Ed Rush and Optical For Future Music
I arrived in a residential area of London on a crisp, but very sunny and pleasant day ready to photographer two Drum and Bass legends. I was looking for the studio that Ed Rush and Optical used to write their ground breaking music. A part of me was a little surprised that I was heading to a house, but another part of me thought it made complete sense. Being a former (and well failed) musician myself, my song writing always took place somewhere that was comfortable and familiar with me. This makes sense, and it makes sense that the writing studio that Ed Rush and Optical used would also be somewhere comfortable and familiar.
When I arrived at the house, which it turns out is Optical’s house, I wasn’t at all surprised to see that the majority of the house was dedicated to their music. The main living room had been converted into the studio where they wrote, composed, and experimented with their music. Throughout the house you would see different keyboards, processors, and mixing boards. Their studio was setup in a fashion that the equipment they used the most was setup and in place. And when they wanted to mix things up (no pun intended) they had the equipment nearby and ready to go. It was truly fascinating walking around and looking at the equipment whilst Ed Rush and Optical were doing their interview. They were big fans of unique and rare pieces of equipment, and this goes a long way to creating the sound and music that they create.
If you are a fan of the creation of music, the thought process behind it, and how to experiment with your writing I highly recommend you go pick up this issue of Future Music (Issue 302). The interview with Ed Rush and Optical is truly fascinating and interesting. With all that said, let’s talk about the shoot itself!
The brief for this shoot was pretty simple. Future Music wanted me to capture as much of the equipment as possible, the workspace that they had, and then some portraits of Ed Rush and Optical in that workspace. While they were doing the interview I wandered around the studio taking pictures of everything I saw. I experimented with different angles and different lighting. It’s not often that I get to photograph pieces of equipment in a space where I don’t want to touch anything! There were so many challenges to this, and I love a challenge. Ed Rush and Optical were doing the interview in the room… so we had them, the interviewer, myself, and all their equipment in one room. This meant that for this part of my photography, setting up lights wasn’t an option… we were already taking up a lot of space! Besides this, I sometimes found myself limited to a specific view of certain equipment…these were all challenges that I love, they push me to thing within the limitations presented to me.
Once the interview was finished I asked everyone to clear out for a minute so that I could capture the studio empty and then I brought Ed Rush and Optical back in to take a few portraits of them in the space. I wanted something very relaxed and I think you will see I captured that in the finished images.
Below are tear sheets from the shoot that Future Music used in the magazine. You can see they used quite a few images, and I decided to post the tear sheets as I feel they look better in use as you get a good sense of how these images fit as editorial.
I loved everything about this shoot. I loved the challenges of limited space, I loved the challenges of working within the constraints presented to me, and I loved working with Ed Rush and Optical. They were amazing nice guys, and very candid. They were honest and open about their writing process and extremely easy to work with.
This shoot was slightly different. I used my Nikon d800e, but because I needed to capture the whole studio in one shot I used my Tamron 16-24 for the studio shot and then my 24-70 for the rest. For the studio and equipment shots everything was using available light. For the portraits I set up one Elinchrom Quadra and shot through a large octobox.