Archives For animal

tim flach's photo lighting of dog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of tim flach's dog

copyright, Tim Flach.

If you’re familiar with Tim Flach’s work, you know there aren’t many people out there who photograph animals better than he does. It’s not that he merely captures his subjects with excellent lighting. He also creates a unique environment for them – whether they be horses, chimps, bats or, in this case, dogs – and brings a painterly quality and rich, storied texture. As someone not easily enamored with animal portraiture (I’m not much of a William Wegman fan, for instance), I find Tim’s work beautiful and compelling.

This image of a Springer Spaniel chasing pheasants was included in his 2010 Dogs book. It was taken on the Elveden Estate in Norfolk, England which is huge, hunting mecca teaming with pheasants just waiting to be shot at. The book is definitely worthy of a perusal, if not an outright purchase. There are tons of fun pics of all kinds of dog breeds here, many of which I’ve never even seen before. Tim nailed this shot with 3 lights on an overcast day. I am happy to say no animals were injured in the filming and no fog machine was necessary.

Camera: Medium format, digital, with 100mm lens. Set on a tripod 13 feet back from ferns. Shot at 1/800, f11, ISO 200.

Lighting: Tim has positioned two lights to act as the keys for this shot. One large softbox at f16 (+1 stop) is set high, 15 feet to camera left and a foot behind the dog. Another large softbox at f11 is positioned similarly 15 feet to camera left just in front of the ferns. These two lights ensured the foreground would be covered regardless of where the dog ran or the birds flew. A third large softbox at f8 (-1 stop) is high and directly behind the camera, acting as fill. The incredibly overcast daylight measures f5.6 (-2 stops) and allows for the moody, gloomy background.

Comments: Tim waited hours in a cold, wet, camouflaged duck blind to get this shot. The hired Spaniel – a lifer hunting dog with an impeccable pheasant kill ratio – was noticeably displeased when, after executing a textbook flush from the brush, Tim shot the game birds with a Hasselblad H4D-40 instead of a Browning Auto 5 Light 12-Guage.

 

Well now isn’t this cool? Yesterday, Andrew Hetherington posted the actual lighting for his cow portrait on What’s the Jackanory?. And I wasn’t all that far off. Here’s the scoop with Andrew’s edits (not a bad drawing, either):

As promised after Guess the Lighting had a go at my Moo Cow set up here’s the full reveal. Ted wasn’t too far off

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw 553elx with waist level finder 80mm 50mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 160 film, set on a tripod hand held 12 feet back. Shot at 1/125 1/60 f8, ISO 160100.

Lighting: The key is a speedlight Q Flash at f8 that Andrew held with his left hand at arms length had on a stand 6ft high and triggered with a pocket wizard 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.

It was a bit early for the black nectar, more like time for the full Irish breakfast. The photo was taken about 7.30am on a hazy August morning with the sun rising behind my left shoulder. The sky behind the cow was heavy with fog which burnt away a couple of minutes after I took the shot.

As Guess the Lighting progresses, I hope to get more and more artists replying with their actual lighting setups. Thanks, Andrew.

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.

andrew zuckerman's photo lighting of creature on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of creature on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Andrew Zuckerman

One of the many shots compiled for Zuckerman’s book Creature, this quite gorgeous and graphically-framed image of a Bald Eagle was created with 4 lights.

Camera: Hasselblad H1 with 120mm macro lens and Leaf Aptus 75 digital back, set on a tripod 6 feet back from the bird. Shot at 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200.

Lighting: Andrew’s goal is to make the bird look as “natural” as possible, so the light is crisp, but flat. A large octabank at f5.6 without any baffle is boomed over the camera and 3 feet toward the bird. A silver beauty dish at f5.6 is boomed below the camera and 3 feet toward the bird. Two large strip banks at f8 are camera left and right of the bird, and 5 feet behind it, to light the white backdrop evenly.

Comments: The eagle nearly walked (flew) off the set when an assistant inadvertently filled its water bowl with Evian instead of the Volvic water that had been stipulated in the contract. Andrew’s peace offering of an adult field mouse was accepted and the shoot proceeded without a hitch.