This is the Blog of Swiss Photographer Nicolas Henri

More from the underground (+ video footage!)

A little while back I posted about the promo shoot I did for czech guitar hero Milan Capak. In the meantime we got around to finish post production on the images AND assemble a little behind the scenes video! This also marks the first official NICOLAS HENRI > On Location, a series of making of videos I will be posting from now on. I hope you’ll find them inspiring…

But let’s get back to business first. The briefing of the TC Records Ltd. management was to create an industrial and dark look for Milan. After the creative meetings we agreed on the idea of an iconic fighter, who lives underground and only comes out to play, an enigmatic character if you will. The styling dept. created a sort of uniform all wrapped up with straps of cloth like a mummy. As you’ll see in the video we the washed him down with baby powder to create a dusty and moldy look as if he’d been living down there for ages…

Which brings me the location: An abandoned and drained water cistern, built a century ago. Scouting the place a week before the shoot was a blast. It must be the coolest place I ever shot in. You walk down a small metal staircase into the heart of darkness… the echoes from your steps suggest a large space… until you switch on the light (no, there’s no fluorescents down there or anything - we brought a construction light, 50m extension cord to connect above ground) and this massive space unfolds. Columns and arches, never ending either way you look. Rain water from above runs down the walls, the air humid and freezing cold (in May!).

This is a nice example of what location scouting can do for you. I have made it a habit to scout the places I’m supposed to work in. It’s the first step of the “No Worries - Package”. Obviously you realize it will be dark and you’ll need lights, when your client tells you about a place like that. But when I stood there in the heart of darkness, experienced the vast space, I realized that this was going to be tough to light. In addition to my Elinchrom Ranger, I rented another two Elinchrom 1200 (Ws) RX heads, got extras extension cords, took sample shots at the scout (at ISO 3200!) and used the time before the shoot to come up with a lighting concept - actually a few concepts in case things didn’t work out as planned.

More after the jump!

Posted by nicolas_henri on September 2nd, 2008 :: Filed under Artist Technique, Lighting, Making Of, On Location, Photography, Photogs at work!, Uncategorized, Underground
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