Thursday, November 12, 2009

Band Photography on Location

Last weekend I had the honor of shooting with a local Chicago band, "Lady Parasyte." (Shot in Chicago)

We called ahead several locations before coming to a two sided bar, one side that was open all day, and the other side didn't open until later at night. So, we asked to shoot for a few hours and they said yes. Totally awesome location and very generous of the owner to allow us to shoot for several hours at their place of business.

This was the first shot out of post. Here is a rundown of my thought process and the setup...

1: F-STOP Decision
I started by wanting to shoot at 2.8 for I could keep the subject and the background separated as much as possible. I found my exposure to be f/2.8 @ 1/50 ISO400. (17mm...with my 20D that is about 35mm) But, of course the lighting on the subjects wasn't that great. It was all from above them. So, I needed to use a strobe to throw light onto their faces.

2: Strobe Light
I placed a strobe on a stand way up high to the right of me and pointed it down towards the subjects. I put it high for the subjects shadows would be on the ground and not behind them. I metered it a bit higher that f/2.8 (f/3.5?) for it would show up in the image. It looked okay, but the light could be more focused.

3: Light Modification
I added a 20 degree grid to the strobe for it would focus tighter on the subjects and not spill too much around them. Perfect! It looked much better. *TEST SHOT* Okay, it's all looking good except that the bottom part of the image had lots of dark areas in it. I was loosing detail.

4: Fill Light
I added another strobe with a silver umbrella about 8 feet behind me for a fill light. This alleviated the shadows getting plugged up, but also made the entire image brighter. Since I was basing my exposure slightly to the left, that was okay by me. *CLICK* There's it is.

5: Post Production
I desaturated all colors except for red and strengthened the vignette my grid strobe was already making.

I'll be shooting in St. Pete, Florida for the weekend.
Happy Shooting!