Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Todays Shoot - Christine/Farewell to Freeway

SO! I wanted to wait for the CD to come out before posting this - aaand it came out today - so... here ya go.

I was hit up by the awesome DoubleJ over at Victory Records, we have worked together a bunch previously, first with A Day to Remember (for those who have heart cd cover/booklet/layout etc.), then again with some promo shoots, then another layout/cd cover for Emmure (felony) - this time around it was a quick fix for Farewell to Freeway.

The shoot was already done but apparently wasn't up to par or did not fit the vision right, something like that.

The idea was a drugged out, mess, of a girl basically looking like a mess in different creepy dark locations, dark imagery... which is sort of my forte so this would be perfect. The title is "filthy habits"... got it!

I already had someone in mind to model for this, so I hit her up, and literally about 12 hours after getting the first word on this job, I was shooting it, in my basement!

My basement is creeeepy, all concrete, no strong colors, so I figured it would be perfect for this!

I brought a mattress downstairs because I figured some of her in bed looking a mess was a must, I shot her against a washer all curled up. I wanted to have her make up somewhat runny, so I had her mess it up, mess up her hair and look as cracked out as possible.

I shot all of this as FLAT LIT as possible!! I knew that 2xJ was going to do some awesome editing to the final images and make them look epic - so I wanted to make everything very flat, no harsh shadows on the models face or where the concentration should be.

Half way through shooting I decided to dump the shots on the comp and send a few over to see if its what he wanted... thumbs up! a little more direction in terms of what he liked and didnt like, which rules, instant feedback and i can get more of the shots that were needed for the layout.

we went back to shooting

Now the trick to shooting layout is VARIATION! - you want to change details almost constantly - so the poses are constantly changing - the hair is changing - the bed sheets are there one shot - bare bed the next - etc.

I shot all of these with a single small beauty dish and the 24-70 lens - I was constantly changing the lighting and poses between every few shoots, so I cant really list it all, but basically look where the lighting is and you should be able to figure out where its pointing.

I was at F16 the entire time at a 125th ISO100

After finishing up in the basement we went up to my bathroom and shot another set of her looking into the mirror, reflection shots can be great if youre really going for the theme of someone looking at their life, and where it went wrong. those shots are all 2.8 at iso640 as the light wasnt super strong

The last shot we did that day was in the bathtub - and what a trooper! it wasnt exactly super warm but she made do - and these are my favorite shots of the series - she looks sooooo creepy in them - i boomed a dish very carefully above the tub to get this look, and it just worked perfectly. This is at F14 as my bathroom is all white and just reflects about one extra stop of light because of how close the lighting is to the model in these shots.

Day 2 we shot for about 15 minutes in an ally for a few final shots. - it was dusk so we shot at 2.8 at iso 800-1000 as the sun faded

welp here is the final cover - from original - to edit - to cover. TADAA

The editing on these images is SO awesome, it adds so much to the atmosphere of it.

Working with DoubleJ and Victory is ALWAYS awesome, hes beyond awesome, and Victory is actually an amazing label to do work with. Cant wait til next time!

Get the CD to peep the final images!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Todays Shoot - Suicidal Tendencies

Every now and again I get the opportunity to work with a legendary band, and by legendary, I mean bands who have had influence over an entire generation of people, as Suicidal has had with thrash metal. I mean, who doesnt know "all i wanted was a pepsi" one of the most famous lines in thrash metal ever.

SO! Suicidal was on their first east coast tour in... i dont even know how long. So as soon as I saw that they were coming, I found a magazine that wanted photos and set up the photoshoot, which, when it was set up, was a "maybe" due to the fact that one of the members had a very ill family member, who passed on the night before our shoot, which made me think it may not happen.

So I showed up, and when I arrived it was still up in the air but it ended up working out to be a quick 5 minute shoot

Mostly they were looking to get solo shots of Mike Muir, as two of the dudes are just hired on for the tour, but I got group shots as well.

We did two sets, with dying batteries (I didnt charge them the night before due to assuming the shoot wasnt going to happen, big mistake!)

The first set was on a couch, that youve seen probably 40 times before because its the main palladium dressing room - I boomed a dish above them and used one bare pointed directly at me behind them for some separation.

These are shot at F18 ISO100 at a 160th with the 24-70 lens and the mark 2 1ds body

After those shots I moved the couch out of the way and had them stand in front of it for some group shots, I left the lighting the same aside from turning the bare blub toward the ground to get more leading lines toward the camera - shot at the same settings - i didnt really have time in a 5 minutes til stage type shoot to really mix it up, but hopefully we will get to shoot again

It was awesome getting to work with such a legendary band, and very lucky as they canceled the rest of the dates on this tour a day or two after the shoot due to the death in the family. When I started shooting live I only had one set of batteries, and they were half charged at best - so I only got about 15 solid shots of the band when I could have had 50 - just a reminder to everyone, ALWAYS BE OVER PREPARED! - I wasnt and I lost out on some solid shots because of it.

Todays Shoot - Black Metal Sean

This shoot has been in the works for literally a year or two... We've been talking about a shoot forever, but he was waiting for his new drum kit and for things to be right to do the shoot.

