Loretta Lux’s lighting of this child drummer who scares the crap out of me

August 27, 2010 — 6 Comments
loretta lux's photo lighting of drummer on guess the lighting blog

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

copyright, Loretta Lux

Part of her haunting and surreal Works IV, The Drummer (although overall very flat) was made with 6 lights. Sometimes you need a lot of light to make it appear that you don’t.

Camera: Nikon D2X with 50mm lens, set on tripod 8 feet from child. Shot at 1/60, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: Since Loretta’s goal is to create an uber-flat image, no key lighting exists. All of the lights are used to flatten the child’s skin tones, while leaving a hint of shadow (under his chin). 2 white umbrellas at f5.6 1/2 are six feet to both camera right and left, and 4 feet above the boy’s head. 2 normal reflectors on a light tree at f4 1/2 are bounced into the white side of a v-flat behind camera, just to the right. Another 2, with the exact setup, are just to the left. This helps to fill most of the shadow.

Comments: For lunch, the caterer served fish sticks, chicken strips, carrot strips, apple strips and ketchup. The boy had been beating like a maniac on the drum, but stopped abruptly, here, when Loretta told him her real name is

  • http://john-godwin.co.uk John Godwin

    This is one of the spookiest shots I’ve ever seen. Amazing use of flat light, it hasn’t washed out the depth at all.

    • http://GuessTheLighting.com/ Ted Sabarese

      Check out where the background meets the table. Almost seems like there isn’t enough room for the boy to be standing, right?

      • http://john-godwin.co.uk John Godwin

        Wow, I hadn’t even noticed that. Its as if the table, boy and wall are all on the same plain. This shot gets more impressive the longer I look at it. Well done Loretta.

  • http://john-godwin.co.uk John Godwin

    Sorry, forgot to add. This is an excellent idea for a blog, hope you find time to keep it going. I’d love to see some of the famous product photographers shots broken down; their use of multiple light sources is amazing.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, this kind of thing has been long overdue!

    • http://GuessTheLighting.com/ Ted Sabarese

      Thanks, John. Keep the comments coming.

  • http://GuessTheLighting.com/ Ted Sabarese

    Check out where the background meets the table. Almost seems like there isn’t enough room for the boy to be standing, right?