David Drebin’s highly cinematic lighting in his “Room with a View” series

October 13, 2010 — 7 Comments

david drebin's photo lighting in room with a view on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of david drebin on guess the lighting blog

copyright, David Drebin.

This striking and filmic still is from David’s book Room with a View (inspired from the eponymous Conde Nast Traveler column). It was taken in the NY Standard Hotel, 12th floor, and created with 2 lights.

Camera: Canon 5d Mark II with a 28mm lens, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key light is a white beauty dish with grid at f8 1/2 positioned high and out of frame to camera left (up against the window). Another white beauty dish with grid at f4 is placed high and out of frame to camera right (also up against the window and aimed almost straight down). The background is a separate plate shot without strobes at 1/2 second, f8 then composited together in photoshop.

Comments: The model received special “hazard” pay because this was shot while the Standard was still under construction. The glass window panes had not been installed yet. The casting specs for this project read, “blond, around 30, not afraid of heights. And preferably without suicidal tendencies.”

  • Marq

    Ted, are your Camera and Comments sections also guesses, or based on fact? Well, perhaps not the comments 🙂

    • everything here is a guess, but that being said, they’re very “educated” guesses. the comments are 99.9% true 🙂

  • Jan

    For someone with such a highly skilled set of eyes I thought you would’ve noticed the reflection in the window 😉

    perhaps it was for the best, her shoulders tell me she really was suicidal at the time of the shoot

    • ahh, you busted me, jan.

      wait, what are her shoulders telling you exactly?

  • N Chker

    hey i dont think that he used a 1/250 because stripes lived by the cars on the right side of the shot

    • correct. like i said, the background is a separate plate shot at 1/2 second.

  • I’d be interested in trying this with one shot, with the glass in. Use speedlights and rear-curtain sync to pull in the outdoor light, and a polarizing filter to deal with the reflection?