Saturday, May 21, 2011

34/52 Brian Hicks

Since doing this shoot, we've arrived at the conclusion that the world would be a better place were there an army of Brian Hickses running around taking care of business. Preferably suited, for style points of course.

Brian Hicks is the manager at Double A lounge in Chicago's River north neighborhood, at which your humble narrator works as well. Double Brian has worked alongside much of the management team of Mercadito, Double A's parent restaurant, for years. He has devotedly followed the call of duty, relocating to both Miami and New York to work at other restaurants in the Mercadito group when needed. He easily puts in 50 to 60 hours a week at Double A and never seems to tire in either energy or enthusiasm. It's awesome working with Brian, and despite the inclement weather, doing this shoot was a lot of fun.

Brian is always bringing us weird cultural odds and ends. Videos, music, etc. Recently he came across a rather impressive Japanese music video by former MMA star Genki Sudo. In the video, Sudo performs a very intricately choreographed set of dance moves along with several identically-suited dancers in the streets of New York City. The level of precision in their choreography is so exact that the footage from different locations is cut together seamlessly. Youtube might get angry at me and take this down, but here's the video I'm talking about:

We decided to recreate the concept of the video, but with multiple Brian Hicks instead of stand-ins. To do this, we found our location and used gaffer's tape as a marker for where we'd have Brian stand. I put the camera on a tripod to make sure the perspective for each was the same, and we commenced to do a bunch of different takes in each position. To stay true to the video, we changed Brian's tie each time. Did I mention it was 40 degrees, windy, and damp out? Yeah, welcome to springtime in Chicago. Here are some of the individual stills which I composited into the final image:

Lead Brian, wearing my glasses.

Bringing up the rear, and wearing 3D glasses with the lenses taken out.

As for the lighting, I used one SB-800 with a white-over-silver umbrella at camera right. The exposure is the most apparent in the lead Brian. The effect is subtle, but there. Here's a pic without the strobe for comparison:

And finally, here's a shot of the setup. The extra light stand is to provide the subject with a fixed point to both face and to look at:

Strobist Info:
SB-800 high camera right through silver-over-white umbrella

Camera Settings:
1/200 f/7.1 at ISO 400
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8@ 17mm

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