Wednesday, December 15, 2010

13/52 Nick Lacasse

This time around I revisited a familiar place and an old friend, who also happens to have previously been a subject of mine. Following one of the themes of my life, I once again found myself in a kitchen. A real kitchen. THE Kitchen.

The Drawing Room is a fantastic restaurant at which I had the opportunity to work for almost two years. Chef Nick Lacasse is at the helm of the kitchen, and is quite possibly the most talented chef with whom I've had the pleasure of working. For better or worse, he always met with my incessant culinary questioning with enthusiasm. Is faro really a grain? What's the difference between a pink, white, green, and black peppercorn? Can an aspic really be good? If I asked him a question which was likely too obscure or stupid to garner his attention before, he'd look it up and chat with me about it the next time I worked.

I owe Chef Nick a lot. He's gone to bat for me multiple times, helping me greatly to move forward with both my gig in the service industry and photography as well. He worked with me to do some test images, and got me on board to do the Drawing Room's food photography for almost a year and a half. He's a great guy, and a huge source of inspiration in regards to just how far one's passion can take them in their career. It was a pleasure to meet up with him once again, in familiar territory, and take some great snaps of him doing what he does.

I have photographed Chef Nick in the very same kitchen, in somewhat the same manner. This was certainly earlier on in my quest to learn about lighting, yet I feel I did a pretty good job. There were a few things I wanted to tweak, to see if I could get a result that I was really really happy with. This kitchen being familiar territory, I knew what I was up against. And what I was up against was this:

I don't really want to say this light is the color of puke, but...

it's pretty much is the color of puke.

I could not for the life of me remember which awful combination of fractional window green and cto gels were required to tame this beast, but I knew it was gnarly. Before I had shot straight to my laptop then played around with gels till I could replicate the color temp exactly. You can see I did a decent job in the old photo, where the visible light bulb looks pure white.

Ok, so I'm mentally prepared. I know what I have to do. All I need is my ring of color correction gels and I'll figure this out one way or another.


I brought those, right?

Of course, I forgot them. I had them out of my bag for a stupid reason and apparently never remembered to put them back in. Fun times. Time for a quick change of game plan.

It may not look like much, but that's what I was banking on. ISO 100, f/6.3 and 1/250 shutter speed ALMOST killed the nastiness. At this point it was my only option, and something I could easily attack in photoshop. Only major concern was I couldn't show any lights in the background or else they'd look nasty.

As shown above, the light setup was a white and silver reflective umbrella at high camera right with and a bare strobe back camera left with barn doors. I moved the main light until my specular reflection was directly over the knives in the background, highlighting and calling attention to them. I also did a few shots a bit closer up.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 high camera right through silver and white reflective umbrella
SB-600 back camera left with barn doors

Camera Settings:
1/250 f/6.3 at ISO 200
Nikon 35mm f/1.8

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