SXSW Special: The Bird Call Cover Shoot & Song of the Day

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Waltz in the Snow

DOWNLOAD: Waltz in the Snow

SXSW starts this week, and Bird Call is heading down to Austin to play a whole mess of dates, so I figured that since the festival has morphed from being just a week-long Indie music show into a multi-media-mega-extravaganza, today’s post would mimic that sentiment by including music, photos and yet another these stop-action jpeg movies I find myself playing with when I got nothin’ else to do.

A few months back, we were out at the Brooklyn World Headquarters of Bird Call Music and mindful of the low-budget, Indie-Music, keep-it-simple aspect to the shoot, we turned a very tiny white room into a photo studio for Chiara Angelicola’s new record, using nothing but four do-it-yourself lights and a bit of ingenuity.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes of what we did and some of the resulting final images…

We started with nothing but some sheer drapes covering a sunlit window and a piano dropped in front of it…

…in a very small room (thank God for wide-angle lenses!). We added a couple of my DIY ‘Ghetto-Flo’ florescent strip lights as backlight skims, but decided to use no front light at all, just overexposed the living daylights outta the thing to let the background blow out and see where that took us…

Not bad at all, even if GiGi looks kinda bored…

Chiara getting beautified…

…and standing in…

Some last minute touch-ups…Lovin’ the Horns!

And away we go…

The final resulting images…..

Next, we pulled out the piano and added a couple of front lights…

…and Chiara jumped around in a cool stripy dress with a pork-pie hat!

Which I was able to turn into this cool multiple…

In the end, GiGi was impressed…


12 thoughts on “SXSW Special: The Bird Call Cover Shoot & Song of the Day

  1. Those look awesome. What are the lights you’re using, they’re super industrial looking.

    They’re my Ghetto-Flo, Home Depot specials. Crazy easy to make. First, you buy this…

    and then this…

    And for a cool grid, pick up some of these in silver…

    Add some 5500K tubes, and in about 15 minutes you’ve got a killer continuous light source for about 50 bucks.

  2. Great – but the Beatles song ‘Honey Pie’ makes me want to drive around and steal hub caps or gas caps…go figure!

    Nah…that was ‘Bungalow Bill’…..BT

  3. Brilliant stuff Brad! To be able to walk into such a small room and come out with such a fantastic result is just brilliant! Wonderful imagination. Bravo

  4. Real cool idea. Like the lights. But how is the WB mixing these lights with sunlight/shade? Did you a specific setting or manually configure at the time of the shoot, or in post? Thanks

    I use 5500K tubes, so the sun/florescent balance is not a problem. The times where I use these things in office situations that have warmer ambient light, I can pop in 3200 tubes for a better mix, or just wrap the lights with correction gels. BT

  5. Brad, what do you use to embed your mp3 files? I want to start a blog featuring obscure and awesome songs but most hosting sites at least warn that I can’t upload copyrighted material. Love these shots and thanks!

    I upload all of my files…mp3’s and image files…directly onto my WordPress account. There are no ‘warnings’ and I don’t post anything that infringes on anyone’s rights. I get 98% of the audio files I post either directly from the artists or their labels. The typical music files that get posted are the ones that the artist will pre-release to get a bit of buzz going about an upcoming album, so everybody is happy if the end result is that it will help get more listeners. BT

  6. Thanks, Brad! I’ve set up a blog now over at WordPress so I’ll be sure to send you the link when it’s up!

  7. Awesome photoshoot! Terrific, creative, lovely photography, model-talent-singer, makeup and hair… everything. Well done!

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