Tim Flach lights “Equus,” his award-winning tribute to horses

August 25, 2010 — Leave a comment
tim flach's photo lighting for equus on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of equus on guess the lighting blog


copyright, Tim Flach

This award-winning image from Tim’s tribute to horses, Equus, was made with 2 lights and the sun.

Camera: Hasselblad H1 with 100mm lens and Hassy CF-39 digital back, resting on a tripod 12 feet from the horse. Shot at 1/60, f.5.6, ISO 200.

Lighting: The key light is a medium softbox at f8 with a grid and no baffle, positioned high, slightly behind and six feet to camera left of the horse. This keeps the light specular and focused on the horse’s face and neck. Another gridded, medium softbox at f2.8 is set four feet to camera right, filling the image so it doesn’t lose any texture. The sun outside the window at f.4 neutrally lights the desert. The cumulative effect directs our eye right to the horse’s.

Comments: Tim hired a real-life horse whisper who was advertised as even better than Robert Redford in the movie. Most of the day he did, in fact, use words to keep the chestnut calm on set. But for this particular expression, he decided a red-hot, branding iron would be more motivating.