Friday, May 27, 2011

Todays Shoot - Aiden

Anytime Aiden or William comes around I'm pumped to get them in front of my lens, because they can NOT take a bad photo. I would say they are one of my favorite bands to photograph, since I first shot them in 2005 - I think we have shot maybe 5 or 6 times total and each time we have created some excellent shots.

As soon as I saw the tour was coming through, I hit up Wil to sort out a photo shoot and get them some press. Nicholas actually hit me up a few days prior saying he also wanted to get some solo shots, so I was pretty pumped to know they were looking forward to the shoot as well.

We Planned to shoot just before they went on, which meant we would be shooting in a dressing room ive shot about 100 times. SO! I knew I had to do something special and make it look different. I brought some softboxes with me - which I rarely use on location, and I was going to experiment with the room a bit to make it look unlike the many other shoots I've done there in the past.

First thing I find out when I roll up is that my buddy Mike aka Ratboy ex-ETID was playing drums for Aiden and would be in the shoot. So I was pumped to see him for the first time since the last ETID shoot I did with him, oddly enough, in the same dressing room.

I started with a boomed large beauty dish on a dynalite uni400 - set at 35% power - set up high - pointed at about a 50 degree angle toward the band - so the main light would be directional, from above but with enough front lighting to light down to about the bottom of the chin rather than if it were straight down it would start having fall off after the nose. I also set two rim lights up almost to the ceiling and downward to them for the first set. I started off with solo shots of Nick as he was ready first, I shot these with the 24-70 on the Canon 1ds Mark 2 at F16 at an 80th ISO 100. When the whole band came in I had my assistant move the rims to be behind the guys so there would be back lighting and rim lighting - as youll see it acts as a hair light for Nick and Angel - but a rim light for Mike and Wil. Anyway, enough words right? heres some photos.

After having them sit, I had them stand for a few shots - actually standing on the couch - not in front of it. I jumped up to F18. it gave them almost a whole different look. One thing to keep in mind as a photographer is you dont always have to move lights to change a shot, you can move the band! So I did another set with the band then a set of solos with Wil, The cigarette acted like a mini smoke machine, and actually added to the whole atmosphere of the image.

Next I set up two 3x4 soft boxes - I didnt really like the group shots in this lighting, in this room, because it looked too much like stuff ive done before but the solo shots of Wil were perfect - so heres a group shot just so you can get a feel for it - and a couple more solo shots of Wil - these were at F8 at an 80th.

And that was the end of that shoot. Thus far I would say some of my favorite aiden shots were taken during this shoot. I could shoot them constantly, always get something different, and always get something awesome. I'll probably find an outlet to shoot them for the next time they are around. I'm sure this is far from the last time they will be in front of my lens. It was awesome seeing Mike again and getting to catch up with him, and as always its excellent seeing Wil who is one of the best dudes I know in this industry. Til next time...

Todays Shoot - Get Scared

I first saw Get Scared when I did two days shooting Escape The Fate for Outburn, and they not only put on an incredible show, but they also really impressed me, which is actually a pretty difficult feat being that im a jaded music elitist haha.

One of the shots I got of them from those shows is in the current issue of Outburn, so I brought a bunch of copies to the Aiden, Eyes Set to Kill, Get Scared, Vampires Everywhere, Dr Acula tour. because most of the bands were in the new issue with a review or photo, or whatever.

I love shooting bands with a strong image. Its why Ive done a bunch of work with bands like slipknot, 18visions, bleeding through, motionless in white, misfits, aiden, etc. So seeing Get Scared - I knew i had to get them in front of my lens.

I already had set up shoots with Aiden and Eyes Set to Kill for the day, so when I saw it was going to be a pretty nice day for shooting, I figured I would set up a quick shoot with Get Scared, which they obliged.

So after shooting Eyes Set to Kill, and Vampires Everywhere (I also ended up doing a shoot with them that day), It was time to shoot Get Scared.

Time was tight due to them going on stage next, and with alot of bands I've shot (slipknot, gwar, cradle of filth, behemoth, etc.) who wear make up, or have stage outfits, they generally have a very short amount of time to shoot directly before they hit the stage. SO! I was ready to shoot well before they were, as my assistant set up in the location - which was the parking lot across from the front door of the palladium.

I started with some natural light shots of Nicholas - because it started getting dark out I jumped my ISO to 400 and shot at 2.8 at a 160th at a 125h - I was shooting with the 24-70 2.8 lens on the Canon 1ds mark 2. This was the first shoot I loaded into lightroom and the vignette they put on the import library looked so awesome i tried it out on a few shots - but meh - its over done - but ill put em in here so you can peep em anyway. heres the shots.

Next up I did some natural light group shots - still at 2.8 - and I shot these wide because of the natural vignette it gets - pushing the brightest point of even lighting to the center of the image while not completely darkening the boarders. I had to jump down to an 80th as light was fading fast.

