Monday, August 26, 2013

Dolly Would @ my studio August 16th.

I photographed Dolly Would last week at my apartment (I mean studio!) in New York. Yes, my apartment (studio!), in New York. With some clever rearrangements (stacking couches and shoving them onto one side, removing bike racks, etc) I was able to clear just enough room out to fit a seamless and a couple lights. Yes, I will be doing this more often, and hopefully even improving on the set up. Pleased? Why yes I am.

"That bass player's a babe. She makes me feel kinda funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class."

Not quite how it started out, I had already moved the couches as far back as I could, but you get the idea.

Backdrop, is in place. I am using knuckles attached to 40" arms to make my stands into sort of mini booms. Keeps me from having to move the stands around too much in the limited amount of space.

Backdrop rolled out and ready to go. I started out using an umbrella as my key, but I abandoned this pretty quickly due to the lack of light control. In small spaces umbrellas just spill everywhere making it really hard to get a nice directional light.

Dolly Would's Garth character.

I switched to a 24x36 soft box just about right away. Much better directional light, especially after it has been gridded. Soft light that is still directional enough to provide good contrast on her and attractive shadows on the backdrop. I have a 2nd light that is set up with a 7" reflector with a grid to provide some fill on her face.

"I put a baby in you, now you got somethin' to do"

Dolly Would's duechy male alter ego. Check out the music that served as her influence: Dolly spent 6 years living in the Boston area, and another 3 living in Orange County, California. I wonder if this effected the development of this character at all?

I lit these with a single light, 7" reflector gridded to control light spill. This gave a really hard light that accented the character, by gridding it I was able to control the light spill and get a nice vignette on the backdrop. I placed the light using a boom directly in front and raised it a bit higher than usual to cast a hard shadow over her face.

"There is no place like home."

This is Dolly's Wizard Of Oz character. It is meant as a conceptual piece that she custom designed for a show she performed in about a month ago. This character is a bit unusual for her being that Dolly is more known for her satire and comedy. She designed it as a challenge to herself to push her boundaries in new directions.

I lit this using my soft box at a 3/4 position, once again it was gridded to prevent light from spilling off in every direction. This gave her a nice soft look, but it had just a little too much contrast with just the soft box so I grabbed a reflector and mounted that using a kit stand, knuckle and 40" arm. My 2nd light was mounted to my boom and used as a hair light with its 7" reflector and grid.

It is always a challenge shooting in a small place, especially if you are shooting studio shots. Simply making room for a backdrop and lights is a challenge! It is another challenge to control the light, and even then you sometimes forget you have to find someplace for you to shoot from without distorting the model! I was lucky enough to have just enough room.

Everything was shot using a Canon 5D and either a 17-40 f/4 or 70-200 f/4.

Thanks for looking!

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