Archives For lighting tips

platon's photo lighting for bill clinton esquire on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of bill clinton on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Platon.

This was Clinton’s last official portrait as president, created with 1 light for Esquire. After a session of typically presidential posing was complete, Platon asked Clinton to “show him the love.” The result caused a stir in the political mediasphere. Bob Woodward said on Larry King Live that, “the tie is an arrow pointing to his penis, his legs are splayed to present his crotch to us, his hands are big to grope you, and he’s smiling in a way to say I got away with it.”

Camera: Hasselblad 553ELX with 30mm fisheye lens and Kodak Portra film. Shot at 1/60, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key, and only, light is a small softbox at f8 directly over camera. Although it seems that another light is aimed at the background, I’m guessing this effect was created in post.

Comments: To break the ice, Platon tried teaching the president some cockney rhyming slang. Bill just laughed and said, “you said cockney.”

gavin bond's photo lighting of zach braff on guess the lighting

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of zach braff on guess the lighting

copyright, Gavin Bond.

This cinematic portrayal of Zach Braff atypically kicking ass in a barroom brawl was for the March 2006 issue of Giant. Gavin used 4 lights (and a large imagination) to make it happen.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with 35mm lens, position on a tripod 8 feet back from Zach. Shot at 1/100, f11, ISO 100.

Lighting: Although Gavin uses both HMIs and strobes in his photography, I’m guessing this image was all strobe (if you look closely, you can see hints in the reflections on the back wall and in the TV). The key light is a 72” octabank at f11 positioned 8 feet to camera left and 8 feet high. A medium octabank at f8 1/2 (- .5 stops) with the top third flagged is placed out of frame to camera left, near the man on the bar stool. A standard reflector with a full CT orange gel at f8 1/2 (-.5 stops) is behind the wall, near the cigarette machine, bounced straight into the ceiling. A 7” grid reflector with a 30 degree grid at f16 (+1 stop) and a full CT orange gel is out of frame to camera right, shoulder-height to Zach and nearer to the back wall.

Comments: When Gavin floated this last man standing idea past Zach’s publicist, she was worried it might damage his “nice guy” image. Zach immediately jumped in, saying firmly, “no, we’re doing this, please.” He later apologized for such a dramatic outburst and bought her a Tiffany charm bracelet and a year subscription to an orchid of the month club. Hopefully smoothing things over.

heimo schmidt's photo lighting for myth series on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram for heimo schmidt on guess the lighting

copyright, Heimo Schmidt.

Heimo’s Myths reinterpret the Norse mythology of Icelandic culture and give it a modern sensibility. This meticulously art-directed image was created with 1 light.

Camera: Toyo 45Aii with 150mm lens and Fuji Pro 160s film, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/60, f32, ISO 100 (pulled 1/2 stop).

Lighting: the key light is a white umbrella at f32 set 8 feet to camera right and 10 feet high. A white bounce card provides the fill (f16)  to camera left. The sun is high and behind the barn, providing the subtle hair light on her braid and added definition to the grass.

Comments: To this day, Heimo firmly believes he didn’t upset or offend any of the Norse Gods with this photo project. And that nothing supernatural or otherworldly happened while shooting. But when, immediately after breaking down this shot, a lighting bolt split the barn in two, the sky turned a brownish red and the model’s hair morphed into a pack of spit-spewing, miniature hyenas, some on set felt otherwise.

Simon Harsent's photo lighting of Mr. T on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of Mr. T on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Simon Harsent.

With the Hollywood remake of the A-Team, Mr. T is back in vogue (did he ever really leave?). This typically moody Harsent portrait was created with 2 lights.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with a 24-70mm lens, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: Simon’s portraiture is usually dark and lit with an elegant simplicity. The key light is a medium octabank at f8, eight feet to camera left and 9 feet high. A seven inch gridded reflector with a full CT blue gel at f5.6 (-1 stop) is behind Mr. T to camera right and head level.

Comments: It wasn’t easy to track down T for the shoot as he’s been hiding for years on a remote island with the ability to move itself. And in deference to the current economic conditions, he willingly removed much of his trademark gold and insisted that one of the PAs keep it. As long as she didn’t sell it on eBay.

Saverio Truglia's photo lighting of taped baby on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of taped baby on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Saverio Truglia.

This charming image begs the question, “is it natural light or not?” Though it may seem this shot was lit with sunlight through the window and some tv glow on the recliner, Saverio used 10 strobes to create the effect.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with 35mm lens, set on a tripod 20 feet back from the baby. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key light is a magnum reflector at f8 set, gelled with 1/2 CT orange, outside the window and aimed in through the blinds. This lights the baby and creates the square of light that immediately draws the eye. A standard reflector at f4 1/2 (-1.5 stops), gelled this with 1/2 CT orange, is positioned against the rear wall to camera right, pointing down at the book case. Another standard reflector at f4 1/2 (-1.5 stops), also gelled with 1/2 CT orange, is low out of frame to camera right and aimed at the recliner. A standard reflector at f8 1/2 (+.5 stops), gelled with 1/2 CT orange, is high out of frame to camera left, aimed down at the recliner. A standard reflector at f4 1/2 (-1.5 stops), gelled with 1/2 CT blue, is placed low to camera left and angled up at the recliner to create a glow from the television. A standard reflector at f4 (-2 stops) is bounced into the white side of a v-flat behind the camera to the left, and another to the right. The 3 lamp heads are powered with AC slaves.

Saverio also shot a plate without strobes at a longer exposure so he could composite the lamp’s glow on the ceiling in post.

