A Quick Update - my back hurts

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I was away with the family last weekend and now I'm in the middle of a multi-day job. I figured that I'd give you an update and let you in on how it's going.

So, yesterday I had the first shooting day of a four day shoot for an advertising campaign I'm working on. I'm shooting musicians on a green screen, which is fun, and I must say that if they're all like the 6 I shot yesterday this whole process is going to be a really nice experience. Everyone, especially the players who flew into NYC for this, were great. That said, I'm exhausted, or rather I was when I got home yesterday about 12 hours after I left in the morning. Standing and talking and shooting for hours on end while trying to keep your attention at 100% is really draining, and I don't like coffee so I don't have that little crutch. Plus my back is screaming at me.  Time to load up on ibuprofen. Better still, later this afternoon I've got to get in a car to drive for 3.5 hours to get to the next location for tomorrow.

I'm shooting tethered with a 1DsIII to a macbook pro, Canon remote software with Lightroom picking up the RAW files automatically as they're dropped onto the hard drive. It takes about 10 seconds for each 22MB RAW image to transfer and show up which is a little annoying, but it's certainly a more instant feedback than film would be and at least you get to see the image on the screen. I've heard that the camera to computer transfer time is much faster on a windows box (which I usually use), something to do with inefficient USB drivers in OSX. I went to go use bootcamp to install vista and try to get that boost, but the DVD drive on the macbook pro won't read half the disks I insert, so I guess I'm stuck on this gig.

I've shot about 100+ images or so of each person. Trying to come up with and capture interesting 'poses' or expresions which will be useful in the post production phase of the process. My big thing is trying to make it a comfortable experience for the subjects because that's how I get a portrait of that person and now just a picture of some guy playing violin. To that end, I like to keep it largely one-on-one, with the clients and other gaggle of agency people and the like not right there watching while I shoot. I'm happy to show them work at intervals, but this is a case of where too many cooks really does spoil things. Makes the subject feel like they're on trial.

After everyone (the client team, art director, me, and anyone else who happens to want to weigh in) is happy with the images from each subject, my assistant copies the RAW onto a couple external drives just in case all hell breaks loose. BTW, I needed a couple drives for the shoot and so went to techserve the other day and picked up a couple 250GB Lacie Little Disk drives for $139 a piece. Not the cheapest for bus powered little drives, but they're bost USB2 and Firewire which we've found is substantially faster for this kind of thing.

Most of them are wearing black, so I'm exposing to the right when I can to try to minimize the amount of noise in the material and shadows, and then pulling back the exposure a half a stop or so in Lightroom. It seems to be working. Unfortunately most of the men are also wearing white shirts which means I've got to be careful not to blow out the highlights on the other end of the spectrum.

That's about it for now, but I'll come back with more tales of the shoot tomorrow. We'll be back to regular posts and programming soon enough.