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Editorial Photography: Darryl McMahon for Boom!


Part 3 of 6

We worked with Darryl on the last day of shooting for this assignment – the first subject of two in that day. I had to switch up assistants on this gig because Dave went and got himself a real job.

My good friend Chris stepped up for this day which was fairly appropriate as Chris is a bit of a tinkerer and workshop guy, and so was Darryl. Darryl’s been building, equipping and upgrading electric vehicles since 1978. A lot of his time now is saving and restoring pieces with modern battery technology, which I’m sure you can imagine has come a long way.

I took a lot of the lighting concepts I had applied to Paige and tweaked them a bit for this much smaller space. We started by booming a 135cm midi octa up and over the tractor, angled slightly to fill in Darryl face and body. The reflectivity of the… reflectors on the garage door helped fill in some of the shadows, and the large size of the octa provided light for the top of the tractor. This was gel’d 1/2CTG & 1/2CTS to give us that warm green that you’d find in a garage. Continuing to detail the tractor, though, I had to add two zoomed in speedlights – both with 1/2 CTG’s and 1/4CTS (I didn’t need the tractor as warm as Darryl) – one spot filled the rear tractor wheel, and the other skimmed the front of the tractor and a bit down the side. Without these two lights the lower half of the frame was essentially black.

Finally, we added a gridded beauty dish with a 1/2CTG & 1/2CTS (removed in post) off to Darryl’s right (in front of the toolbox) to give him contrast and a 1/2 CTG’d strip light placed sideways to evenly light the “work bench” where the actual fluorescent bulb would have lit, except the exposure didn’t provide for that kind of ambient light. There was a speedlight tucked behind him turned way down just to brighten that corner so he wasn’t completely fading into black too.

It was pretty cool talking to a guy who was into electric powered cars before they were considered the norm, and he’s working hard to preserve some of the short, but very viable, history that currently exists. We were also fortunate to have such an interesting environment to work in. I couldn’t have planned for the reflectors bolted into the garage door if I had tried. Check it out bigger on Flickr.

One thought on “Editorial Photography: Darryl McMahon for Boom!

  1. JC says:

    I'm loving this lighting description. It'd be interesting if we could see a wide angle shot, backed up, of the scene with the lights and modifiers.