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mario testino's photo lighting of giselle bundchen on guess the lighting

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of giselle bundchen on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Mario Testino

I guess I’ll stick with Gisele for another moment and guess how Mario lit this seemingly sun-soaked image for the Pirelli calendar with 3 lights. I’ll even throw in my thoughts on how he lit maid arranging the flowers.

Camera: Pentax 67 ii with 100mm lens and Kodak Portra 400vc film, on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/30, f5.6, ISO 400.

Lighting: The room is obviously getting a decent amount of sunlight from the large, open window in the back left (subsequently, that’s the only light illuminating our diligent maid), but that’s not what’s making Gisele pop so strongly from the dark background. The key light is a small, white umbrella at f5.6 four feet to camera left, waist-high to Gisele. Mario covered the bulb with a Rosco pale yellow gel to add a sunny, Rio de Janeiro glow, indoors. A normal reflector with grid at f11 is positioned behind and to camera left of the model, adding a nice glow to her hair and highlights on her outside torso and leg. Another normal reflector with grid at f11 sits behind, low and to camera right of Gisele, creating the highlight on her left leg.

Comments: This shot was originally scheduled outside on a vintage, wooden, Chris-Craft triple-cockpit speedboat. Unfortunately, Mario came down with the whooping cough and was laid up for a couple days. This is his hotel room where he rolled out of bed for the shot. Gisele isn’t intentionally covering her breast, but wiping off the remnants of a Mario sneeze.