Mert & Marcus’ fashionably moody lighting of Diane Kruger

November 30, 2010 — 5 Comments

mert & marcus' photo lighting interview mag for guess the lighting

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram diane kruger on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Mert & Marcus.

This shot from the September 2009 issue of Interview Magazine mixes the provocative fashion of Eyes Wide Shut with German military regalia. Like only M&M can do. It was created with 4 lights.

*Special thanks to Alex MacPherson for the suggestion.

Camera: Hasselblad 553 ELX with Phase One P45 digital back and 80mm lens, handheld 10 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: Since this image relies more on shadow than light, the key is actually a silver umbrella at f16 (+2 stops) to camera left of Diane and slightly behind her. A large Octabank at f2.8 1/2 (-2.5 stops) behind camera serves as overall fill. Two small strip lights, both at f8, are behind Diane to the left and right. These are aimed down at the floor and provide some separation from the rear wall.

Comments: Fresh off the Inglourious Basterds set as Bridget von Hammersmark, Diane was constantly pressed for some good Tarantino gossip. She wouldn’t tell anyone about Quentin’s love life or if they got together while shooting, but she did finally find out what was in that briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Apparently after drinking one too many black russians, Quentin confessed that the golden glow wasn’t Marcellus’ soul or anything deep like that; but, an Oscar statue he assumed he’d win later that year.

  • Massierick

    Looks pretty good. But how do you explain the narrow highlight surrounding the model on the background? Looks like there might be a small tightly-gridded light hidden behind her feet maybe?

    • you may be right. though m&m do a TON of retouching in most of their work, so i was chalking up the model’s glow to photoshop.

      • The glow behind the model definitely looks like dodging and burning in PS to me. It’s exactly where it would be if you just brushed it over lightly in photoshop, and it would be very hard and unlikely to project that exact silhouette with real light. And besides, how are you going to hide a light behind a model this skinny?

  • I know the blog is not called “second-guess the lighting”, but I think I would light this with just the big fill and the key to the left. I don’t really see any evidence of the two strips. The subtle but important edge light on the right side of the model’s legs looks to me like a tall white or silver reflector, like a V-panel just out of frame camera right and slightly behind. Also, the key seems quite tall, like a rectangular softbox maybe. …but that’s just my guess!

  • Madeline Northway

    I’m a student and the only lighting equipment I have right now is one b800 strobe, one 35″ softbox, one umbrella, and one 20″ reflector.

    do you have any suggestions for creating a sophisticated fashion portrait with the materials that I have?