Simon Harsent’s “gentle” lighting of Mr. T

October 4, 2010 — 3 Comments

Simon Harsent's photo lighting of Mr. T on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of Mr. T on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Simon Harsent.

With the Hollywood remake of the A-Team, Mr. T is back in vogue (did he ever really leave?). This typically moody Harsent portrait was created with 2 lights.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with a 24-70mm lens, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: Simon’s portraiture is usually dark and lit with an elegant simplicity. The key light is a medium octabank at f8, eight feet to camera left and 9 feet high. A seven inch gridded reflector with a full CT blue gel at f5.6 (-1 stop) is behind Mr. T to camera right and head level.

Comments: It wasn’t easy to track down T for the shoot as he’s been hiding for years on a remote island with the ability to move itself. And in deference to the current economic conditions, he willingly removed much of his trademark gold and insisted that one of the PAs keep it. As long as she didn’t sell it on eBay.

  • Hey Ted, I’ve met Simon here in Sydney (he splits between NY and Australia) and I can confirm that he shoots with 1Ds. We spoke about some of his portraits and he likes to use this giant octabank (from Elinchrom), sometimes partially covered leaving only one border un-covered to achieve very soft but narrow light, very close to the subject, just outside the frame. I don’t remember exactly if that was the case for this specific one, but looking at the falloff it might be?

    • thanks for the insight, carlo. if i need any other simon info, i’ll come to you.

  • Mr. T

    This is an amazing photo of the former body guard, ex military for the Military Police corps, two-time champion for the Tough Man competition, and ex-bouncer. It captures the baddest man in the world’s inability to age. Excellent image of truth.