Behind the Scenes - Sinclear's Revenge

wow.  So it's been a crazy past couple of months!  I know i was supposed to be updating this regularly, but time slipped away from me.  I'll go ahead an just fill in a quick update on a new shoot.  This was for a local band, Sinclears Revenge.  Chill dudes, and really easy to work with.  We wanted to do something that had a pretty epic feel, but also fit the style of their music.  The style is rastafari, reggae, so I wanted to use some type of smoke effect (is that cliche?) The guys were down so I had the shoot all planned how i wanted it to look.  We got to the building to shoot indoors and someone else had booked out the practice space to shoot a video for another band. WTF?! My shoot was ruined.  Luckily, the building had a rad front lawn, so I decided to use it.  The trick was finding a spot where you couldn't see the street, curbs, mailboxes, signs...etc, and to make it look like the middle of nowhere, or at least not in front of a business complex.

I found a great spot and setup the lighting.  I used a 3 light setup, a kicker, back fill, and an overhead.  I had the overhead on a grid, and the camera right kicker with a grid as well.  As you an see in this shot, I got the lighting where I wanted: (notice the rad business mail box to the left of the guy in the blue shirt)

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Now came the tricky part, working with fog.  For those of you who have worked with it, you understand what I mean.  If the fog is too far back, it just looks stupid.  If you get the fog too far in front of your subject, the fog acts as a reflector, and you completely lose your subject.  This picture will demonstrate as so.

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oops..... lost 2/3's of the band.  I had my assistant stand back by the right kicker and aim the fog toward the band.  I also forgot to mention that there was a little breeze, so there was no chance for me to look at the frame and go "oh, that fog looks great, ok, now let's go ahead and take the pict.....oh guy in red, turn your head a little to the right, bring your arms up a little higher......"

It was rapid fire, and hoping the fog would cooperate.  After about 25 minutes of shooting, I finally got a shot i was happy with.  Enough fog coverage in the scene for me to work with in post, and no one was too terribly faded from the fog in front of their faces.

Here's the one we settled on:

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By itself, I was really happy with everything.  The grass color looked great, the fog had a perfect hue of blue, and the guys definately popped from the background.  The only thing that really bugged me was the placement of the fog, so thanks for photoshop, and me taking the time to create a brush set of fog (black background, cigar and cigarette smoke, and a fish tank with a white background and adding droplets of ink to it.  That's a tutorial for a different time) I was able to tweak the shot and make the picture feel more balanced.  I'd go through the post production, but that'd reveal all my dirty little secrets.  Here's the final shot.  I'm really happy with it:(click for larger file!)

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All in all, a great shoot.  I'd really prefer to add all my smoke and fog in post, but I'm slowly trying to get an image in camera that I'm happy with.

Here's an individual shot (notice the mailbox in the background?  So rad.)

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And another group shot:

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Merek Davis