Revised Job Profile: The Tuning Spot

Here is my revised job profile of Stuart Cunningham, the owner of The Tuning Spot.


For this revision, I mainly have lightened the photographs up, eliminated some redundant photographs, and slowed down the pace of Mr. Cunningham’s talking.

Job Profile: The Tuning Spot

I’ve decided to do a job profile on Stuart Cunningham for this assignment because his The Tuning Spot is a Do-It-Yourself auto repair shop. It sounds very cool because it is the first time that I’ve heard this kind of business actually exist. And, in fact, it is the only one in Missouri, according to Mr. Cunningham. In this story, I want to show the unique characteristics of this shop, that this place is from other auto repair shop, and try to establish the relationship between The Tuning Spot, Mr. Cunningham and his customers.

The shooting and interviewing process were pretty smooth. Mr. Cunningham is a really good talker and shares a lot of things with me and gives me 100% access to photograph in his shop. The customers were also nice to me and were willing to let me photograph them and talking to me, too. I was able to get variety of people working on different stuff, and I was particularly fortunate to photograph the same group fixing the same car twice without any arrangement.

The major challenge was the lighting situation in the shop. First, it is not possible to nail the white balance. I will get yellow, green, and red colors from the same setting on my camera and my strobe. This is also the main reason that I chose to make my photographs black and white. The other problem with lighting is that since cars are made out of metal, everything in the frame could reflect back to the camera. I have to test many times before I am sure where I should position my strobe before started shooting. Second, I really wanted to show the bottom part of the carĀ  when somebody was working on their cars from the bottom because I think that’s the side of the car that people do not see often. But I only did an OK job with using a strobe for my first and second attempt. It was a bit hard to manage how to bounce the light, too, because the it is a large space in the shop and it was a bit hard to control how to bounce the light. I brought the infrared remote set with me the third time, and was ready to do multiple flash, but it turned out that I did not use them because I figured that I could handle the situations with my off-camera strobe.

The audio was tougher. I thought it would be really nice to gather natural sound since people are working on their cars and there must be talking and sounds going on. However, I forgot that it will be three or four groups of people working on three or four cars at the same time in the same space, so the natural sound would sound very messy. As a result, it is not a natural-sound-rich story. Also, the interview condition was not very good as well. We could only do the interview in his office, and his office has both the A/C and also a refrigerator…so, even I’ve used wireless microphone and hooked the microphone close to him, there is still the hum noise. I had to minimize that during post production.

The More The Merrier

Raven Wolf C. Felton Jennings II is a travel musician who comes to Lakota Coffee Company in downtown Columbia, Missouri from St. Louis, Missouri to share his music every Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. In this micro documentary, Raven Wolf shares his story of performing on the street, why come to Columbia, and what his theory is.

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