Wednesday, February 16, 2011

21/52 Coyote De Groot

This is the last post before coverage of 52portraits Special Edition: Guatemala begins. This week I got to catch up with a friend of mine at his west town eye-wear boutique.

Coyote De Groot is the proprietor of  Labrabit Optics in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. He specializes in new old stock, vintage frames which have never been worn or used. His store is filled with an eclectic mix of ostentatious vintage styles and modern creations by cutting edge designers. Coyote got into the business by selling vintage glasses on the side while working cutting lenses for optometrists. Eventually he found the demand for his side work outpacing his 9 to 5, so he decided to go full time and open up his own shop. In addition to providing Chicago with the freshest eye wear, Coyote is also an electronic musician. I first met him when we played a show together years back at The Darkroom. Much like myself, Coyote told me he's found much less time to dedicate to music since devoting himself to running his own business full time. It's unfortunate. I really like his music and hope that he keeps up with it.

We did the shoot in his space located on Ashland Avenue. It's a beautiful space with a large art installation in the front window. Never being satisfied with ambient light, I approached this portrait with three lights. I used a combination of big and small lights, using an Einstein in a large softbox at high camera left as my main light, and two SB-800 behind the subject. I used one with barn doors as an edge for both coyote and the tree back camera right, and the other right next to it aimed at the far wall to Illuminate the background. I wanted the  background light to cast a hard shadow on the telescope and the glasses frames on the wall. I love the visual simile between the telescope and it's shadow. I experimented shooting from several different angles. I love the painted tree branch hanging from the ceiling, and tried to do a couple takes using it alone as a background.

Again, I like the hard shadow cast by the branch, emphasizing its form. Here are a few other takes from the shoot:


Strobist Info:
PCB Einstein camera left through large softbox
SB-800 back camera right through barndoors
SB-800 back camera right

Camera Settings:
1/250 f/5.6 at ISO 100
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 @24mm

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