Weeks ago I’d mentioned a really fun photo shoot that I did last minute. And I’ve been patiently (uh huh) waiting to display some results from the shoot. Finally, I can show you the first selected image, as it’s out there in the public right now……
Before you actually see the image and the near final edit, I’ll tell you a little about the scene. Local band “Filabusta” needed a photographer. My friend Mike called me the day of the shoot wondering if I was available. Something came up with the person who was supposed to shoot. I wrapped up a few things at work, handed the gallery over to Ian for the remainder of the day, and ran home to get a case of gear and some light stands.
The location chosen by the group is extremely cool. Go past Groom Creek on Senator Highway, leave the pavement behind, and drive for a while. Dirt road, mountain curves, and interesting vistas. Finally we came to an old structure which was below the road. We were “there.”
Heading in I wondered about the lighting. Bright sun, harsh shadows crossing everything, interesting photo ops facing into the sun. Ah, challenging! Fortunately we produced a few cool images. And I was happy to see that some of the pieces did in fact look like they were shot in studio. Learning? Oh yeah, one heck of a learning curve this year.
Now, let me set this one up for you. The guys told me very specifically that they did not want the standard “dramatic band shot” where they were facing away looking like they don’t care about anything. You know, the aloof pose? Yeah, that’s everywhere isn’t it. Instead, they wanted to have some fun, act alive, and do all kinds of goofy crap……
Okay, I was on board with that. The best part? Two of my favorite folks to photograph are in the group. Mike and Lorin (from Sweet Nasty) are also part of Filabusta. Kenny James is the third member of the group, and while I’d never photographed him before I found out that he’s a favorite too! 3 cut ups, a few speedlites, and a guy with a camera.
So, after several different scenes we came to a cool wall. The sun was still strongly lighting our surroundings, but I’d been overpowering it with my flashes for a while. A battery change was required, and we were good to go. That’s when Kenny suggested the following shot. My initial reaction……”Uh, what kind of shoot is this going to be?”
As you can see, Kenny’s concept was pretty edgy. Three guys, graffiti, and boulders being held in front of their, as Kenny said, junk. I really didn’t know what to make of the concept at first, but hey, they had fun with it. I’m just the guy behind the camera you know.
The image above is “as shot.” No edits. 2 430EX II’s were used for this one. One angled in camera left, one angled in camera right. Both were zoomed to 105mm and pushed for as much power as possible. I figured using hard light in an environment already providing hard light and shadows might be interesting. No diffusers, but I did pop a 1/2 CTO on each flash.
After the shoot was over I returned home and started selecting through images they’d told me they liked. We were all looking at the display on the camera often to see what we were getting. There were a good number of shots we all liked, this one included. In short order they picked what they really wanted worked on and I went with it.
My final edit of this image?
Not too much work needed to be done as you can see. I popped it into Photoshop, grabbed Topaz Adjust, and used a custom preset I’d made based on a Topaz Preset. As the detail was punched up a bit, I threw a mask onto the new layer and toned the guys down so they didn’t get punched up too much. The final touch to the edit? Using the adjustment brush in Lightroom to bring Lorin’s exposure up just a bit (the light exposure that is).
The final version is now a poster announcing their upcoming gig at the Spirit Room next week in Jerome. If you get a chance, maybe you should stop in and hear them play. I’m pretty sure they’ll be leaving the boulders at home! 😉