Scott McDermott lights Clint Eastwood like he’s pencil-sketched

August 19, 2010 — 9 Comments
scott mcdermott's photo lighting of clint eastwood on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of clint eastwood on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of clint eastwood on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Scott McDermott

This hyper-sharp, seemingly pencil-sketched portrait of Clint Eastwood for the recent Mandela Day campaign was created with 4 lights.

Camera: Nikon D3x with 135mm lens, handheld 6 feet back from Clint. Shot at 1/125, f11, ISO 100.

Lighting (Clint): Crisp, punchy lighting like this can only be achieved with bare bulbs and no diffusion. The key light is a grid reflector at f11 with a 40 degree grid, boomed 3 feet above camera and 4 feet from Clint’s head. Overall fill is achieved with an on-camera ring flash at f4 1/2. Two small strip lights at f16 are 5 feet behind him, positioned camera left and right. Two v-flats have been set to focus the light on his head and block any potential lens flare. The strips lend strong highlights to his hair and shoulders.

Lighting (Hand): The lighting for Clint’s hand is nearly identical except that the two strip lights have been replaced with two normal reflectors and aimed at the white background. The key light has been lowered below the hand and pointed slightly upward.

Comments: When Clint arrived at the studio, he asked Scott what he was looking for. Scott said he wanted a combination of Dirty Harry, Bronco Billy and Josey Wales, but without the shooting him in the face part.

  • brec

    nice! you picked another great photo.

  • Thanks. If you have any suggestions for images, please send them along.

  • Guest

    Why are a lot of the photos not showing up? did they make you take them down? Great idea for the blog, btw. Thanks!

  • CreativeJapan

    Worked with Scott on a shoot very recently, great photographer and a really nice guy. I’d say your very close with the lighting guess, not so far off from what we shot.

  • Adam

    I gotta say, the word “CLINT” looked like something else for me…

  • this is a very insightfully post. i like the grittyness on Clint face.

    • some (okay, a lot) of the grittiness is definitely photoshop work.

  • Scott McDermott

    No need to guess anymore. Check it out:

    • scott,
      thanks for taking the time to give the complete, author’s version of this shot’s lighting. it’s truly a striking image. i’m sure everyone will be ecstatic to have the full scoop.