Archives For kander

nadav kander photo lighting for time magazine on guess the lighting

ted sabarese lighting diagram of nadav kander's morsi shot

copyright, Nadav Kander.

Nadav Kander is one of the most successful advertising and editorial photographers today. What makes his portraiture unique is that he doesn’t have a single photo lighting “look,” but many, actually. He’s consistently trying different setups, pushing himself to remain fresh and relevant. This shot for a recent Time Magazine cover illustrates this point. It’s a standard, tight headshot of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, but the lighting and subtle retouching make it anything but ordinary. Fitting for the “most important man in the Middle East,” right? Nadav achieved this look with 4 lights.

Camera: Medium format, digital, with 100mm lens set on a tripod 6 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 50.

Lighting: The key lighting for this image is perfectly symmetrical. Nadav uses two, small softboxes (with the outer baffle removed to increase specularity) at f13 (+1 1/2 stops). They are placed 3 feet to either side of Morsi’s head and slightly behind it. This placement creates the sharp highlights on his cheeks but also manages to fill the front of his face. It also keeps away any reflection from his glasses. Two white umbrellas at f5.6 (-1 stop) are aimed at the seamless from both the right and left sides to create a flat background. The shadow behind Morsi’s head is added in post.

Comments: A big fan of Hank Williams Sr. (definitely not Jr.), Morsi played a medley of his songs on his oud between shots. His crooning and wailing were pretty spot on, too, with more than one crew member suggesting he tryout for next season’s the Voice.

nadav kander's photo lighting of spike jonze on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of spike jonze on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Nadav Kander

A contemplative Spike Jonze for GQ was created with, I’m guessing, 5 heads. The cool berry/flower/weed design was done in post. But you knew that.

Camera: Hasselblad H4 with 120mm macro lens and 50MP Hassy digital back, hand-held, 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key light is a white beauty dish at f8 boomed high behind the camera and pointed down. Two normal reflectors, both at f5.6, are shot through white, translucent umbrellas 5 feet camera left and right for the fill light. To light the background, one normal reflector at f5.6 was bounced into the white side of a v-flat on both the left and right sides of frame. This allows the background to fall off from true white and match, more closely, Spike’s skin tone.

Comments: To get this visual reaction from Mr. Jonze, Nadav asked him to try to think of ten other famous Spikes while everyone on set just stared in silence and waited for the answer.