David LaChapelle lights Lady Gaga like nobody’s business

August 12, 2010 — 3 Comments
david lachapelle's photo lighting of lady gaga on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of lady gaga on guess the lighting blog

copyright, David LaChapelle

Lady Gaga covered in bubbles shot for the cover of Rolling Stone. Very pink, very LaChapelle and created with 7 light sources.

Camera: Mamiya AFD3 with 80mm lens and Phase One P65+ digital back, hand-held, ten feet back. Shot at 1/60, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The somewhat flat, frontal light is created with a large soft box at f8 five feet directly above camera and angled down. A medium strip bank at f5.6 resting on the the floor in front of the camera and angled up provides the fill. Two, bare Kino bulbs are staggered to the Lady’s immediate left and another two to her right. A magnum reflector with diffusion at f16.5 is positioned low in the doorway pointing toward her back (this creates the glowing hair and bubbles and adds some nice, softening lens flare).

Comments: Unsure whether Lady Gaga would enjoy or loathe listening to her own music while shooting, La Chapelle made the smart decision to hire a bagpiper from bagpiper.com. He played all the traditional favorites. The floating bubbles were hand-blown by two non-smoking assistants. After the shoot, Lady Gaga left the studio wearing the bubble outfit (she wanted to show her book club) where she was, ironically, photographed by a pack of paparazzo.

  • Very nice, but very expensive type of lighting.

  • you can have the same affect with different lighting if the photographer or filmmaker is crafty.

  • Cannedpears

    FALSE!!!!  I was the on the shoot.  It was lit with a gridded beauty dish at f/8 almost directly above camera, a medium strip on the ground for fill and you’re correct about the light in the rear although you missed the pink gel covering it.  There was a large softbox but it was behind the camera and crew and only offered some fill.