Todays shoot is an industrial band from Montreal. I knew their management as well as one of the guitarists Riff. They hit me up to travel down for a shoot, but I wanted to go ALL out on this shoot. A band traveling that far deserves as much, right?
So they arrived and despite a minor language barrier, we got rolling. I shoot a lot of band work, but I also do a lot of model work - mostly in the goth/industrial subgenre - so getting to mix my band photography with my industrial stuff - and experiment a little bit (always experiment, its how you learn) was going to be an awesome time. They had two looks, with out makeup - kind of the more classic/traditional. And then with full make up - which looks AWESOME! - so either way I am stoked to shoot both looks
We started off in studio - The first set was on the black paper seamless, using a boomed dish. I wanted these to be extremely contrasty, very harsh highlights and very harsh shadows. I set the light at 1/2 power - Shot these with the Canon 1DS Mark2 - the 70-200 2.8 L IS - ISO100 - F16 - at a 160th
The next set we did, we experimented a little, I had tried about 5 different lighting set ups to see what they liked best, and alas - their favorite was the most simple, a boomed large beauty dish.
We moved a couch onto the white background, then covered it with a black background in a bag - I had them sit so everyone had their legs pointed in a different direction and none straight at the camera, because that always looks terrible in shots when a photographer does that in groups. Anyway, the settings for this are the same (F16 160th)
The next group of shots we did were solos. They loved the beauty dish look, so we kept with that and shot everyone, here are a couple shots of the singer - I kept the dish a bit closer to them for these shots so the lighting would be directional but with a stronger concentration on the subject rather than a large spread of light. - F18 160th
After we finished those solos, it was time for make up! which they do in two stages, with and with out dumping tons of corn starch on them. (personally i like WITH better - but we didnt want to make a mess inside)
We started in the basement, shooting in a hallway, then against a creepy dirty white..ish wall. For these shots I kept with what they liked - simply a boomed large beauty dish - for this shot I boomed it pretty high and straight down - I wanted harsher shadows on these shots. I wanted them very dark because we were about to go do lighter shots. On location I always use Dynalite jackrabbit kits - so this is a uni400 - set at 1/4 power shooting at F16 at a 20th (trying to soak in just a slight slight touch of the fluorescent lights above for atmosphere) - these were with the 24-70 2.8 L - still ISO100
Next it was time to roll outside, and brrrr it was windy, and cold! its February! SO! they loaded up on corn starch - which I thought looked AWESOME for these shots - I set up two bare parabolic rims but set them about shoulder height - as I wanted it to hit around mid body - setting those at a little over 1/2 power while the main light - a beauty dish boomed at a very slight angle was set to 1/4 - i included two test shots so you can get a feel for where the lights are - these are shot at F16 - but I jumped up to F18 for the final images - which were shot with just one parabolic as a back light - pointed more at them rather than downward for to not cast harsh shadows and leading lines by their legs, as I did in the hallway shots. - for these im at a 250th - and the reason im shooting that fast is because I wanted the blue sky to go dark blue/gray - as I didnt think a nice bright sky blue would be conducive to their look.
Next set we did was just behind them against that concrete wall you can see in some of the previous photos - for this i boomed the dish up as high as it could go - to get a street light type of effect - and mind you - the sun is setting to their right - camera left - and blasting them in the face as well as blasting the concrete - so i jumped the light power to 1/2 - shot these at a 125th F20 - to really kill any sort of natural light that was hitting them
next we were going to do some natural light photos - but I couldnt do that with the harsh shadows on their face... so we went around the corner. I shot all of these at F2.8 because I wanted a really really strong point of focus and fall out (depth of field for those who dont know) - and I wanted that focus to be on the singer I shot these at a 160th - which was safe as there wasnt much movement and they were 100% in shadow with no sun hitting them to avoid any highlights or shadows. perfect soft lighting.
We were freeeeezing so instead of doing any solos outside we went back into the studio - reset the beauty dish on the profoto compact - but I wanted to try something... I kept on hearing that shooting higher Fstops arent as crisp as shooting mid Fstop - so I set the light from 1/2 power all the way down to 1/8th. I shot these at F9 instead of my normal F16 which I used for the previous shots - so - let me ask YOU! - do you see a difference in the original shots to these last solos? I see very very small differences at all - but it DOES look slightly more crisp - cant argue with that. I might start shooting more mid-Fstop range now, except when outside battling the sky and the sun.
Last group shots we did were with two rim lights set up high and the dish pointed directly at them for a very bright shot - but still about a foot or two above the top of their heads so its a bit directional - I basically told them all to look as creepy as possible - again these shots are at F9 - can you tell a difference?! - I see it a bit. And for the very very last shot we got their manager in the photo and them all looking creepy around her.
After a celebratory taco bell stop - we went to the house - I gave them their photos - and they were on their way back to another country! haha. long day for them! All in all it was awesome getting to work with them, especially since my bud Riff is in the band, and their management is also a friend. I am hoping to get to work with these guys again next time they are in need for photos - I would say I am as stoked as they are on these photos.