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Kate Upton on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover for guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese lighting diagram of kate upton on sports illustrated swimsuit cover

copyright, Walter Iooss.

Over the years, Walter Iooss (pronounced “yose”) has captured just about every famous sports photograph to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated. His volume of work borders on the ridiculous. Check his website. Then pick your jaw up off the floor. And since bikini-donning is most definitely sport, it makes sense that SI tapped him (once again) to shoot this year’s models. Kate Upton did not break into swimsuit modeling through the normal channels. She posted a youtube video with her doing the “dougie” and over 4 million views later, she squeezed into what may be called a bikini for SI’s cover shot. God bless the internet. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Walter lit this with no lights other than the hot, Australian sun.

Camera: Nikon D3x with 70-200mm lens, handheld from 14 feet back. Shot at 1/400, f11, ISO 100.

Lighting: Since it was early in the morning, Walter positioned Kate with the relatively low sun to camera right. An assistant held a 6×6 silk to help diffuse the hard light. At least twenty three stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists and random Sports illustrated employees are just out of frame to camera left.

Comments: After this shot was finished and the team was setting up the next one, a mature, female Great White was spotted just offshore. Kate’s natural instincts kicked in when she noticed a teenage boogie boarder unaware of the danger. She picked up a nearby shark harpoon and flung it at the White. She missed, but the teen did paddle in to safety to see why the “bikini hottie” (his words) was “getting all agro on such a chill morning.”