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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.