Archives For portrait

gavin bond's photo lighting of zach braff on guess the lighting

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of zach braff on guess the lighting

copyright, Gavin Bond.

This cinematic portrayal of Zach Braff atypically kicking ass in a barroom brawl was for the March 2006 issue of Giant. Gavin used 4 lights (and a large imagination) to make it happen.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with 35mm lens, position on a tripod 8 feet back from Zach. Shot at 1/100, f11, ISO 100.

Lighting: Although Gavin uses both HMIs and strobes in his photography, I’m guessing this image was all strobe (if you look closely, you can see hints in the reflections on the back wall and in the TV). The key light is a 72” octabank at f11 positioned 8 feet to camera left and 8 feet high. A medium octabank at f8 1/2 (- .5 stops) with the top third flagged is placed out of frame to camera left, near the man on the bar stool. A standard reflector with a full CT orange gel at f8 1/2 (-.5 stops) is behind the wall, near the cigarette machine, bounced straight into the ceiling. A 7” grid reflector with a 30 degree grid at f16 (+1 stop) and a full CT orange gel is out of frame to camera right, shoulder-height to Zach and nearer to the back wall.

Comments: When Gavin floated this last man standing idea past Zach’s publicist, she was worried it might damage his “nice guy” image. Zach immediately jumped in, saying firmly, “no, we’re doing this, please.” He later apologized for such a dramatic outburst and bought her a Tiffany charm bracelet and a year subscription to an orchid of the month club. Hopefully smoothing things over.

heimo schmidt's photo lighting for myth series on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram for heimo schmidt on guess the lighting

copyright, Heimo Schmidt.

Heimo’s Myths reinterpret the Norse mythology of Icelandic culture and give it a modern sensibility. This meticulously art-directed image was created with 1 light.

Camera: Toyo 45Aii with 150mm lens and Fuji Pro 160s film, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/60, f32, ISO 100 (pulled 1/2 stop).

Lighting: the key light is a white umbrella at f32 set 8 feet to camera right and 10 feet high. A white bounce card provides the fill (f16)  to camera left. The sun is high and behind the barn, providing the subtle hair light on her braid and added definition to the grass.

Comments: To this day, Heimo firmly believes he didn’t upset or offend any of the Norse Gods with this photo project. And that nothing supernatural or otherworldly happened while shooting. But when, immediately after breaking down this shot, a lighting bolt split the barn in two, the sky turned a brownish red and the model’s hair morphed into a pack of spit-spewing, miniature hyenas, some on set felt otherwise.

Simon Harsent's photo lighting of Mr. T on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of Mr. T on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Simon Harsent.

With the Hollywood remake of the A-Team, Mr. T is back in vogue (did he ever really leave?). This typically moody Harsent portrait was created with 2 lights.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with a 24-70mm lens, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: Simon’s portraiture is usually dark and lit with an elegant simplicity. The key light is a medium octabank at f8, eight feet to camera left and 9 feet high. A seven inch gridded reflector with a full CT blue gel at f5.6 (-1 stop) is behind Mr. T to camera right and head level.

Comments: It wasn’t easy to track down T for the shoot as he’s been hiding for years on a remote island with the ability to move itself. And in deference to the current economic conditions, he willingly removed much of his trademark gold and insisted that one of the PAs keep it. As long as she didn’t sell it on eBay.

Saverio Truglia's photo lighting of taped baby on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of taped baby on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Saverio Truglia.

This charming image begs the question, “is it natural light or not?” Though it may seem this shot was lit with sunlight through the window and some tv glow on the recliner, Saverio used 10 strobes to create the effect.

Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II with 35mm lens, set on a tripod 20 feet back from the baby. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 100.

