Tuesday, July 12, 2011

41/52 Matty Colston

I've been meaning to catch up with Matty for a while, and this shoot provided the perfect opportunity.

Matty Colston is a man of many talents. He's been intensively studying wine for over 10 years. He's gone on several extensive tours of European wine producing regions, most recently taking a road trip through France and Spain. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he has owned his own bar in Covington, Kentucky, and now lives and works in Chicago. He's a staple at Webster's Wine Bar, and recently has been helping to open their new concept called Telegraph, a Logan Square bar with an emphasis on natural wines. He's also an avid record collector, and shares this passion by DJing a monthly gig at the Charleston called Underwater Creatures. He chronicles all of his pursuits, wine related and otherwise, in a blog called The Pickled Tomato, which you should definitely check out.

Normally in these posts, I have several photos of my setup, different looks, and alternate shots. I'm very happy to say that this time around, Wendy and I's efforts were far more focused on hanging out with Matty and catching up. It was long overdue to meet up with him over a glass of wine, and something that I'd love to do much more frequently. Unfortunately us service industry people tend to have unpredictable and irregular schedules. Regardless, instead of several images detailing the process of the shoot, I will be forced to paint for you, dear reader, a picture with words.

Corny, I know. 

And a lame excuse.

Anyways, I decided that I wanted to involve another person in this shoot. We shot at Webster's after hour, and I love the vibe of the place. I wanted to shoot Matty engaged in conversation, temporarily distracted by the presence of the viewer. I asked Matty's coworker Spencer to sit along with him for the portrait, and he was happy to oblige. I lit Matty from high camera left with a silver over white umbrella, double diffused Joe McNally style. I gelled the key half CTO to maintain the warm vibe while still allowing the candles on the table and in the background to be just a bit more warm than the flash. I had the key offset pretty far to the left, and used a ring flash (also with half CTO) to fill in the shadows and prevent it from being too dramatic. Rounding the setup out, I used an SB-600 from back camera right to provide an edge. In retrospect, I would have raised it up just a bit higher, and used barn doors to allow for a bit better control over spill. I gelled it 1/4 CTO to allow it to be just a bit cooler than the key and the fill. 

All told, I think I played it a bit safe with the fill. I think I could have sufficed to lower it by two thirds or a full stop. I also feel as though I could have incorporated a fourth strobe as a background light, bringing the background up by maybe a stop, and attempting to give it a bit more definition. Regardless, I think it's a great image, and captures Matty very much in his element.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 high camera left through silver-over-white umbrella with 1/2 CTO gel
SB-800 on camera in rayflash ring adapter with 1/2 CTO gel
SB-600 back camera right with 1/4 CTO gel

Camera Settings:
1/50 f/4.5 at ISO 1600
Nikon 17-55 f/2.8@ 17mm

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