At the end of June The Thin Air gave me a great assignment to photograph Joseph Mount of Metronomy. I'm a big fan of theirs and photographed them live on the main stage at Longitude last year. They do that thing for me that LCD Soundsystem used to do every time I'd see them live, they'd make me giddy with happiness. I don't know what it is but it's a rare thing for me to get at every show by one band, even with those who are my absolute favourites.
Joe was in Dublin for the bones of a day to promote the release of their new album, Summer 08, jetting in early that morning for a day of interviews before taking off again that night for more promo in Paris. We had a half hour slot with him, meeting up in the Dean Hotel in Dublin city centre. Myself and my Thin Air colleague, Eoghain, agreed to split it as 20 minutes interview, 10 minutes photoshoot. This gave me quite a tight slot, especially when I did not know what I had to work with, where would be best to do the shoot in the location or how busy it would be with people, given the time of day it was happening.
At the venue I decided upon using the smoking area on the ground floor as it had fairy lights on one wall, a tiny bit of natural light and a fireplace with multi-coloured glass and fire logs behind it. The door to the smoking area is so close to the bar that you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for a staff door, which was to my advantage as it was empty inside, save for a guy on a video conference call on his laptop that left minutes before the shoot.
I tested the natural light with my camera and tried my pocket wizards with the flash, using Warner's very helpful rep as a stand in model, to see how it looked in the room. Ideally I would have brought a bigger set up (tripod & a soft-box for better portrait lighting) but I sacrificed bringing too much for fear of over complicating things within the time constraints. To get the natural light in the room I had to use a higher ISO than I would have preferred, combined with a slower shutter speed.