Richard Avedon’s 1969 lighting for Willem de Kooning

November 2, 2010 — 6 Comments

richard avedon's photo lighting of dekooning on guess the lighting blog

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

copyright, Richard Avedon.

This portrait of de Kooning taken in 1969 is a prelude to Richard’s American West series. Though it may seem it was taken in the studio, it was actually snapped outdoors in natural light. White paper is taped to the side of a house for the backdrop.

Camera: Deardorff 8×10 with 360mm Schneider lens and Kodak Tri-X 400 film, set on a tripod 8 feet back from the model. Shot at 1/125, f64, ISO 200 (pulled 1 stop).

Lighting: The key light is non-direct sunlight. Richard taped his backdrop to the north side of a house.

Comments: Richard and Willem had been playing an intense game of high stakes lawn darts (while drinking numerous Pimm’s cocktails). The loser had to pose for the other artist. In this image, Willem is slightly upset because Richard wouldn’t go double or nothing.

  • Cmykspace

    didn’t pull rather pushed…developed in hc-110 for about 20 min.

  • Bezistena

    Shot at 1/125, f64 ISO 200…. in the shadow?! 

  • Johnvdonadeo

    how did he shoot f/64 in the shadow is right without having the image completely black where did you get your info from i am trying to understand the f stop he uses in the american west work but f/64 seems to be way to large of an fstop meaning the opening of the hole would not let enough light in when taken in the shade

    • Bklynweez

      I agree, unless pushed 10 stops.

  • ChristopherOng

    Tri-X sheet film is rated at 320, not 400.

  • RSiemens1

    ISO200, in full sun would give you something like 1/250 sec @ f/16.  How would you pull off f/64 with indirect sun?  I suspect you meant f/6.6.