A playful fashion story for this month's Bonafide magazine.
Jade suggested we feature several well known British stereotypes: City, Sloane, Geek, Rude Boy and Essex. For some reason I pictured them as heroic characters, dramatically bathed in the fiery rays of a dying sun. Around that time I was also admiring Robyn's music video "The Girl and the Robot." I decided to try a similar juxtaposition. By cross-lighting with red and blue light, it was very easy to amplify both shape and depth. Indeed, one could argue that the resulting pictures would not look too out of place in a graphic novel.
Models: Deimante and Ben S @ Oxygen.
Photographer: A R Harvey Stylist: Jade Stavri Makeup: Kaori Mitsuyasu Hair: Soichi
A tunnel runs beneath Waterloo station, its walls layered with graffiti.
On my first visit the smell of aerosol still hung in the air. From the far end of the tunnel music blared out of some bashed-about radio. A group of skaters rehearsed their moves, and elsewhere lone individuals squatted with their cameras, photographing the walls.
A few days later I returned with Aztec Records and their new discovery, Lady Joker.
This was a fast, streamlined shoot. We only had a couple of hours to get the shots. Mains power was unavailable. Bulky studio lights were clearly unsuitable. Instead I improvised by taking my battery flash off-camera and hooking up an umbrella. Not perfect by any means, but it was light, easy to carry and quick to setup. Sometimes getting 75% of the way there is all the matters.
With only one strobe and a fold-up bounce board, the tunnel's own fluorescent illumination was going to play a key part. I wanted the wide shots to look credible, as if they were lit entirely by ambient light. For the illusion to work I had to balance the cool blues of my flash with the warm fluorescent greens of the tunnel. A half-green + quarter CTO gel combination did the trick. Although the resulting pictures still had an orangey-green colour cast, the foreground and background were nonetheless consistent. Colour correction involved nothing more than adjusting the white balance in post.
A few weeks back I joined indie rock band The Mars Patrol at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith to shoot their official band pictures. The space is essentially a gigantic black cube, perfect for studio lighting and effects.
In a corner I set up a Rosco 1700 smoke machine. Directly behind the band I erected a strobe with wide angle reflector and some gels. The result was a broad wash of warm light that penetrated the haze and reflected off the matte black floor.
For a bit of fun I also jerry-rigged a PocketWizard radio receiver onto the back of a Canon Speedlite. The band were then free to pass the flash between themselves and point it at the camera.
The Mars Patrol's new EP, "Landline", is out on 29th November 2010.