SO! finally the day has arrived.

I hit the road to Meriden, CT to meet up at his practice space, and load in gear.

The ceilings are VERY slow and the massive drum set takes up most of the room, so i knew lighting for this would be a bit tricky.

While he did his corpse paint, I set boomed a dish outside, then brought it in (as the ceilings were too low for me to do that in the space) and used a rim to the back left of the camera to fill in the rest

his kit is insane, soooo epic - i needed more room and more lighting to make it look perfect so I sort of had to improvise and work with what i could.

I basically used the dish to light the top of the kit - as well as Sean, then the rim would fill in the drum heads, the shells, etc.

The highest the boomed dish would go is juuuuust above the cymbals, as you can see in the set up shot above.. so shooting was fairly tricky, had to rearrange a bunch and i was basically on top of the drum set getting the shots. I left the lights where they were and moved around the kit a bunch to get different types of lighting and shots, as it was easier for me to move, than to move the lights - I was shooting at ISO100 at a 160th - and at F18 when sean was near the cymbals - and at F20 when he was sitting. - shot with the 24-70 which is perfect for these shots because I had to cut out environment to make these shots work, but also didnt want to be in too tight where you wouldnt see the kit.

After shooting at the space, we were going to go to a public park to shoot some outdoor stuff... upon arriving, the place was overflowing with zero parking and about 50 full families, so we decided to move along to an alternate spot for to not get a crowd.

My first "go-to" outdoor location for a place i dont know is behind a major strip mall or super market because its usually empty - no one will bother you shooting on location there, and its usually got some large walls, singular color, generally loaded with midtones... anyway, it just tends to work well - so we went behind a stop and shop or walmart, i forget which, and started shooting.

It was starting to get dark out so i jumped up to ISO200 shot at 2.8 at a 200th - then when he put the helmet on i had to jump to ISO400 as the sun was quickly going.

All in all im pretty pumped on these shots, they came out awesome, Sean did a great job being wicked black metal, and we will be shooting again in the near future. One thing to keep in mind when shooting anyone wearing alot of white makeup is that it reflects light and over exposes easily so always try to shoot just one step down when you take the shot so the face isnt completely blown out with whites.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Todays Shoot - Chelsea Grin

Today I get to shoot my good friends/road brothers in Chelsea Grin. I just spent a month with these dudes on the ghostbustour so getting to see these dudes again just two weeks after the tour ended was pretty awesome.

They were about to hit the studio to record a new record, so they were ready for some new promos to use for the next cycle.

It was nice enough outside where we were able to shoot outdoors, even though it was extremely windy.

The first set we did was against the sky, I purposefully shot at a higher speed (200th) so the sky would go darker and closer to grey rather than a bright blue. I shot this with a boomed dish pointed slightly angled toward the band with a bare parabolic pointed down toward me to create some leading lines for the full body shots. - I tend to use the 24-70 now as my main on location lens - its the perfect middle of the road lens, not too wide, not too telephoto, its perfect, probably the best zoom 2.8 portrait lens out there for shooting outside of a studio. I shot these at F14

We also did a full crew shot here with Rico and Mike in the same spot

After shooting that spot we moved to a little corner where you could see alot of the studio building behind them, and did just a couple shots with the dish pointed straight at them shot at a 10th to really bleed in the fading natural light behind them with out blurring out the shot with movement.

the next set we did was in front of a large metal garage door - I started the shoot with a dish boomed above them but angled to their right (my left) to go for a VERY dark, very contrasty shot, but again i put a bare parabolic behind them pointed down for full shot leading lines... now the reason i do that, is so their legs dont turn into a blob of darkness, it cuts up the photo a bit and makes it more interesting, and not only that, but it separates the horizontal from the vertical images - making them look different. These were shot at F14 at a 200th ISO100

With out even moving the band I turned the lights off and did a few shots at F2.8 using natural light to give it a different look entirely, you cant even tell its the same spot, and shooting at 24 wide, it gives a great natural vignette, which i love in these shots.

Last group shot we did was against a grated metal panel wall that seems to go up forEVER which is great for headspace in horizontal shots. These were also shot natural light at 2.8 - I wanted to do something brighter for this shot, while giving them ample headroom for logo/text room.

The next shot I did was for David, who needed an endorsement shot for fender. It took me about 3 tries to get this lighting balanced the way i wanted it to be, I brought a dish up high, slightly camera right - and used a main parabolic set high to put a halo of light around the cab/head - then I shot these at a 30th to bleed in the natural light, and get the sky in there.

next we hit the studio - they were all thirsty - so i let them all grab a Monster, as the great people at Monster are kind enough to supply my studio with enough energy for the bands to get though any shoot in any weather :)

For the studio shots, I shot on white paper, and used a dish boomed pointed more toward the band rather than down, and then shot at F16 for the last few shots.

All in all it was an excellent shoot, we got a bunch of different stuff to use, with different looks, for all sorts of different outlets. if you check their facebook, website, twitter, etc. all now have different images from this shoot.

Excellent working with these guys, and hopefully we will get to work together again in the near future.