How this image was made

posted in Photography

How this image was made

This is my “editor’s version” of one of the images I shot for the alternative rock band YOUR NEW SECRET which will be used for their website and other promotional use for their new EP album release Project Alpha. I got a personal message asking me how I took this and so I decided to provide information on how this image came about.

I will start off by providing the location and equipment used. It was shot at Mike’s man cave at their townhome in Dublin, CA. The den was not a large space so I had to be creative and had to try out different lenses as we shot 4-5 different sets. We used a existing dark grey painted wall for the background. I  used a Nikon D800E to take advantage of the high resolution – 36.3 megapixel size with Nikon’s RAW setting. There was a window to the left side but we closed the blind slats down to minimize any influence of outside daylight. For lighting, I used a White Lightning Ultra 1800 mono block (Paul C. Buff). Power was adjusted to 1/16th of full power.

I started out using a 60″ shoot through umbrella but we found the images too “feminine soft” during initial test shots. So I decided to removed the umbrella and used the mono block by itself as we were trying for a much stronger look. But a straight on light was too strong and so I decided to turn the light head around and bounce the light on the white wall on the left side of the frame. The tight space of the room turned out to be an advantage for as this created a controllable large box. It worked perfect for the mood we were trying to go after.

For the pose, I had the 3 guys line up from front to back and then asked them to move slightly to either the left or the right. I had the guys pose on their own while I shot 24 frames. I liked this one for my personal pick. Originally shot in color, I changed the image to cyanotype in post using Adobe Lightroom 5’s B&W Toned Preset. No other touching up was made.

The image was cropped to about 67% of the original frame size (from 7360 x 4912 to 6003 x 4006). For this post, we reduced the size to 1,600 x 1,068. Other settings to note: ISO 100, 1/250 sec. at F14.0 with a 14-24mm f2.8 lens set at 24mm.

For more photos from this shoot, please visit the band’s website:

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