Comments: The prop stylist brought along a boat-load of different tapes before settling on the hardware store brand duct tape. It was the perfect complimentary color, had a pleasing, medium sheen, held well to the wall and didn’t take off a great deal of the boy’s skin upon removal. win, win, win, win.

Child services was not contacted.

andrew hetherington's photo lighting for moo cow on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of moo cow on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Andrew Hetherington.

This crisply-lit bovine was shot in the village of Cootehall, Ireland when Andrew returned after a 10-year hiatus. It was created with 1 speedlight and a six-pack of room temperature Guinness.

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw with 80mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 160 film, set on a tripod 12 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 160.

Lighting: The key is a speedlight at f8 that Andrew held with his left hand at arms length to camera left. The sky is at f5.6 (-1 stop).

Comments: No matter how much black nectar Andrew offered the cow, she wouldn’t come out from behind the stone fence, apparently quite coy and modest. But once the camera was packed away, she sauntered right over and pounded a few pints with him, gabbing about politics and how Irish grass blows away the Scottish shwag.

On a completely unrelated note, if you haven’t checked out Andrew’s blog What’s the Jackanory?, you’re missing out. Like never having eaten cake.

julie blackmon's photo lighting of girl near stairs on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of julie blackmon on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Julie Blackmon.

Although Julie oftentimes uses digital collage and montage techniques in her imagery, I’m guessing this shot, entitled PC, was created entirely in-camera using 4 lights.

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw with 50mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 400 ASA film, set on a tripod 8 feet back from girl. Shot at 1/60, f11, ISO 400.

Lighting: The key light on the little cherub is a grid reflector with 30 degree grid at f11, positioned 4 feet to camera right. A white umbrella at f2.8 (-4 stops) placed 8 feet to camera right serves as a light fill for the room. A standard reflector at f16 (+1 stop) is behind the wall to camera left, aimed upward at the woman on the stairs. Another standard reflector at f11 is set behind the wall to camera right, aimed toward the staircase. The glowing computer screen was added in post.

Comments: A zealous Mac fan and tough negotiator, Julie’s 3 year-old daughter (she uses family members in most of her photos) initially refused to pose for this shot out of principle. Julie offered up later bedtimes, broccoli-free dinners and an extra hour of TV to no avail. When Julie finally agreed to trade the toy rocking-horse for a Classic American Shetland Pony, her daughter threw on her pretty white dress, hopped in front of the lens, smiled and said, “okay, mommy, let’s make some art.”

*SPOILER ALERT* Don’t read any further if you’d still like to try to guess who the two photographers are. If you have already guessed or have no idea what I’m talking about, read on.

 

terry richardson meat skirt lady gaga

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of terry richardson lady gaga meat skirt on guess the lighting

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of hunger pains on guess the lighting

copyrights, Terry Richardson (left), Ted Sabarese (right)

So there you have it. Terry shot the meat Gaga and I shot the meat skirt with potato skin top. But how?

GAGA: This Japan Vogue cover inspired the Lady’s full-on beef evening gown at the MTV Music Awards. Terry created it with one, on-camera speedlight.

Camera: Nikon D3x with 50mm lens, handheld. Shot at 1/60, f5.6, ISO 100.

Lighting: One on-camera flash. Lots of assistants watching.

Comments: The meat dress was originally more filled out, but Lady Gaga snacked on the mid-section when craft services ran out of Goobers.

MEAT SKIRT: This image from my “Hunger Pains” series is one of five outfits representing a meal that the model was craving. It was created with two lights. And this isn’t a guess.

Camera: Hasselblad H1 with 80mm lens and Leaf Aptus 75 back, set on a tripod 12 feet back.

Lighting: The key light is a gridded, white beauty dish at f11 six feet to camera left and eight feet high. The fill light is a large strip bank at f4 1/2 (-2 1/2 stops) with the bottom half flagged to keep the focus on the model’s face. It’s set six feet to camera right and slightly in front.

Comments: Watch the behind-the-scenes video.

Antoine Verglas' photo lighting of angelina jolie on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of angeline jolie on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Antoine Verglas.

Pre Brad. Pre mother of 37 children. This 2000 portrait of Angelina for British GQ was created with 3 lights. Soft lights.

Camera: Pentax 67 with 90mm lens and Kodak Portra 100 negative film, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/30, f5.6, ISO 100. The image was color, then scanned and converted to b&w.

Lighting: The key light is a large octabank at f5.6 boomed directly over camera and angled slightly downward. The two large soft boxes at f11 (+2 stops) positioned behind the frame with a full silk create the softly glowing, white background and also add the highlights on Angelina’s cheeks and torso.

Comments: Angelina flew herself to the shoot in a Cirrus SR-22 single piston engine aircraft, which she ejected from and let crash into the ocean. While parachuting toward the studio, she changed into wardrobe, applied makeup and curled her hair. She then cut the chute, shattered through an oversized skylight, landed upright, brushed off any stray chards of glass, winked to Antoine and said, “let’s do this bitch, Ant.”

Guess the “meat couture”

September 20, 2010 — 7 Comments

This is a slight departure from the norm, but hey, it’s Monday. Try to guess who shot these two outfits made from fresh, USDA prime cuts of beef. First one to post the correct answers wins total consciousness, on their deathbeds. Which is nice.

And which adornment looks the meatiest of the two? Ready. Go.

We can talk about lighting at a later date.

terry richardson photo lighting for lady gaga on guess the lighting

ted sabarese photo lighting of meat skirt on guess the lighting blog