Recently I’ve been photographing a new band called ‘The Drop’.
As a new band they needed some photos for publicity, and I’ve been wanting to do some more band photography for a while now.
The band’s rehersal room is quite possibly the smallest room I’ve ever seen 6 people in, let alone with instruments, let alone with me trying to take pictures in there too. As a full band shot was out (without completely re aranging the room and breaking out the fisheye – which we might actually try next time) we decided to try and go with some intimate singles. Setting up any kind of formal lighting was going to be an impossibility in this setting, so not wanting to resort to on-camera ceiling bounce flash, I opted for a ‘flash on a stick’ solution. With on SB600 on the end of a small manfrotto stand, I held that collapsed in my left hand, and camera in my right, I could negotiate the flash to just about any point in the room, giving me the ability to get the flash into an interesting position.
For the full band shot we were able to afford a slightly more complex set up in the buildings staircase. Here the mainlight was a large shoot-through umbrella camera-right, with a second, smaller umbrella to the left to proved a little bit of fill. I hung an bare SB600 from the stairs above to get the rim light and decided to leave the strobe in shot as a point of interest.
Last week I met up with the band in Birmingham’s ‘Actress and Bishop’ venue to photograph their debut gig. Now I’ve complained about stage lighting in the past, but this was hands-down the worst lighting to shoot I have ever seen. Full red on the band, and a far far brighted bare bulb on the singer (red has always been my least favourite colour to shoot – especially on digital). There was no room, and no time to set up any remote speedlights, and the old faithful ceiling-bouce fill light was out too as the club had a very low, very red ceiling. I knew this was going to be a post-processing solution, and more than likely a black and white one (I really miss shooting Ilford 3600 on events like this). Losing the colour information helped with the mash of lighting onstage, and going for the stark contrast, allowed for the rest of the band to be brought up to match the singers exposure. Not big, or clever, but it works I think.