Dylan Leeder is a photographer that enjoys focusing on the interesting traits and unique characteristics of the people he photographs.
Although no stranger to shooting in studio, it is more common for him to take his craft into the world of his subject. This can make for a more intriguing story and, in some cases, reduce the potential headache of relocating his subjects to an ‘ideal’ Location.
With Dylan’s shooting style it’s important to have reliable and versatile equipment as last minute changes or unexpected hurdles can be very common. He appreciates quality gear as it helps maintain the creative relationship with his subjects, rather than creating distractions from inconsistencies or potentially not providing the demanding requirements of environmental Shooting.
In my eyes riding a motorcycle instantly makes you cool – that carefree, confidence you see ripping on just two wheels is just so captivating. Knowing this, I always thought it would be interesting to photograph a small catalogue of these people and their rides to get a glimpse of who these people are and what relationship they may have to their bike.
Luckily I live around the corner from Town Moto and with a bit of research I found out that they had an upcoming rally, Mods & Rockers, where Ossington would be lined for blocks with motorcycles and rad people. Perfect.
I knew I wanted to give this a studio look as the best way to highlight the bikes and owners would be to separate them from any distracting backgrounds. I wanted to give the viewers nothing else to look at other than the relation between the bikes and their owners – to give a clean look at what visually makes these people so captivating.
Creating a studio in an alleyway wasn’t an easy task – we had to deal with wind, traffic, long hours, and a constantly changing environment. Thanks to the wonderful people over at Album Studios and broncolor Canada I was able to get ahold of the broncolor Move packs and a few heads – honestly, these things are a godsend in regards to portable lighting.
Each image was lit with the Para 88 as my key light and one head, with the accompanying reflector (that also acts as the protective cap!) for fill. Depending on the subject I would typically just have to adjust my fill by a fraction through my assistant or through the RFS unit on my camera.
Once we had everything up and running the most difficult part was getting the word out and convincing people to lose their parking spot on the street and joining us in the alley way. But, luckily, once word started spreading we were able to photograph 25 different people with their bike!
Once the shoot was wrapped the only task left was digitally removing all the tire marks on the seamless. No matter what we tried the high traffic of each bike in and out of set made for some pretty brutal marks on our seamless.
Honestly, I can’t get over how awesome it was to have these flashes on set. Each pop was so consistent in terms of light output and colour temperature (making a lot less work in post) and once the sun had set the 200w LED modelling lights made it possible light the set and keep my momentum up to hit the 25 person goal.
Overall the shoot was a great success. We were able to get enough subjects through the set and the gear was perfect to help create that studio look in the alley way.
Big thanks to Kevin Bryan for the assistance and to Elie Dahdouh for the helping hand and behind the scenes photos.
For more info and about Dylan and his work, please visit: www.dylanleeder.com