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Sorry for this interruption in your regularly scheduled lighting guessing. And for the shameless plug. But thanks to everyone was kind/gracious/fantastic enough to send pics of their pooches, I’m able to announce the launch of my latest guessing undertaking:

guess the pooch blog logo by ted sabarese

Guess the Pooch

It’s similar to this blog except it has absolutely nothing to do with lighting. I take fan-submitted pics of their lovable pooches and attempt to guess which doggies got together to create the mutt in question. I then create a brand new breed of dog (which will never be sanctioned by the American Kennel Club) and sketch it with the inglorious lack of detail you’ve come to expect.

I’ll only be guessing on pooches submitted by you, so please send some pics if you’d like me take a stab at guessing their lineage. It’s way cheaper than a DNA test, though most likely less correct.

Here are some examples of the newly developed breeds and corresponding drawings for you to peruse.

a new breed of dog on guess the pooch

a new breed of dog from guess the pooch

The new blog is just a wee baby but will grow like any puppy. With plenty of furniture chewing, sock eating and carpet wetting.

Okay, now back to light guessing. Promise.

Thanks for your continued support,

*UPDATE: 12/23/12

Thanks to everyone who has been sending in pics of their lovable pooches. Please remember to let me know their names and who shot the photos so I can give proper photo credit. Keep ’em coming, they’re fantastic! I’ll have an update shortly where you can see them. 

Thanks again,

Hey everyone. I have a request that may seem a bit strange. If any of you dog lovers out there have a cool photo of your mutt, I’d love for you to send it my way. I’m working on a new “guessing” project where i postulate which dogs got together to create the mutt in question. There may even be mediocre sketches of the aforementioned breeding moment. Complete with the inglorious lack of detail some of you find endearing.

If guessed upon, your dog will be slightly world-famous and you’ll know the mix without paying for expensive doggy DNA tests 🙂

A minimum of 900 pixels on the longest side would be great. Snapshots are perfect. You can email them here.

Back to photo lighting guessing now. Thanks for your continued support.


Guess the Pooch dog


Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

Hey all. Sorry I’ve been away for a couple of weeks now. Hurricane Sandy, though not physically affecting my home or studio, caused quite a bit of devastation and problems in the NYC area. It’s incredibly sad how much damage was done. Needless to say, it’s been a hectic couple of weeks and today is my first day back in the studio.

I’m working on a guess as we speak and should have it up either today or Monday at the latest. It’s a pretty amazing shot from children photographer Achim Lippoth.

Also, Art Streiber wrote in with photo lighting feedback on my guess from his North by Northwest shoot with Seth Rogen. You can see his full comments here. The behind the scenes image below was taken by Art’s assistant Elaine Browne.

art streiber behind the scenes on guess the lighting

I look forward to getting back to some more guessing.


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100 most influential photographers

copyright, Professional Photographer Magazine.

I’m a sucker for a list. Especially one that comments on the most influential photographers of all time. You can see the full PP list here. I’d love to hear what you think. Any glaring omissions? People too high or low? I’d also be willing to guess lighting on any of these photographers (many of whom are already on the pages of GTL), so if you have a fave or two, send them my way.


Well it’s finally done. As most things involving the interweb, the transfer from Tumbler to WordPress took longer than expected. But it’s finished and, I believe, working properly. There’s a ton more functionality. From all the new goodies in the sidebar to being able to enlarge the images to being able to quickly share posts, I believe (and hope) you’ll find the move for the better.

Please peruse, fiddle and give an all-around look-see. I’d love to hear what you think. And if you see any problems, please pass those along, too.

Now I can get back to the guessing (finally). Tomorrow, look for my take one of Art Streiber’s shots. But tonight, I drink beer.

More updates on the way

September 5, 2012 — 14 Comments

It’s been a long time. A long, long time, fellow lighting guessers.

I could give you some excuses. Like:

  • I broke my drawing hand and it took 8 months to heal
  • I gave up the blog when I started guessing for a photography magazine
  • The economy
  • After seeing my drawing of her Sports Illustrated cover shot, Kate Upton whisked me away to a private island to create a daily photo library of her in bikinis two sizes too small
  • My internet was down
  • A Murder, She Wrote / Angela Lansbury addiction

All of which would be prevarications.

The truth is, well, I’m not exactly sure why. I have been busy with some things, for sure. But that’s an excuse, too.

Lots of fans have written with wonderfully-kind things to say. Some have even pleaded for me to continue on. They’ve even offered to help out and draw. The response to my absence was unexpected, to say the least. All of that kindness has convinced me to get back into the proverbial saddle (powered by Wacom) and do what I do best. Guess lighting. And draw in a mediocre fashion.

I won’t post daily, but I’ll try to post at least once or twice a week. Starting tomorrow.

See you there.


professional photographer magazine heidi klum on guess the lighting blog

One thing that’s happened during my hiatus is pretty cool. After many emails and a couple phone conversations, the editors at Professional Photographer Magazine in the UK have asked me to contribute monthly. Starting in this February’s issue, I’ll have a new GTL page in print with completely exclusive content (sorry, you won’t find those guesses here). Pretty exciting stuff.

If you’d like to subscribe to Professional Photographer (which is a top photo mag even before adding GTL), you can do it here.

Special thanks to editor Grant Scott for reaching out and giving me such a super opportunity. He also has a photography blog with thoughts, observations and tales from the world of professional photography: Dreams, Themes and Photography Schemes.


ted sabarese photo lighting diagram sorry illustration on guess the lighting

GTL, will you ever forgive me? I brought you into this world and cared for you tenderly. Then suddenly dropped off and left you to fend for yourself. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right.

But I’m back.

Actually, it wasn’t that I had lost any love for GTL. Or was caught in mountain cave. Or had gone on a sixty day computer fast. It’s more of a good news/bad news thing. The good news is that i’ve been busy. Very busy. I recently wrapped up shooting an international photo library for a group of big brands. And I’ve been plugging away on a personal photo project. The bad news is that I’ve barely had time to open mail, get a haircut and, least of all, blog.

Since things have calmed some and I’ve caught up with those neglected day-to-day tasks, I’m ready to saddle up and get my guess back on.

Thanks so much to everyone who wrote in with support and pleads to not abandon GTL. I’m happy this material makes you happy.

Now back to my Wacom.