Learning to play the accordion is hard. Way too many buttons. Exponentially more buttons than on a guitar. Lighting it is a bit easier. Read on...
If you've read my manifesto, then you know that the main reason I'm undertaking this project is to keep myself engaged in a creative photographic life, and to push myself to keep learning. I wasn't sure if I'd be writing little blurbs, or describing the setup for each picture, but the way I learned what I do know is through certain other photographers' willingness to share their knowledge with the world. And so I feel obliged to follow in their massive footsteps with my own paltry dribble. For some of you, the lighting info is something you couldn't care less about, and eventually, I won't be doing a 'lit' photo everyday, so that won't always be a part of the daily post. But you photogs that might be stopping by (most of you I know by name and face already) may find that information interesting, and perhaps even learn something new, or at least be inspired to build on what you see and blow me out of the water with your own work (trust me, it's easy). And then there may be some of you that are just starting out, and wondering just what in the bloody fark a 'snoot' or 'Pocketwizard' is (and the mind could come up with a few options for those).
"Damn, she snooted all over my pocketwizard!"
Well, I won't be telling you what those things are, but if you want to learn, go to this website: Strobist.com. Everything I have learned about off-camera lighting started there. Find 'Lighting 101' and begin, if you're game. The Strobist, a.k.a. David Hobby, must be one of the most generous people in the photographic world, because he began sharing all his considerable knowledge, gleaned from years of photojournalism, on his site long before the blog got so huge he could make a living off it. He single-handedly began a revolution of technical knowledge-sharing among photographers, in a world where most professional photogs were secretive and always hid their techniques in an effort to beat the competition. Me and this blog are just children of that revolution, pimples on the ass of a global strobist community that is continually learning from itself and growing. Thanks for stopping by the Pimple, and please don't forget about us once you start reading Strobist.com.
Tonight's Strobist info: Three lights. One, directly above main keyboard, with a very tight homemade grid. Two, camera right and behind accordion, in a tight snoot, aimed at the other side of the accordion. Last speedlight is directly behind the accordion and gelled deep red, firing right back at the instrument. Couldn't quite get that light to do what I wanted (rim the bottom edge of the bellows) without it lighting up the room around the accordion and killing the dramatic feel. In the end I had to crush the blacks pretty hard in Photoshop to kill the details that were still visible in the non-lit areas, which were getting lit as all those photons bounced around off my walls and ceiling.