Friday, 19 November 2010

Fountain Jam - update

Over the next few posts, I’m going to take a look back what I’ve been up to throughout the past couple of months. It’s been hectic for sure, and it’s about time I shared my experiences with you.

First off, a quick update about this year’s book project, which I originally told you about here.

As the year draws to a close and the long sunny evenings seem an ever-distant memory, Fountain Jam - as I am now calling it - is starting to seem more and more like a reality than simply a project to be worked on over the course of a year. I’ve lost track of just how many images I’ve shot (we’re talking in the thousands here), and it’ll be great to relive the memories during the editing process.

With only a couple of months' photography remaining, now would probably be a good time for me to sit down and review all the material I’ve shot so far; there are bound to be gaps, people or details which I thought I’d captured or which I want to give more time to. And there are technical considerations, too.

One thing which I have been concentrating on during the past few trips to The Fountain is my lighting. Or, rather, how I use the light which is available to me on those evenings. Being a cosy, informal, traditional-style village pub, you can probably guess what it’s like - warm, rustic colours, dark corners created by a certain atmospheric glow… An interior designer might call it ‘mood lighting’.

For me, it presents a challenge, and one which has recently changed in my favour. For so long, I have been making frequent use of a single additional flash (SB-800, sometimes with a ¼ CTO gel attached) simply in order to capture the action. Nice, clean images packed with detail - but hardly what you might call ’atmospheric,’ other than the human element.

Imagine my joy, then, on turning up one evening to see that Keith had begun bringing along an angle poise-style lamp to illuminate his music folder. Sounds tacky and unphotogenic, I know, but in the resulting images, my subjects now have a hugely atmospheric presence, with punchy highlights and deep shadows. Shooting, by necessity, somewhere in the region of ISO 5000 merely compliments this lighting, bringing out the ‘live music’ vibe that we all love so much.

By mixing up the flash and non-flash pictures, it’s clear that the book will now look much more dynamic, much more visually engaging - and ultimately much more pleasing to the eye.

So there you go - things are moving along nicely and an ever-increasing interest in the project is making these final stages of shooting a real pleasure. As a creator of anything, it's always nice to know that you have an eager audience just waiting to get their hands on the final product of your endeavours.

One last thing... Don't forget, the Jam nights are a free-for-all, so you are more than welcome to come along and play some tunes. If this sounds like your sort of thing, why not drop me a line on Twitter or add me on Facebook? As well, you can always check the Thursday Nights Jam page on Facebook, too.

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