May 7, 2013
photo session – Modern Gypsies – Silver Birds
Regular followers of Tangents, and everyone who has a copy of my book, off-camera flash, should be familiar with The Modern Gypsies. They are a performance group in Brooklyn and I count myself fortunate that I sometimes get to collaborate with them on promotional photos for them. It’s always exciting to work with inspiringly creative people. At the start of the month, we got together for another series of photo shoots, of which this is the first of the four. I’ll post the other sections in follow-up articles.
The theme here – Silver Birds. This silver-painted rooftop in Brooklyn, and the expansive blue sky seemed to work work well as complementary colors.
The sun is brutally bright, so I knew I’d need take along powerful off-camera flash. For ease of use, and for portability, I went with the usual Profoto Acute B2 600 W/s powerpack (B&H), and a
Profoto beauty dish (B&H) with a sock.
With that setup, I was able to easily pump out Sunny 16 kind of flash – 1/250 @ f11 @ 100 ISO. Those are the settings for all the images here. I varied the power of the AcuteB powerpack between full-power and half a stop down from full power for these images. The way the Profoto beauty dish clamps on, is super-easy. Fast.
December 10, 2012
night-club photos – Modern Gypsies – mermaid
When the Modern Gypsies asked me to photograph their one performance piece in a night-club in Manhattan, I wasn’t sure what equipment to bring along. I tend to over-prepare and bring too much. You know, just in case. So I have a tendency to overload myself with gear at times. It’s a discipline thing then to strip it down to just the essentials … but still be flexible enough to accomodate a challenging situation.
The previous time I photographed them, I knew there would be a large prep room, so I could bring in extra gear such as light-stands and softboxes. It worked out quite well for the example I showed on the Tangents blog - Modern Gypsies – masked dancers, as well as other photos out on the street, where the off-camera flash helped.
This time, I suspected I might need to travel much lighter. Night clubs aren’t the placed to walk around loaded with gear. So while I did load off-camera lighting and such into my car, I left most of my gear in the car. In my shoulder bag – the Think Tank Retrospective 20 (B&H) – I kept only the one camera, three lenses, and two speedlights.
The photo at the top was taken with the Nikon D4 (B&H) and Nikon 35mm f/1.4G (B&H) using only the lights there in the night-club.
camera settings: 1/60 @ f/1.8 @ 3200 ISO
The available light looked great when it worked to my advantage, but I soon knew that I’d need to add a bit of fill-light from bounce flash …
October 29, 2012
photo shoot & off-camera flash – making the background count
I got a call from Michael Saab of the Modern Gypsies to let me know that they were performing in a night-club in Manhattan, and would I be interested in doing some promotional photos for them? Of course! Other photo sessions with the Modern Gypsies were all energizing experiences. (The Modern Gypsies also featured in my book, off-camera flash.) Working with creative people always fuels the creative spark.
At the night-club, I looked around for interesting areas I could shoot some portraits. I felt this curving passage-way could be a complementary background for this one outfit. But it took a few test-shots and adjustments to get where I wanted to be …
September 12, 2010
For the last in the series of photo sessions with the Modern Gypsies on this day, we ended up here … launching two girls in costume, onto the East River inside a giant ball. It really did make sense. And you may ask yourself, how did we get here? Letting the days go by … No, really, how did we get here?
September 10, 2010
Pinkman! More from the recent extended photo session with the Modern Gypsies. After the photo session with Martin on stilts, we moved to one of the many colorful areas in Brooklyn where we started with Dread Eye. Working in the same spot, Michael Saab fitted his character, PinkMan! out with jumping stilts. Absolute lunacy!
Working in such bright light, I thought the best approach would be to cross-light the sunlight with off-camera flash …
September 1, 2010
After our first, and very successful collaborative photo session with the Modern Gypsies, I was quite eager to meet up with them again. And today we had another series of photo sessions with them .. and it was one of those invigorating experiences you have working with truly talented and creative people. During the course of the day we photographed several set-ups and costumes and performers. I will post more of these over the next few days, showing the results … but also the progression of ideas; the setting up, and some of what went on behind the scenes …
The first performer we photographed was Martin, who is amazingly adroit on his stilts. He travels and performs across the world!
July 7, 2010
Before we went in to Times Square with the Modern Gypsies, we did a quick portrait session with one of the Modern Gypsies performers, Bird Girl …
July 5, 2010
July 3, 2010
Sometimes photo shoots are just work; sometimes photo shoots are fun. Really fun. And then there are photo shoots that also feel like it’s a privilege just to be a part of it. And fun! I had the opportunity to work with the Modern Gypsies during the past week. They are performance artists based in New York. I had met Michael Saab last year sometime while photographing an event, and we kept contact, with the idea of working together on some photo shoots, expanding their portfolio for their website.
Above are two of my favorite photos of the initial part of the photo session.
(Later on we went in to Times Square.)
More details about the photos and the lighting here …