Photo Shoot: The Debonaires

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: June 15, 2010

Category: General

Having just finished recording their latest album, I got to meet up with the guys from ‘The Debonaires‘ this past weekend to shoot their new CD Artwork.

Now, to use one of today’s buzz phrases this shoot was very ‘organic’ as we’d not been able for all manner of reasons to meet up and talk through the shoot beforehand to get an understanding of what it was we were wanting to achieve. All we did know was that at the end of the shoot we had to come away with images that could be used for the front cover of the new CD as well as a booklet inside and a printed image on the CD itself. Drummer and Vocalist Mick Colley had scouted a location for an ‘indoor’ shoot and had also arranged for a Model T Ford, a classic 1950’s style car, to be brought to the location so that it could be incorporated in the outdoor shots.

When it comes to locations, I can honestly say I never would have thought that the Little Chef on the A14 in Kettering, Northampton would be suitable however before going there I found out that it was the very same Little Chef that Chef Heston Blumenthal had ‘re vamped’ and given a whole new look and a whole new menu; a look which incidentally had a decor very similar to that which you would have seen in the 1950’s…perfect!!

So, with the kind permission of the Manager on duty at the time I started taking some shots of the guys around the ‘Restaurant’:

Being very conscious that we had only just been given permission to take photographs inside and that there were paying customers present we didn’t spend too long shooting. We kept everything nice and simple using just available light, sticking to only a couple of areas and resisting the urge to bring in any kind of artificial lighting.

Having spent around 20 minutes or so indoors we then went outside into the Car Park where by this time, the Model T Ford had arrived.

The location wasn’t perfect but then saying that it very rarely is, as we had a steady flow of cars moving around the car park with customers leaving and arriving. Positioning the car and the guys in the ‘ideal’ spot was quite challenging due to the amount of cars in the car park and also it seemed like every spare piece of sky had something in it like a crane or pylon. It was clear that although I like to get my shots composed how I want them ‘in camera’ I was going to have to be a little more flexible on this occasion and go into it knowing that I would have to remove a few objects in Post Production to get the final image.

* For the lighting outside I used my Alien Bee R1600 but as the sun was so strong opted for no modifiers other then a reflector.

* In the next few days I’m going to add a walk though here on the blog to show you the complete editing process and exactly how I went about taking the image from Start to Finish which will include cloning out unwanted objects, adding contrast, and enhancing detail areas.

Meeting up with the guys is always a guaranteed laugh and this time was to be no exception, so a BIG thanks to Mick, Dave, Dave & Trudy for a great afternoon shooting, plenty of belly laughs and a gut busting Little Chef à la Heston Blumenthall ‘All Day Breakfast’ to accompany the debrief 🙂

You Guys Rock!!! (literally)

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14 Comments

  1. David Kelly

    Hi Glyn,

    I thought I recognised the interior shoot as the new style Little Chef as I cast an eye over the images before reading your words. Not the ideal shoot situation wise i.e. lots of customers present but the decor of the place – that American Graffiti style – was definitely an ideal find as a period styled for their music.
    As always good control over the ambient / strobe lighting in the outside shots. Is the titled image on your post going to be the image used in the CD cover? If so what way would you see it being cropped for the square format of the cover? I really love the b/w panel of images too – strong & punchy.

    Looking forward to the usual set-up guide / PP process.

    Regards,

    David

    PS Did you witness the aural ambience in the lavatories? I recall that being most ‘unusual’ when watching the ‘Big Chef takes on Little Chef’ C4 programme

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @David…Yeah this revamped Little Chef is miles apart from the usual roadside ‘diner’ that I’ve been in before whilst churning up the tarmac; the decor, the music, the food…it all works so well. So, with all that and the fact we got permission to shoot inside too has turned me into a fan of the little fella; Not sure Mrs D would be convinced if I suggested taking her there for a meal though 🙂

      I’ve yet to meet up with the guys to find out which image they’re going to be using for their CD front cover. If it was going to be the ‘title’ image then the sky (dead space) above them will be cropped down to form a square from the bottom left or right corner if that makes sense.

      The Post Production walk through I’m putting together will show exactly what we had to contend with, with all the ‘stuff’ in the background and sky so the main focus will be showing how I’ve found to get the best results out of Content Aware Fill etc…

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      ps> Yeah…odd as it may sound…the Lav’s were quite cool 🙂

      Reply
  2. Keith Hammond

    I was hoping you would blog the shoot. The Little Chef certainly does have the 50’s look about it, love the B&W shots, do you use any plug in/pre sets for your B&W conversion or is it a bit of channel mixing. As David said i too was wondering about the cd cover being a square crop, i expect you will be showing us the final cut of images. Another good post showing it doesn’t have to be a complicated set up to get some great images, keeping it simple.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Keith…Great to hear from you mate…how’s things?

      Re my B&W shots I used to do all manner of things in Photoshop and Lightroom but now I do ‘all’ my conversions in Nik Silver Efex Pro; it’s just unbelievably good!

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      ps> Should have the ‘post production’ up on the blog in the next few days 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jürgen

    Hi Glyn,

    love the shoot. Well done on the b/w images. It’s is amazing on what you can achieve by composition and lowering your viewpoint as you did with the outside shot. Keep the great shots coming.

    Cheers
    Jürgen

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Jurgen…Thanks for stopping by and commenting mate; i really appreciate it 🙂
      Yeah I agree, it’s amazing how much can be got out of the same shot just by changing your position and angle cos in the past I, as I’m sure most people have, have been guilty of being glued to one spot.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  4. kelley

    Fantastic shoot! I really love the inside shots and the lighting in the place was perfect. I really like that you made them Black and Whites! NICE.

    Well done, as usual!

    Kelley

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Kelley…Thanks for the kind words as always 🙂 Being a fan of B&W it just had to be done, plus it’s more fitting for the era if you know what I mean 🙂

      Best wishes to you,
      Glyn

      Reply
  5. Rick Wenner

    Love that last shot of the guys and the Ford. That’s actually one of my favorite cars right there. So honestly, you could have put a vacuum in front of it and I would have probably still liked the image. 😉 Seriously though, great shots Glyn. Looking forward to the behind-the-scenes post.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Rick…Thanks for stopping by and commenting mate 🙂
      Funny you should say that about the car. I’d never given them a thought before this shoot but now, well it’s a different story…I want one! Mind you I think you’d have the better weather for getting more use out of it than I would 🙂

      Cheers for the kind words; I really appreciate it.

      Reply
  6. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    Again you demonstrate how to turn the mundane into something great. I love these little insights as they are great inspiration for working with what is present.

    Looking at the ‘hanging out’ shot and the large car park shot – is that the same location with a new sky and backdrop?

    Really looking forward to seeing the post processing tutorial – will you also include a lighting diagram for the car park shot?

    Dave

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Thanks for the comments mate; it’s great to hear that you find the posts useful.

      The hanging out shot was exactly that; just chilling out in a different area of the car park waiting for the sun to go behind some clouds. The actual photos were taken to the left of that location where the sky was available in the background.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      ps> Yeah I’ll be sure to show the lighting diagram in the post production article too.

      Reply
  7. Rick Wenner

    There are TONS of amazingly beautiful classics out there that will be just fine in your weather. Ever hear of a “Rat Rod”? Look it up. Doesn’t matter what kind of weather those are in. 🙂

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Rick…Tempting…very tempting 🙂

      Reply

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