Jill Greenberg’s layered lighting for her “End Times” series

August 10, 2010 — 2 Comments
jill greenberg's photo lighting of crying baby on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of jill greenberg on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Jill Greenberg

Jill’s “end times” series of crying babies is certainly polarizing. You either want to call child services or get down on your knees and bow to her genius. This particular sobbing infant had 8 lights strobing all around her.

Camera: Mamiya RZ with 140mm macro lens and Phase One P25 digital back on tripod 6 feet away. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: There is not exactly any key lighting, but lots of layering, instead. A white beauty dish at f8 is three feet in front of and above the camera. A ring flash at f5.6 is is three feet in front of and below the camera. Two white umbrellas, both at f5.6 are to the left and right of camera. A small soft box without a baffle at f16.5 is boomed overhead of the baby. Two heads with normal reflectors and grids at f16.5 are behind and above the model from both the left and right sides, creating the hair and shoulder highlights. Another head with normal reflector and grid at f11.5 is positioned behind the baby and aimed at the background to create the glow. The lighting gives the basis for this cool effect, but Jill also uses lots of brushwork in Photoshop to accentuate the highlights and shadows and to give some extra smoothing.

Comments: Everyone on set sucked on lollipops while the girl sat in front of the camera. It was so unfair, she cried and reportedly gave Jill the finger.

  • Giselle

    Thanks for doing this! You’ve got a cool site here. Not to mention, your comments are hilariou 🙂

  • Awesome technique, beautiful images.