Manchester based band Diving station are releasing their first EP today at Aatma, 14-16 Faraday St, M1 1BE. I was fortunate to photograph them last August when they visited Edinburgh.
I really love long exposures of seascapes, because of their effect on water and clouds. I had dreamt of combining a long seascape exposure with people in the shot, and when I proposed this idea to Anna McLuckie, the lead singer, she was very enthusiastic. The picture above consists of two photographs, one with a relatively short exposure to get the band and a second frame taken without the band but with a two minute exposure. It was a typical Scottish summer day (that was the only day where the band was available for a shoot), but I knew that if we waited until after sunset, the light would be soft and there would likely be some colours in the sky. I’m quite pleased with my first attempt at a photograph of this nature.
The band logo has a lot of blue in it, so I wanted to give the other beach shots a blue colour cast. This is easily done by setting the white balance of the camera to tungsten and lighting the band with an off camera flash and CTO “orange” gel on it to give them proper skin tones. I worked a number of compositions with two of them shown above.
The photo shoot started earlier in the day, in a stairwell, believe it or not. These kinds of locations are a blessing and a curse at the same time. I’m sure you get the curse part, but the constraints imposed by locations like these allow one’s creativity to be pushed, and one’s frame of mind to be stretched. I’m always up for a challenge.
I always need to warm up at the beginning of a photo shoot, and so we started by taking very straightforward band photos.
Then I started looking for different angles.
I had brought with me a smoke machine, because I thought this could really add some atmosphere to the photos. One light behind to backlight the smoke and a light in front for the band.
After I get the “obvious” shot, I like to ask “what if..?”. For example “what if I switch off the main light?”
Usually, a number of mistakes occur when I start working my subject and lighting. Fortunately, some of them turn out great. At the time I didn’t think much of the shot above. I think it was because it wasn’t what I really was after, but the band immediately liked it. And I have to say it has become one of my favourite shots of the day.
With the smoke and more moody lighting scheme, I explored some of the earlier compositions. I never thought you could have this much fun with a smoke machine in a staircase.