Dimitri Daniloff lights the gritty birth of an adult male for PS2

December 13, 2012 — 11 Comments

dimitri daniloff photo lighting of ps2 ad on guess the lighting

ted sabarese lighting diagram of dimitri daniloff ps2 ad

copyright, Dimitri Daniloff.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of Dimitri Daniloff’s imagination. His volume of work goes from cool to shocking to what the #$@*? It’s highly stylized, highly conceptual and usually with quite a bit of compositing and post work. Which makes sense since his college schooling consisted of mathematics and science, instead of photography and art.

This image entitled “Rebirth” for Sony’s launch of its PS2 game station won lots of critical acclaim, as well as the Cannes Grand Prix for Advertising. I’m going out on a limb and guessing the man’s head and shoulders were not shot in-camera. The lighting is achieved with a mixture of HMI and strobe lighting that Einstein, himself, would be proud of. If Einstein were in to photography. Dimitri used six lights in total.

Camera: Medium format, digital, with 80mm lens set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f16, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key light is a 6K HMI fresnel shot through a 6×6 silk at f16. The light is positioned high and 10 feet to camera right. Let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and pretend the man’s head could be where it is. A gridded, silver beauty dish at f22 (+1 stop) is high, just to camera right, and aimed down toward his newborn face, with a more specular feel than the rest of the lighting. Dimitri has a ring flash on his camera at f8 (-2 stops) for subtle fill and a nice layering of light. Another 6K HMI fresnel shot through a 6×6 silk at f18 (+ 1/2 stop) is set 12 feet to camera left and slightly behind the mother. This gives her just a touch of rim/high light on her arm and neck. Two standard reflectors in white umbrellas at f22( +1 stop) are aimed at the background, blowing it out just a touch.

Comments:¬†Coincidentally, the “mother” model’s sister was actually giving birth to a baby-sized boy at the exact moment Dimitri was shooting. The sister’s husband was stationed overseas, so she was alone in the delivery room. The third assistant rigged a cell phone (set to speaker) to an autopole and dangled it just out of frame. The model was able to yell “push, Chloe, push” as the entire set was privy to some of the most unbelievable cussing¬†imaginable. A trucker, delivering supplies to the studio, hadn’t even heard a few of those peaches, before.

  • Photographer Durango CO


  • benji

    looks like a briese light on the top left in the backround.

    • admin

      very possible. what makes you think so?

    • very possible. what makes you think so?

  • matt

    what is it that makes you guess continuous lighting over strobe?

    • i definitely think it’s a combo. i’m guessing there are some HMIs because there is a pretty fill light that leads me to believe that.

  • Looks like they never bothered making the “mother” look pregnant, though I guess realism is not the goal here…

    • nope. it looks more like this dude is popping out of a runway model.

  • ShelikestheD

    I thought it was pretty sexy

  • Thomas Karanikas

    Very nice idea and hard enough to be delivered…