The Mechanic

The Mechanic

f/4, 1/125, ISO-100, 25mm

This young man and his father build motorcycles. Lots of them. It was an obvious choice to include this theme in his senior portrait session, but not quite so obvious to me at first how to go about capturing it. The workspace was tight and there was no direct light into the room. A dim florescent light hung from the ceiling but was not going to provide the drama the image needed. It served nicely as a highlight though. I put a 5″ snoot on a Speedlite at about the same elevation as his earlobe and directed it slightly to the right of his face. That served both to not over-expose his face and to provide highlights to his prized motorcycle and the wheel behind him.

In post-processing, I converted the image to black and white and elevated the contrast through several means, being very careful to not make his features too chiseled, while providing a “hardness” to the tools and engine around him. I added a significant amount of grain to the image to add to the feel of grittiness. I wanted to evoke a working garage, not a squeaky-clean senior.

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