Next up - I used two large softboxes - which I havent done on location in a long time, but I figured soft split lighting on this band would look excellent - and im usually right? right?! RIGHT! so! I set these 3x4 boxes up on dynalite uni400s at 70% power (had to up them a bit for the soft lighting to hit hard enough) and shot these at F10 at ISO100 at a 125th

Next. I switched with them, I stood where they were standing - and had them stand where I was shooting from - kept everything the same - and tada - a completely different shot! These are at an 80th (to bring in the sky) at F10

Another quick switch - i took out the two soft boxes for a boomed beauty dish to get more selective and directional lighting - it was up top pointed straight down - and this minor change gives you almost a completely different look - these are at F16 at a 30th (to bring in the sky)

By the time the last shot was taken they had to literally run directly on stage - which isnt uncommon for shoots with bands who have stage outfits - i remember shooting behemoth as their intro music went on haha.

I'm STOKED on how these shots came out, and I really hope I can get them in front of my lens again in the near future - maybe next time they come around.

See these shots in print this august!

Todays Shoot - Eyes Set To Kill

Today I get to see some of my favorites! Eyes Set to Kill! - After touring with IWABO in October, with them being direct support, we spent alot of time together and became buddies, as you do whilst on tour.

SO! We didnt really get to do any big ESTK shoots while I was out with IWABO, and it was actually my first time seeing ESTK since the tour - I figured it was nice out and we could do an awesome shoot, and try to get them some press, so I hit up the guys a few days earlier to sort out details.

I waited for the to load in their gear, and then we started in the parking lot of the palladium, I wanted to give them a bright shot against the sky - lots of blues - highlights and midtones, very minimal shadows. I set up two bare parabolic rims behind them to the right and left pointed in at them at 60% - then boomed a large beauty dish and pointed it right at them at 40% power. It was a clear day so I was at a 250th at F13 to bring in the blue sky with out blowing out the highlights in the sky. Shooting with the 24-70 lens on the Canon 1ds mark 2.

Next I wanted to do some bright natural light shots. We went around the corner and shot against a white brick wall - for these I wanted the white to go out just a touch - not too overpowering but about a stop over - I shot these at 4.5 at a 160th - and the white wall was getting direct sunlight which reflected into some back lighting. Posing a band who have multiple main people is difficult. You have the sisters who are the most publicized members of the band - as alexia is also a vocalist - and thereby a front woman - then you have cisco who is the front man - then theres caleb... who has the short end of that stick - start singing buddy! haha. BUT! with ESTK I tend to make the sisters the main focus but not with out losing cisco and caleb. Everyone in this band is as important as everyone else in the band, as with many other bands, but again - can be tricky if not done right.

For the last group shots I kept with natural light but wanted to do something with less blown out
highlights - so I found a wall that I had previously used with Reign Supreme and Tony Laureano that always works well and was out of sunlight so there would be even soft light. I shot these at 2.8 at a 200th

For the last shots with the girls, I basically recreated the same lighting I started with - two rims brought in a bit closer turned down 10% - same with the boomed large beauty dish - and tada! we had our shots. These were at F14 at a 200th as it was a bit brighter bringing in the lights for two people rather than four.

It was awesome seeing the ESTK fam again, as much as I love my job, doing four shoots didnt really give us a ton of time to hang out, which is a bummer, but hopefully they will be back around soon and we can spend more time hanging out, less of me running around shooting everything.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Todays Shoot - Foxy Shazam

This was my first time working with the dudes in Foxy Shazam. I've heard about them time and time again and then got the assignment to shoot them, so I set it up, and planned on shooting before doors, because we would have much more to work with before a ton of fans arrive.

At the webster there arent many places to shoot, so after doing a ton of shoots there its difficult to come up with something you havent already shot... twice.

SO! thats why I liked shooting earlier in the day so we could pretty much shoot anywhere and not be in anyones way.

We started off in the parking lot. I wanted to get a good sky shot, so I set them up to the right hand side of the lot where there isnt a high house line, and a good spot to get alot of sky. I set up two rim lights to their left and right, and then a dish pointed at them from a slight downward angle to get very little directional lighting but still staying full. These are at F16 at a 125th ISO100 - shooting with the Canon 1ds Mark 2 - 24-70 lens.

We went down to their dressing room, which was downstairs below the webster, with newly painted orange walls. I figured I could do something cool with spot lighting, using the beauty dish like it was an on camera flash. Now, it is no easy feat to fit 6 people on a couch, so we did what we could and I shot these at F10 - I dropped the power to the light to 15% so it wouldnt be completely blown out, I was at 24mm the whole time - i should have brought my 16-35 but I didnt want the ultra wide look to it, so i kept to the wide-mid range.

For the last set I did some solos with Eric - I started off with natural light shooting at F2.8 to get alot of very selective focus points, always focusing on the eyes.

Last I threw a beauty dish up as high as possible pointed down and shot at F18. for these shots I had him bring his chin up so the face would get the majority of the lighting and getting a solid classic portrait with directional lighting.

It was awesome getting to work with these guys for the first time, we got some excellent shots, and then their live set was just incredible! see these guys live if you havent! Hopefully when their next cycle hits I will be working with them again.