Phil Toledano’s stunning lighting for “A New Kind of Beauty”

August 9, 2010 — 1 Comment
phil toledano's photo lighting of plastic surgery on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of phil toledano on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Philip Toledano

This is a portrait of Steve from Mr. Toledano’s recent series “a new kind of beauty” (profiling people obsessed with plastic surgery). I’m guessing 3 lights were used to capture this haunting and strangely beautiful image.

Camera: Contax 645 with 80mm lens and a Phase One P25 back. On tripod 8 feet from the subject. Shot at 1/125, f11, ISO 100.

Lighting: Key light is a Profoto, white beauty dish with a sock at f8.5 positioned 6 feet camera left. There is no fill light, but a white bounce card has been positioned to the right of the model. A small soft box is boomed directly overhead the model at f5.6 to keep the hair from going black. A head with normal reflector is about 6 feet behind the model and camera right at f8.5 to create the shoulder and neck highlights.

Comments: Phil shot this topless and let Steve keep the towel afterwards. Neko Case and Blind Melon alternated on the iPod.

  • DJ

    If this is the new beauty I want to retreat to a remote glacier where no one like this will ever enter my view.

    As for the lighting, I think the darkness of the eye sockets and the shadows cast by body parts like those absurd manboobs indicates the key light is coming from above and not from a beauty dish to camera left. The overhead soft box is medium sized and perhaps gridded to keep light from spilling behind the odd creature. Fill could be a beauty dish from the position you note, or a soft box. The rim light over the neck and shoulder could also be a gridded strip box positioned high and to the rear at camera right, and the soft hair lighting could be achieved by a strategic angling of the overhead soft box rather than being used expressly as a hair light.