Monday, 7 February 2011

Guitar Licks & Serendipity

Did a shoot this afternoon with a good friend..... John Parkin. I have know him for years since we were work colleagues 10+ years ago. Now he is my son's guitar teacher. He agreed to help me out with a photo training assignment....
Guitar Licks & Serendipity, originally uploaded by It's life Jim.....

Project 52 - Assignment 4:
"A local entrepreneur has just been nominated by a national conference as the number one leader in his/her industry… a new and upcoming industry. The magazine needs an image that shows the person in either an environment that shows their working area, or how his/her business/industry effects _____ (environment, people, energy, people or technology). Note although the assignment allows for a faux description - this is actually full reality."

This is John Parkin.... a guitar teacher extraordinaire. He is able to connect with pupils and teach them how to play the music THEY want as well as teach them all the building blocks required to be a competent and eventually great guitarist.

He does this by taking the (pupil selected) music track and de-constructing it into all its basic parts and then explaining them all individually, plus demonstrating them. Each of these components is then taught, supplemented by the appropriate scales, arpeggios, exercises etc to build sufficient skill to play that component part well. These are then reconstructed by the pupil and John playing various parts between them.

He teaches my older son & I have sat in the background listening to music tracks that I have heard many times before and hearing them with a completely new perspective, and heard my son's progression to playing the piece correctly.

The scales, arpeggios & exercises all build general competence, plus the student remains motivated because they are playing music that appeals to them. Occasionally John adds additional pieces to broaden the students learning & appreciation.

This deconstruction & reconstruction is an extra skill that is learned throughout this process..... Although my son not currently in a band, when he has, he has been the person using these same skills to work out who should play what and how the music needs to be adapted so that it is within the playing capability of the various players.

So where does the innovation come in.... John is currently in the process of constructing a set of interactive DVDs that someone can follow to gain the same skills and building blocks for their guitar playing.

This was a fun shoot..... I entered it at the last minute as I was struggling to find a suitable entrepreneur. Thank goodness I remembered John & that he was flexible enough to immediately participate.

Spent a couple of hours with him doing various setups of him, 8 of his 16 guitars (some of which are collectors pieces), and the various equipment & speaker stacks.

Had a list of about 4 or 5 different poses that I walked in with, but wasn't sure what would actually be possible with the room constraints. Lighting worked out on the fly for each different setup.

For this particular shot I wanted a visual joke based on the dual meaning of "Guitar Lick"

Strobe illuminating the blank wall behind him making him pretty much a silhouette. The reflection of the wall in his glasses giving his face an extra dimension was serendipity rather than planned.


Project 52-4: Photographing an Entrepreneur (face), originally uploaded by It's life Jim.....
For this particular shot I wanted his face almost full frame with the guitar neck only as context.
Decided to keep the lighting simple with alot of darkness and shadow. Hence only 1 Bowens strobe with a 60deg reflector from beside his face

Project 52-4: Photographing an Entrepreneur (wide), originally uploaded by It's life Jim.....
For this particular shot I wanted him (full body), his guitar and the equipment stacks.
Decided to keep the lighting simple with alot of darkness and shadow. Still only 1 Bowens strobe with a 60deg reflector but with barn doors to restrict the light to just him & part of the stack.

These are the assignment particulars:
Vertical Image
8.5×11 ratio.
Templte provided with text to be overlaid 

You must deliver:
2 photographs, the entrepreneur’s business description (faux, of course) and a paragraph that explains what the entrepreneur has done within their industry. They will both be vertical. One close up in environment, and one in a more expansive shot with more environment. We also would like to see your shoot planning docs, any sketches you are working with or have done for this image, and a lighting explanation.
See below for my images with the text template.....
Final versions, originally uploaded by It's life Jim.....


Jim Shields Photography

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