My friend Tim gave me a call the other day…he needed some new shots for his website and promo material, and would I be interested? You betcha! As James Brown used to say, you got to “give the drummer some!”
Tim is a great drummer and educator and I first met him in conjunction with a project he volunteered for through auspices of the Jonathan Krist Foundation. Tim spends a lot of time working with young guys in Trenton, making them better drummers and keeping them out of trouble.
We decided to do this in my cavernous, dirty, dank garage high tech home studio, and started with a pretty straightforward portrait with a couple of his congas.
The units have to be about 20 years old, and these days, they don’t see much use, but when you need ’em, they’re there, compact and dependable as ever.
Simple light, as always. One head into a 3×4 Chimera lightbox from camera left, and a head with a grid spot hitting the background from the floor. Not even a white fill card on the shadow side.
We got our “safe” shots and then Tim, who played football at school in Tennessee and looks like he still could tear through a defensive line, jumped into a dashiki and pulled out his African drums.
When he started playing, you could feel the power and energy, so we decided to go for a little more dramatic light. This time, we’d have the light coming from overhead.
To see how it evolved into the above shot, take a look at some other shots from the session, and grab a peek at my drive-in disaster area swanky studio setup, hit the jump.
We actually have enough height in the garage to fly up a boom stand, so I decided to change the direction of the light from the side to directly overhead. I put a small Chimera on another head and placed it right over Tim. I took the 3×4 foot Chimera off the stand and laid it on the floor. For some shots, I used it as a fill.
It was kind of a cool effect, and as long as Tim kind of “played to the light” by looking up, it was a nice open type of shot.
Tim slung the drum over his shoulder, and with that same overhead light with the floor fill, looked straight at the camera.
We were having fun with that very dramatic look and the final tweak was turning off the light on the floor fill 3×4 Chimera, and then just going with the overhead light, and the grid head on the background (which remained the same for all the setups.).
That’s when we got my favorite shot from the session, which I converted to B&W and ran at the top of this post.
Think you might like to try this at home? Hmmmnn well, I don’t know. You need a really high tech studio space to accomplish this, just like the one pictured at the end of this post….