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This project was initially conceived for a music video for the amazing performance art/rock band: The Viennagram.

For one of the scenes I wanted a space-like background, however, I wanted to do it in camera with lighting as opposed to on the green screen. Initially we thought that projection/rear or front would be a good place to start.

After trying the projection idea, we realized that the contrast of the projector and additional ambient light wasn’t giving us the darker mood we desired.

Our solution was to take one of my rolls of Savage Black Seamless Paper and poke hundreds of holes in it and back light the paper.

Initially I used Paul C Buffs Einsteins to light the entire scene. However I thought that by mixing light sources we could add an interesting depth to the image. I ultimately lit the background paper for the shot with Scott Peloquin with the Accordian with 2 Paul C Buff Einsteins a 200 and 1000 watt Mole Victor and 2 Photodiox LED Light Pannels.

I then used a smoke machine on the background and dragged the shutter while using another Einstein with a tungsten gelled beauty dish and 30* grid for this particular shot.

To add the last bit of depth to the image, I took a little stage spotlight which was a cooler balance and bounced it to the front of the subject and the background.

Overall the background (specifically at a wider aperture) resembles a convincing space-themed backdrop where the blown-out areas almost resemble distant solar systems and the cool blues are like clusters of space dust.

Ultimately, the black paper background with holes poked out have transitioned nicely into my background pack and works really well for abstract fashion and artist press photos.

I also used the same modified black background for a photo shoot with the recording R&B band Metal Roze.

space themed black backgroundPhotographer: Dana Tarr | Models: Metal Roze


For this image I pulled the band a bit further off of the background giving the illusion that the stars are part of a more distant galaxy and left out the spot light and disco ball up front while leaving both tungsten and daylight balance fixtures to light the background from behind. I feel as though by mixing a warm and neutral colored light in the background really helped balance the warm skin tones and gold jewelry.

Lots of fun!

Dana Tarr

Dana Tarr is an emerging fashion/celebrity photographer currently based out of Boston/Providence. A graduate of The New England School of Photography in historic Kenmore Square, Dana is known for his intricate group photographs and use of color and light. From Lakeville/(Freetown) Massachusetts, Dana owes infinite gratitude to his tight circle of friends, dubbed the “Freevillains” for their amazing creative superpowers and the never ending lack of support and inspiration. His work has been featured in PDN, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Respect Magazine, UV Vodka, Vibe, Complex Magazine, Boulder Magazine, Billionaire Boys Club, Roc Nation, Def Jam/Island Records, Mad Decent Records with artists like Drake, Macklemore, T.I, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj, Mally Mall, Clinton Sparks, Ludacris, Adam Lambert, Ke$ha, Paper Diamond, Trey Songz, and Emily Osment. When Dana isn't making photographs he enjoys hanging out in his studio with his studio mates, THE VIENNAGRAM, traveling, going to shows, reading, camping, and spending time with his two and a half year old twin daughters Vaela Willow and Kaliya Violet.

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