Nick Knight goes GaGa (again) for i-D Magazine

October 11, 2011 — 5 Comments

Nick Knight's photo lighting of Lady Gaga on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of lady gaga for guess the lighting blog

Nick Knight multi-camera setup

copyright, Nick Knight.

Nick Knight may be fashion photography’s Andy Warhol. He pushes his work conceptually, technically and stylistically. Usually in a $3000 suit. This outtake from i-D Magazine’s 30th birthday cover shoot with Lady Gaga, though, lands on the tamer side of Nick-ness. Straightforward black and white. Yet still quite beautiful in its simplicity. This image of the Lady (and two lucky photo assistants) was created with three strobes.

That’s a bonus shot of Mr. Knight with one of his crazy camera setups (not used here). The man’s a dashing, mad genius.

Camera: Hasselblad H2 with 100mm lens and Phase One p65+ back, set on tripod 10 feet back. Shot at 1/250, f8, ISO 50.

Lighting: It’s not easy keeping up with Gaga’s on-camera antics, so Nick shot at 1/250 and had an assistant hand-hold a head to even have a chance. The key light is a Magnum reflector at f8 1/2 (+ 1/2 stops) held by the assistant at head height, six feet to camera right. Two large softboxes to the right and left of the white seamless at f5.6 (-1 stop) light the background.

Comments: This particular day, the lovely Lady was feeling feline. Specifically, like a Norwegian Forest Cat since this breed followed the Vikings around the world on their ships. “I could totally see myself kicking ass with the Vikings,” she told Nick “but as a cat. I would be the cat no other cat would want to ever meet. Unless they had a death wish. I’d take all of their nine lives in one vicious wave of my paw, cut of their ears as a prize and mark my territory before leaving. Yeah, I’m totally a Norwegian Forest Cat today, Nick.”

  • Thomas

    one of the “lucky photo assistants” went on from this unpaid internship propping up Lady Gaga to become Nicola Formichetti, Creative Director of Thierry Mugler, a role in which he, erm, props up Lady Gaga. 

    …perhaps I could start a parallel blog to yours called “Guess the Subject” 🙂

    Love the site, by the way – I got worried during your brief hiatus!

    • wow. thanks for all the info. and thanks for following GTL.

  • Please explain the multiple camera set up or give a link to where I can read about. I am also interested why he uses Hasselblad and PhaseOne, but SLRs (a row of Canons it appears).

    Now that I have some time and I’ve rediscovered this site, I want to go through as many of your posts as I can, esp since I have an umbrella to use now.

  • Boybaby05

    As mentioned below, the person next to Lady Gaga is Nicola Formichetti, not a photo assistant, however, the long time fashion stylist who is the creative vision behind many of Lady Gaga’s outfits.

  • bernhard augl

    this is a modified magnum reflector for broncolor pulso heads. in the case you are aware to that can you explain how this modifying has been done?