The final phase of the photo shoot for The Ark Studios, the audio recording facility, coincided with the arrival of a new custom-made amplifier/equalizer from Germany. The first part of this now concluded shoot was unexpectedly short and quick.
I spent an entire day photographing both interior and equipment setup in this impressive audio recording facility in TTDI exactly a week ago. And I’m certainly glad to be able to complete this after 5 months since the first visit.
I started off with some flash-balanced shot at the recording room located at the rear of the studio.
I then moved on to the recording room located at the main area of the studio. This majestic room in all its glory commanded respect and awe, with its large and clean interior, coupled with the sound-proofing fittings at the ceiling above.
Here’s the special custom-made amplifier/equalizer from Germany (those two consoles with the blue lights located on the left of the control panel).
Here’s a close-up look at it.
A different angle but a closer view of the same equipment (as with the previous 2 shots) is actually a composite image of two images shot separately. One image was taken with flash (bounced into the ceiling to camera right) to provide a directional lighting that sculpt the object, thereby giving it a punchier shape and colour (complete with highlights and fills at the right places),
…while a second image was shot ambient-only, to burn in the console lights; especially the captivating blue lights and the LCD screen’s content. Of course, the tripod was locked down securely.
Upon closer inspection, one can see the above ambient-only shot having two unsightly shadows cast at the control knobs in different directions, as a result of two small-source downlights on the ceiling. The flash-lit main picture resulting in only one shadow would thus kill these confusing tell-tale signs of multiple small light sources.
Both of the above images were then aligned in Photoshop and processed to reveal the best exposure of the two images as seen below.
All the above interior and equipment setup shot were photographed at between 0.5 sec – 5 sec, at f/8 – f/11 with an ISO of 100-160.
As part of Project Wind Dance, I wrapped up the session with some pictures of Nick Lee, the owner of The Ark Studios. I first photographed him at a condo parking lot as the “Underground Guitarist“, playing the electric guitar. I thought, a similar but simple shot of him at his very own office/studio would help lend a good promotional image of his creative business, thereby fueling the “whenever, wherever” motto of the fluidity of music.
This was an ambient-only grab of the scene, at 1/20 sec (on tripod, to burn in the LCD screen and console lights), f/5, ISO 320 (helped gave my speed lights / monoblocs more oomph and faster recycle time), using a focal length of 24mm.
I then added a CTO’d key light (580EXII speed light) on a beauty dish boomed in just to camera right. I aimed the boom’s beam right over the couch, where Nick would be sitting later.
Two ungelled monoblocs helped filled the right frame of the scene; one to camera right bounced into the ceiling, and another located outside the room to light up the recording space.
I then added the last and fourth monobloc (wish I could have more to light up the panel under the table, and the speaker stand to the right), gridded with a barn door, aimed towards the back of the wall. This helped lift up the two speaker stands from the shadows, and the specular highlight provided a background separating “cushion” upon which Nick could rest his head.
Once I’m done setting up (which took quite awhile, running back and forth adjusting the power ratio, since I was working alone), I brought Nick in to just fill in the blank spaces.
Here’s the behind-the-scenes look at the lighting setup for the above 3 shots.