max system - I mostly used the 16-35 2.8 and the fisheye - but I popped on the 24-70 once or twice to get shots of the drummers - and again - didnt touch the 70-200 at all. - my settings were ISO400 - usually shooting around a 10th at F8.0 or so

I went around and got alot of stuff for monster on day 2.

I ran into my friends in Reign Supreme and decided to do a quick - why the hell not - photo shoot with the dudes

I wanted to run it quick between other stuff I was doing so I shot natural light - with the 24-70 at iso400 (light was fading) - f2.8 at a 400th

My ex-roomie Jessie Lee and Bella Vendetta (both stripper/porn stars) showed up and i figured id get some shots of them with the monster... but they wanted to take the plastic off first... and with stripper nails... the hilarity ensued. they could NOT get it open... sooo they decided to deep throat the can of monster... umm... yeah so i guess it is what it is... shot with the 24-70 - 2.8-4.5 between a 1000th and 3000th

I shot a couple more bands live then had a VERY tight window to do a single specific shot for vic firth - the shot was supposed to be all of the drummers who use vic firth... but due to the red chord playing at 6 and toxic holocaust playing at 615 - it wasnt going to happen in one shot - so we did the first group - for this i used two dynalite uni400s with cold tone umbrellas set at 50% - not exactly split - i gave it a bit of a tilt in and had them a little bit in front of the group - then shot at F22 at iso400 at a 200th (i didnt have time to play around - these are the settings i know like the back of my hand so i went safe for this) - For the second shot I asked Vic to do some solo shots - and he said ok - so i used more of a split on him then did some natural shots at 2.8 at a 2000th - and then finished up by shooting the second group with the same settings as the first group shot

It was such an honor and privilege to get to shoot Vic Firth! oh man... hes a legend and there is not a drummer on earth who doesnt know of his legendary drum sticks!

After the Vic Firth shot I went in and shot the next tier of bands which were the AMAZING Eluveite, who are always awesome to shoot, white chapel, and job for a cowboy

After Job for a cowboy it was about 9... my shoot with Cannibal Corpse was at 930 - and obviously there was no light - so I set up a beauty dish up high pointed straight down - then a barebulb w/reflector turned up high pointed toward the ground to give them a bit more depth and seperation.

I shot these at the same settings as the vic firth shoot - iso400 - f22 - 160th - going for a very standard cannibal corpse - serious death metal look

after the shoot - i ran in to shoot amon amoarth then shot cannibal corpse live... and then that was it... the end of metal fest... the most bitter sweet moment of every year

On the way to the car, I ran into Vince from Metal Blade and he was astounded to find out I did a shoot with Cannibal Corpse - as apparently they are very strict with who they work with, and generally will only shoot with one photographer (i forgot his name though) - so obviously thats a huge huge huge honor.

I dont want it to end... i want to keep on shooting, hanging out, seeing my friends and tour fam...

but i cant wait for it to be over because im so tired/shot from working super hard and shooting so much.

metalfest is always the most work i do every year and its always the most stressful and fun time of each year...

I cant wait for the next one!

there will be a ton of photos up on the metalfest page soon - so keep your eyes open for that