Lighting: The key light is a magnum reflector at f8 set, gelled with 1/2 CT orange, outside the window and aimed in through the blinds. This lights the baby and creates the square of light that immediately draws the eye. A standard reflector at f4 1/2 (-1.5 stops), gelled this with 1/2 CT orange, is positioned against the rear wall to camera right, pointing down at the book case. Another standard reflector at f4 1/2 (-1.5 stops), also gelled with 1/2 CT orange, is low out of frame to camera right and aimed at the recliner. A standard reflector at f8 1/2 (+.5 stops), gelled with 1/2 CT orange, is high out of frame to camera left, aimed down at the recliner. A standard reflector at f4 1/2 (-1.5 stops), gelled with 1/2 CT blue, is placed low to camera left and angled up at the recliner to create a glow from the television. A standard reflector at f4 (-2 stops) is bounced into the white side of a v-flat behind the camera to the left, and another to the right. The 3 lamp heads are powered with AC slaves.

Saverio also shot a plate without strobes at a longer exposure so he could composite the lamp’s glow on the ceiling in post.

Comments: The prop stylist brought along a boat-load of different tapes before settling on the hardware store brand duct tape. It was the perfect complimentary color, had a pleasing, medium sheen, held well to the wall and didn’t take off a great deal of the boy’s skin upon removal. win, win, win, win.

Child services was not contacted.

Well now isn’t this cool? Yesterday, Andrew Hetherington posted the actual lighting for his cow portrait on What’s the Jackanory?. And I wasn’t all that far off. Here’s the scoop with Andrew’s edits (not a bad drawing, either):

As promised after Guess the Lighting had a go at my Moo Cow set up here’s the full reveal. Ted wasn’t too far off

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw 553elx with waist level finder 80mm 50mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 160 film, set on a tripod hand held 12 feet back. Shot at 1/125 1/60 f8, ISO 160100.

Lighting: The key is a speedlight Q Flash at f8 that Andrew held with his left hand at arms length had on a stand 6ft high and triggered with a pocket wizard to camera left. The sky is at f5.6 (-1 stop).

Comments: No matter how much black nectar Andrew offered the cow, she wouldn’t come out from behind the stone fence, apparently quite coy and modest. But once the camera was packed away, she sauntered right over and pounded a few pints with him, gabbing about politics and how Irish grass blows away the Scottish shwag.

It was a bit early for the black nectar, more like time for the full Irish breakfast. The photo was taken about 7.30am on a hazy August morning with the sun rising behind my left shoulder. The sky behind the cow was heavy with fog which burnt away a couple of minutes after I took the shot.

As Guess the Lighting progresses, I hope to get more and more artists replying with their actual lighting setups. Thanks, Andrew.

andrew hetherington's photo lighting for moo cow on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of moo cow on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Andrew Hetherington.

This crisply-lit bovine was shot in the village of Cootehall, Ireland when Andrew returned after a 10-year hiatus. It was created with 1 speedlight and a six-pack of room temperature Guinness.

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw with 80mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 160 film, set on a tripod 12 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f8, ISO 160.

Lighting: The key is a speedlight at f8 that Andrew held with his left hand at arms length to camera left. The sky is at f5.6 (-1 stop).

Comments: No matter how much black nectar Andrew offered the cow, she wouldn’t come out from behind the stone fence, apparently quite coy and modest. But once the camera was packed away, she sauntered right over and pounded a few pints with him, gabbing about politics and how Irish grass blows away the Scottish shwag.

On a completely unrelated note, if you haven’t checked out Andrew’s blog What’s the Jackanory?, you’re missing out. Like never having eaten cake.

julie blackmon's photo lighting of girl near stairs on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of julie blackmon on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Julie Blackmon.

Although Julie oftentimes uses digital collage and montage techniques in her imagery, I’m guessing this shot, entitled PC, was created entirely in-camera using 4 lights.

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw with 50mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 400 ASA film, set on a tripod 8 feet back from girl. Shot at 1/60, f11, ISO 400.

Lighting: The key light on the little cherub is a grid reflector with 30 degree grid at f11, positioned 4 feet to camera right. A white umbrella at f2.8 (-4 stops) placed 8 feet to camera right serves as a light fill for the room. A standard reflector at f16 (+1 stop) is behind the wall to camera left, aimed upward at the woman on the stairs. Another standard reflector at f11 is set behind the wall to camera right, aimed toward the staircase. The glowing computer screen was added in post.

