Portraits: Underoath, The Cool Tour

While they were out on The Cool Tour with As I Lay Dying, Blessthefall, Cancer Bats, and others, I met up with metalcore heroes  Underoath for a portrait session before the gig.

For this editorial shoot, we did two quick looks: one setup with the bright afternoon sun on their backs for a natural rimlight, and then setup in the shade for a slightly darker feel.

Following the shoot with As I Lay Dying, Underoath were the second portrait session of the day. I'd photographed the guys in late 2008, when I was first starting to do band portraits, so I was eager to get another shot at Underoath.

Like so many of these editorial shoots, this portrait with the band was setup and executed on a tight timeline. Total shooting time between both looks was about 15 minutes.

Camera Gear Used:

Lighting Gear Used:

For this shoot, I relied mainly on the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight, my go-to speedlight for location work like this. The SB-900 is bright enough to shoot between f/8 and f/11 with modifier for a group like this, and with the Nikon SD-9 battery packs on my three SB-900s, the recycle times are fast, even at full power.

The key light in both these shots is my 18-Inch Beauty Dish. This light was used on a monopod that was boomed over the band. I triggered the key light via a Nikon SC-28 Remote TTL Sync Cord, which freed me up to use all three of my SB-900s as off-camera flashes while still getting the benefit of on-the-fly adjustment via CLS on the commander.

In addition, I used two 45-inch Photek umbrellas on either side of the band, which provided a little simple edge lighting to help create a little pop from the background. However, in addition the bringing in light from the sides to light the edges of the guys, the umbrellas also provide some nice, directional fill as well. For these sidelights, I used one Nikon SB-900 Speedlight and one Nikon SB-600 fired into each umbrella. I ganged up these lights and shot at lower power, rather than using just one SB-900 and blasting away at 1/1.

For those curious about the ambient lighting conditions, here's an exposure showing the scene with no flash:

As you can see, the ambient light isn't really contributing to the overall exposure except for providing the barest amount of fill on the guys, and even then pretty much all the light on them is being blasted away with flash.

End Notes:

Big thanks to the guys of Underoath for being super easy to shoot and work with. In case you missed it, you can check out photos from the band's performance on The Cool Tour here:

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