Matty Powell “Kiss The City” shoot

Today I’d like to talk about a shoot I did back in March 2012, which was to produce images for Matty Powell’s upcoming Album release of “Kiss the City”.

I’ve known Matty as a friend for a few years now, and when he mentioned to me back in 2011 that he was releasing his first album I immediately offered my photographic services.

A moment of thought. Contax 645, Fuji 160S

Together we developed the image concept on paper, picked a date and went for it.

On a cold grey day in March we set out to find the perfect location. It was freezing, I was wearing gloves, and the chunky controls on my huge camera helped me, but Matty and Eugenie had no such luxury.

Looking forward. Ilford Delta 400

My camera of choice was the Contax 645 medium format film camera as I wanted to produce an image that was both vintage and nostalgic. I don’t get to use this camera often, but when I do it always seems to produce the goods.

I used two types of film, Ilford Delta 400 for the black and whites and Fuji Pro 160S 220.

Both rolls I pulled one exposure stop, meaning the Delta 400 was shot as if it was a 200 ASA film, and the Fuji as if it was rated at 80 ASA. This was done in an attempt to open up the shadow areas of the images whilst relying on film’s great latitude to handle the highlights. Unfortunately the weather was very grey on the day, so although the sky made for great soft light, it just wasn’t very bright outside. A lack of light, especially during the second half of the shoot when I switched to the slower colour film, meant that at some points my shutter speed was down to about a 40th of a second. Technically, this is too low to eliminate blur completely for the focal length of lenses I was using, but I think the slightly un-sharp look of the resulting images actually works quite well. I could have brought a tripod/monopod, but I think this would of interrupted the flow of the shoot (and it was too cold to hang around!).

In addition to the cover photo we decided to take a number of portrait shots.

It’s funny, and has been said many times before, but shooting with film seems to give a much higher hit rate compared to digital. When you consider I only took about 48 exposures in total I’m quite pleased with at least 12 shots. I’m sure with the Nikon D700 I would of taken more like 200 in the same situation to get the same result, and I still wouldn’t like the results quite as much. The thought process is just more considered, kind of the opposite to “spray and pray” type shooting

There’s something special about the colours from film:

 

The main image to concentrate on was obviously the front cover. From the shots we took and the format of the CD case Matty decided to wrap the chosen image over front and back…

Eugenie with Matty. Album cover image

The final image chosen symbolises the musician’s journey, and the gap between Matty’s and Eugenie’s hands was planned in order to create a certain visual ambiguity of intention between the couple.

Having written the above, not everything stayed as we planned it. For the inside of the CD cover Matty decided he wanted something a little more personal than just portraits. We went back to the drawing board and came up with a new concept of displaying a number of his personal items laid bare… For this the D700 was dusted off, and the local coffee shop Belljar Cafe was targeted as the perfect location to get just one more image :

Life’s a journey Nikon D700

I really love the way this one came out, and the coffee cup held by his hand added an extra layer of intimacy I felt.

 

Second shoot outtake

 

Here’s a few more portrait images from the first shoot to finish with…

Focus

 

 

 

Thanks to Matty and Eugenie for your patience and enthusiasm despite the cold weather.

Matty Powell’s album “Kiss the City” has now gone live on iTunes here.

To those who’ve read this and want to see him perform live, then where better than at the CD release party? It’s this Saturday the 10th of November, from 5pm at “Revival” on College street here in Toronto. Come along and support local live music!

Thanks for checking this page out, comments at the bottom are most welcome.

Also check out my Facebook page here : Kevin Lloyd Photography

Finally let me unashamedly link you to a video of Marvellous Matty in the studio playing the first track from the album : The Creek

More Matty links :

Website

Facebook page

  1. Matty PowellMatty Powell02-19-2013

    Kevin, it was an absolute pleasure to work with you on this project! Despite the cold and a late show the evening before, with your skills we made a bit of magic happen on that Saturday afternoon. Your professionalism and artistic vision were incredible and I loved how open you were to turning my vision into an absolute reality. It couldn’t have gone any better and the final product shines, the cover exacts the feeling generated through the whole album, not an easy task but you nailed it. Thank you so much, and we’ll see you for the next album shoot! Cheers!

    Matty Powell

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