I do quite a lot of studio-based band shoots so it was rather nice to be asked to shoot Black Country combo (I know no-one uses the word “combo” any more but I like it) T H I E V E S on location. There was a fairly pressing deadline as the band needed an image for posters for a big gig at (I think) The Academy(?) in Birmingham.
When I asked what kind of look they were going for, guitarist Jake Goodman sent me an old black and white image of Oasis, lounging casually in what appeared to be the mixing room of a recording studio. So I contacted Andy Ward at Musoplex (http://www.musoplex.com/) in Oldbury – as the name suggests, a recording and rehearsal room complex and not entirely coincidentally where I had my first photographic studio.
I knew the control room at Musoplex fitted the look very well, and Andy brought in, or moved out, various bits of kit to complete the look. The band quite naturally adopted the appropriate positions on the sofa but we experimented with a few combinations and arrangements before it seemed right. The whole point of the shoot was to not look too “slick”, so I used my cheap but trusty Yong Nuo strobe (see my old post about these) which I fired remotely, bouncing the light off the room’s white ceiling, with just a little light kicking forward for highlights.
Then we moved to the stage area which Andy has set up for videos, interviews and photoshoots – painted white with black furniture and backed with Marshall amps. This area also offered the opportunity to shoot from above by using the gantry steps.
Heading outside, most of the band immediately sparked up their cigarettes. As we walked to the next location, I spotted a door with very clear “no smoking” signage. Too good an opportunity to miss. So I arranged the band (even the non-smoking minority) in front of this door for a few shots. This time, just a small burst of off-camera flash to add a bit of zing.
And finally, as Musoplex is almost directly underneath Junction 2 of the M5, I wanted to use the underneath of the motorway bridge as a background and ceiling for the shots. Off-camera flash again from one side, and then the other.
Despite having to get up at an unearthly hour on a Sunday morning (not easy for musicians), I think the band were happy with the outcome of the day. See my images as the band have used them, plus find out more about T H I E V E S at http://www.facebook.com/david.rann.58#!/thievesbirmingham?fref=ts
Here are a few more images from my contribution towards the forthcoming “Off The Wall” exhibition at Stigma Lab in Athens, Greece. Remember all taken and deited on an iphone4 and ipad…
More information at:
I’ve had quite a few exhibitions over the years but the next one in my calendar, a group show called “Off The Wall“, is something of a first in two ways. To begin with, it’s my first overseas exhibition, and will take place at Stigma Lab gallery in Athens, Greece (http://www.facebook.com/david.rann.58#!/StigmaSquad) from 1st to the 26th of March.
My good friend, the excellent street photographer, Gareth Jukes is curating the show and has pulled together seven artists working in very different media. The line-up also includes Christophe Dillinger (http://www.cdillinger.co.uk/) who I first met when I exhibited alongside him at Viewfinder gallery in London a few years ago. Christophe has since been a regular visitor to Fotofilia and is also the editor-in-chief of the excellent online Square Magazine http://www.squaremag.org/. So the full list of exhibitors is, in Gareth’s words…
“Gareth Jukes, artist from Birmingham England. His artwork has been exhibited & published internationally. His large scale street art paste-ups have attracted the attention of several art collectors and art dealers in England. Most recent art work was a 32ft tall paste up inside the Public Art Gallery West Bromwich, England.
Christophe Dillinger, experimental photographer from France , writer, publisher and editor-in-chief of Square Magazine, whose work has been shown in Europe , Russia & U.S.A.
Rebecca Woodcock, sculptor, winner of the Wedgwood Porcelain and Bronze Award. Her work reflects upon everyday life whilst exploring contemporary concerns with inter-personal relationships that reflect on philosophical and emotional engagement, blending elements of figuration and abstraction that encompass image and ground.
David Rann, award winning photographer, currently director of the Fotofilia Gallery in Birmingham, England. David has curated major exhibitions by over 200 emerging and established artists at his Gallery over the last 5 years
Emma Perry, West Midlands artist who works with mixed medias. Her sculptures ‘contain’ colour and she is interested in the internal & the external forms and spaces created in her work.
Julio Orphanides, a Cypriot-born video artist and painter whose works received major compliment when exhibited in a number of successful gallery exhibitions across England in the last two years.
Guy Holness is an emerging young British artist who works in a variety of medias including spray paint, sculpture, photography, and drawing. He is currently developing and coordinating creative arts projects with youth organisations across Europe. The Inspiration Network, a programme that he recently set up brought young people together from, England, Holland and Croatia to participate in a number of creative arts workshop.”
So that’s the “who”. Now for the “what”. The second way on which this is new for me is that for the first time ever, I am exhibiting images taken and edited solely on iphone and ipad. My project title is “Birmingham Noir” and the images are mainly (but not entirely) composite works consisting of a head-and-shoulders portrait combined with a separately-taken background. The subjects are a mixture of models and friends that, quite simply, I think fit the “noir-esque” mood. The viewer is invited to construct their own narratives.
Here are a few of the images to be shown…
I’ll post a few more shortly. But for now, if you happen to be in Athens in March, look us up…
Exhibition Opening: Friday 1st March 20:00 – 00:00.
Exhibition will be on until 25 of March.
Monday-Saturday 13:00 – 20:00.
Sundays (only by appointment)
Andrea Metaxa 4 , Exarhia District.
Unlike many of the photographic fraternity who, at the first flake of snow, seem to have grabbed a camera and headed outside, I really don’t like snow. Actually, that’s not strictly true. I like the look of snow. I like it in films, or on Christmas cards, or watching it through a window from the sofa with a bucket of mulled wine nearby. But I hate the disruption, I hate not being able to get anywhere, and I hate having to cancel courses because of it.
Well, the gods were smiling on my first day’s workshop at Birmingham Botanical Gardens of 2013. The forecasted heavy deluge was thankfully diverted to the North West (sorry, peeps of the North West) and so the Portraiture workshop was able to go ahead, and I, the students, and the two models were able to actually get there.
The snow gradually melted away during the course of the day but there was still enough lingering on the roof close by to provide the kind of total shadow-blitzing, wrap-around reflection that you see in this shot of our beautiful female model, Gemma Louise. A reflector of the shop-bought kind provided the catchlight in Gemma’s eyes.
And even when shooting indoors, the sporadic sunshine or bright white sky bouncing off the remaining snow served to raise general light levels. Here are a few more from the session…
Gemma Louise on Purestorm – http://www.purestorm.com/profile.aspx?id=MissGemmaLouise