Go Where the Light Already Is


The Kentucky Headhunters are an amazing, down home, rockin’ band. They’re also a helluva nice bunch of guys. Super talented. Grammy winners. A country rock institution. And, when you walk into their headquarters, visually, you get smacked right between the eyes. You look around and your first thought in this chock-a-block room, seen above, is “I gotta shoot in here!”

And your second thought is, “How the hell am I gonna do that?”

It’s beautifully busy, this room. And it’s got reflective, glossy 8×10’s all over the place, polished guitars, and even some vinyl tacked to the wall of memories. You want to shoot it, but you also realize that if you put up some spiffy umbrella or big ass soft box you’re gonna step on the essential character of the place, not to mention create reflections everywhere.

So, I sat there and stared at it. You let the place speak to you. There was a window to the camera right side and a door to the camera left side. The light from these two sources was nice, just not plentiful. What if I put SB 910 units right where the light is anyway?

Which is, tried and true, what I did. I put up a diffuser on the window and banged a Speedlight through it. And I put up one SB unit in the doorway, bouncing off the floor, ’cause that’s what the existing light was doing. Made a click and hoped it would work out.



The light just has to not interfere at this point, or draw attention to itself. I simply wanted it to look like the light that was already there. The one guitar on the left had a hit from the door anyway, so I just let it be. The heart and soul of the picture are the two characters (and I do mean characters!) in the photo…Richard Young (seated, left) and Doug Phelps (on right). Had a great time with these guys, and Black Stone Cherry, working just outside Nashville, this past summer. More on the adventures of both bands in blogs tk. 

The window diffusion is a Lastolite skylite panel, and the floor bounce is a tri-grip with a warm reflector cover. Nikon D810, fitted with a Nikkor 24-70.

More tk…..

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