The Dunwell Brothers

1 dunwells david joe

A football club is playing host to the Dunwell brothers tonight. Tomorrow’s BBC tv performance on the Andrew Marr show has been cancelled, due to the untimely death of Nelson Mandella.

Entering the club, I’m greeted by David Dunwell, whilst his brothers Joe and Matt sound check on the makeshift stage area. There is no PA and no lighting rig. This is strictly stripped back to basics.

After sound check we retreat to the sanctity of the dressing room. In reality a room which is usually used to serve food on match days, complete with a double door serving hatch and overhead strip lights. Fixture lists and posters adorn the walls. It’s not exactly the BBC’s green room or Manchester Apollo’s backstage area resplendent with leather chesterfield sofas. But it’s home for tonight and in ten minutes a makeshift photo studio.

Tables and posters are removed to clear wall space, the all important serving hatch to the left will be used as a light source from the bar. The double doors acting as both reflectors and flags whilst the overhead strip light will create some hair light.

Although shooting Canon I used two Nikon Speed Lights off camera with triggers, everything being set manually after first ensuring the white balance was tweaked on the camera.

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1 dunwells cover

The Dunwell’s needed some clean high key shots which would allow for compositing for PR material.

1 dunwells taylor guitar stock

Shooting headshots to full length against the off white wall, the Dunwell’s proved excellent subjects, taking direction and posing naturally as I worked around them. So much so that in twenty minutes we were done and they had time to relax and prepare before the show.

With the shots downloaded on to the laptop I began working on a composite taking a full length shot, and removing the background. Then opening up a shot of building ruins. Exposure and contrast levels were adjusted on both images along with some dodging and burning after the images were composited together.

1 dunwells blue ruin

The ruins were chosen for the background due to the wall opening to the left which could be said to mirror the light source coming from the serving hatch whilst the roof void opening would similarly create hair light to give a more natural lighting effect. All in all the draft composite took fifteen minutes.


The Dunwell’s Andrew Marr show has been rescheduled for January 19th when they will be performing their new single, “If I could be a king.”

The band will be Stateside in January and February before returning to the UK for a tour in April finishing up at their home town of Leeds on Friday 25th April at the Town Hall.

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