Tuesday, January 4, 2011

16/52 Joe Hahn

This week's portrait is a bit of a conceptual crossover. This time around it was unintentional, but I have some schemes of taking this concept a little farther in the future.

Joe Hahn, aka Protman, is a Chicago-based electronic musician. In addition to his solo work, he also runs Iron Chef of Music (ICOM). ICOM is an electronic music "competition" in which participants are given two hours to construct an entire song out of only one sample. No other audio can be used. Joe's solo work is soon to be released on Bedroom Research, a French net label. Appropriately enough I caught up with Joe while he was elbow-deep in making a pizza from scratch. Today I'd be photograph him chopping up onions, not beats.

I've done a shoot with Joe Before. I wanted to do something drastically different than what we did before, where I shot him at the helm of his laptop, from the heart of his storefront space known as the Bass Cave.

This time around i found Joe engaged in a hobby rather than his main pursuit. Lighting this shoot posed some particular challenges. Because he was preparing his pizza on a counter that faced a wall, I only had 180 degrees remaining from which to both light a shoot him. This also marked the first time I officially made use of my brand new Einstein flash units and giant modifiers.

I ended up using one einstein in a 32"x40" softbox and one SB-800 with barn doors as an edge. I gridded the softbox to minimize spill. I placed it at high camera left, and tried my best to keep my small strobe out of the frame and prevent it from flaring. For a while I used the softbox as a flag, and I switched back and forth between my Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and my Nikon 35 f/1.8.

This creepy and somewhat-menacing shot is the closest I took to a setup shot. Here are a few outtakes:

Joe expresses approval of his home made sauce.

The dough must be pounded, and pound the dough he does.

Something tells me he was getting a bit agitated after I had been taking pictures of him for over a half an hour. Last but not least, a modest photo of his completed pizza-masterwork, pre-oven.

Strobist Info:
PCB Einstein high camera left through 32"x40" gridded softbox
SB-800 back camera left with barn doors

Camera Settings:
1/100 f/4at ISO 100
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 @ 31mm

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