My good friend Leoncarlo is finally releasing his first solo album, Still Forms, on June 4th, 2016. He is an amazing musician, and creates beautiful soundscapes with his violin and loop pedal. During rehearsals for the music video we’re working on together, he mentioned needing promotional stills to go along with his press releases.
I set up my studio and created a lighting set-up that would allow for me to capture his portraits with a flash & umbrella, and also capture the movement of his playing with a dim LED backlight and a slow shutter. This first photo was just from testing out the lighting setup.
We did lots of tests where as soon as the flash would go off, Carlo would exaggerate his movements by playing his violin loudly and vigorously. It got exactly the desired effect, though many of the photos also included too much motion blur across his face or violin, which I felt was too distracting.
So then I decided to take the same photo in pieces. This next photo is what just the slow shutter motion blur looked like without the flash.
And below is what the normal portraits looked like using only the flash and a fast shutter speed.
I rotated and flipped some of the motion blur images so that there would be fairly consistent and semi-random light trails throughout the image, and used various opacity filters to combine them with my favorite portrait of Carlo. I used layer masks to remove or lighten the motion blurs in areas where they might appear distracting, which ended up with this final image.
Afterwards we took some additional promo images that were a bit more traditional.
You can learn more about Leoncarlo by visiting his website, leoncarlo.com.