That time good light was bad.

by Lucas Westcoat March. 23, 2017 647 views

Over the weekend, I was asked to photograph a music duo who wanted some photos for their webpage, social media pages, etc. They are a sort of Jazz vocal duo, and they wanted their photos to look moody and like a lounge. Sounds simple enough, but I've never been on a shoot where everything went perfectly.

The pair chose our location because there was a piano for us to work with. It was the front room of a house owned by a friend of theirs. There was a fireplace, piano, and big, south-facing windows. When I arrived, I thought to myself "wow, what a great space with such great light.  

If you're not from Seattle, then you don't know that while this city has a reputation for rainy weather, this winter has been particularly gloomy. This was the first cloudless, sunny day in months. This meant that any other day I'd have gloomy, diffused light which is normally a bit on the dark side and perfect for this shoot. On this day bright sunshine flooded the room. For just about any other shoot, this would be a welcomed event. For the gloomy nightclub look they wanted, this was a major challenge.

An unaltered test shot taken when I arrived

I hadn't been to this location before, nor did I know the people who lived here. Making major changes to the space to block out light didn't feel like an option to me. Fortunately, our host had some thin red pieces of cloth and a room partition. While it wouldn't allow me to darken the entire room as much as I would've liked, it did allow me to get a portion of the room close enough for my typical post production workflow to take care of the rest.

unaltered photo once the makeshift curtain was set up

This meant we couldn't use the full space available to us, but it meant we could get the look and feel they wanted in the corner of the room. In the end, I was pleased with the results. The place where the light is coming through looked to me like something that could be part of a club's décor or even stage lighting in the case of the reflections on the piano.

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