Comments: A zealous Mac fan and tough negotiator, Julie’s 3 year-old daughter (she uses family members in most of her photos) initially refused to pose for this shot out of principle. Julie offered up later bedtimes, broccoli-free dinners and an extra hour of TV to no avail. When Julie finally agreed to trade the toy rocking-horse for a Classic American Shetland Pony, her daughter threw on her pretty white dress, hopped in front of the lens, smiled and said, “okay, mommy, let’s make some art.”

Antoine Verglas' photo lighting of angelina jolie on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of angeline jolie on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Antoine Verglas.

Pre Brad. Pre mother of 37 children. This 2000 portrait of Angelina for British GQ was created with 3 lights. Soft lights.

Camera: Pentax 67 with 90mm lens and Kodak Portra 100 negative film, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/30, f5.6, ISO 100. The image was color, then scanned and converted to b&w.

Lighting: The key light is a large octabank at f5.6 boomed directly over camera and angled slightly downward. The two large soft boxes at f11 (+2 stops) positioned behind the frame with a full silk create the softly glowing, white background and also add the highlights on Angelina’s cheeks and torso.

Comments: Angelina flew herself to the shoot in a Cirrus SR-22 single piston engine aircraft, which she ejected from and let crash into the ocean. While parachuting toward the studio, she changed into wardrobe, applied makeup and curled her hair. She then cut the chute, shattered through an oversized skylight, landed upright, brushed off any stray chards of glass, winked to Antoine and said, “let’s do this bitch, Ant.”

howard schatz's photo lighting for boxer on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of howard schatz on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Howard Schatz.

This stunning, hyper-dramatic image from Howard’s 2009 “boxer study” has won quite a few awards and garnered slabs of recognition. Though much of the effect was created in-camera using 6 lights, there is a good deal of retouching happening here, too.

Camera: Hasselblad H2 with Leaf Aptus 75 digital back and 80mm lens, set on tripod six feet back. Shot at 1/125, f11, ISO 50.

Lighting: The key light is a medium strip bank at f22 (+2 stops) boomed slightly in front of, and above, the boxer, angled down. Another medium strip bank at f22 (+2 stops) is positioned low and directly in front of him, angled up. This gives the glow on his lower forearms, shorts and gloves. A small strip bank at f22 (+2 stops) is set low, four feet to camera left and behind him, angled up. Another small strip at f22 (+2 stops) is set similarly to camera right. A standard reflector at f22 (+2 stops) is up high four feet to camera left and four feet behind the boxer. Another standard reflector at f22 (+2 stops) is placed identically to camera right.

This setup created a good base of dramatic, powerful lighting, but was tweaked heavily in post production – blowing out the highlights, sharpening, darkening and adding a blueish cast to the shadows.

Comments: Howard ate a breakfast of Wheaties and raw eggs, warmed up with some plyometric circuit training and jumped rope while he fired his camera with a remote trigger. When a medium roller toppled over and caught him above the eye, his producer wanted to call the shoot. Howard told the groomer to cut him and lasted 3 additional setups.

rineke dijkstra's photo lighting for beach girl on guess the lighting blog

ted sabarese photo lighting diagram of beach girl on guess the lighting blog

copyright, Rineke Dijkstra.

Sometimes compared to Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” this awkward, yet beautiful, seaside portrait from Rineke’s Beach Portraits was created with only 1 light and the sun.

Camera: Linhof Master Technika 4×5 with Rodenstock 150mm lens and Fuji Pro 160S film, set on a tripod 8 feet back. Shot at 1/125, f16, ISO 160.

Lighting: The key light is a Lumedyne light with standard reflector at f16 just to camera right. The sun is up to camera right also at f8, but pretty diffused due to the overcast skies. The extra stop of light on the model helps draw our eye to her and separates her from the background.

Comments: The girl is intentionally arranging her hair to cover the fresh hickey her boyfriend just planted on her while they were cavorting under the nearby pier (her mom wouldn’t mind but her dad would kill her and take away her iPod). Rineke cheered her up, though, with a few tips on how to not only hide, but remove it.