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aorta's photo lighting for 125 magazine on guess the lighting blog

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

copyright, Aorta

This cinematic and heroic image for the cover 125 magazine was created with 5 lights. FYI, Aorta is Swedish duo Marco Grizelj and Kristian Krän.

Camera: Hasselbad H2 with 80mm lens and Phase One P30+ digital back, set on a tripod twelve feet back. Shot at 1/125, f11, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key light is a silver beauty dish at f11, seven feet to camera left and angled down. Another silver beauty dish (for fill, if you can call it that here) at f8 is set seven feet to camera right and angled down. A 30 degree grid reflector at f11 is positioned behind the door out of frame to the left. This creates the punchy light on the kneeling woman’s face and arm. An Elinchrom spot reflector at f11 positioned outside the glass doors shoots in. A normal reflector at f16 is boomed high above the main model and slightly behind her and to camera right. This gives the strong highlights on her hair.

Comments: Team Aorta likes to give the talent intricate back stories to help shape the cinematic tenor of the image. For this shot, our hero woman’s husband smashed one of her favorite Norman Rockwell collector plates when she told him he couldn’t participate in fantasy football. She’s deciding between keying his cherry red 1967 Mercedes 250SL or divorce. Her mother, on the floor, is relieved because she had accidentally chipped the plate earlier this month and glued it back together. Now she will not be caught and disinvited from any future Thanksgiving dinners.

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.

david lachapelle's photo lighting of lady gaga on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of lady gaga on guess the lighting blog

copyright, David LaChapelle

Lady Gaga covered in bubbles shot for the cover of Rolling Stone. Very pink, very LaChapelle and created with 7 light sources.

Camera: Mamiya AFD3 with 80mm lens and Phase One P65+ digital back, hand-held, ten feet back. Shot at 1/60, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The somewhat flat, frontal light is created with a large soft box at f8 five feet directly above camera and angled down. A medium strip bank at f5.6 resting on the the floor in front of the camera and angled up provides the fill. Two, bare Kino bulbs are staggered to the Lady’s immediate left and another two to her right. A magnum reflector with diffusion at f16.5 is positioned low in the doorway pointing toward her back (this creates the glowing hair and bubbles and adds some nice, softening lens flare).

Comments: Unsure whether Lady Gaga would enjoy or loathe listening to her own music while shooting, La Chapelle made the smart decision to hire a bagpiper from He played all the traditional favorites. The floating bubbles were hand-blown by two non-smoking assistants. After the shoot, Lady Gaga left the studio wearing the bubble outfit (she wanted to show her book club) where she was, ironically, photographed by a pack of paparazzo.