For the lighting gurus...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DepthAfield, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    Question for the lighting and portrait gurus among the membership:

    Please take a look at the image on the following link, and describe how you think this was accomplished (lighting position/reflectors).

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=3594395

    I would love to recreate this effect, but I am brain dead when it comes to lighting placement.

    Please note that I did not make the photograph in the above link.
     
  2. Funkyflame

    Funkyflame TPF Noob!

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    wow, it`s a great porttrait ... the eyes looks so intensiv
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    It looks like natural light to me. There is a little bit of catch light in his eyes, but the way the shadow is from the hat makes me believe it was the sun. Just my guess though.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The light is above the subject in the center. But it's not the lighting that you are excited about. It's the manipulation of local contrast. In this photo it was probably done with burning and dodging and/or multiple exposures and HDR.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I agree that the light is from above and a single light. Look at the shadow under his nose that is the give away... However I don't think it is the sunlight. It is too contained it seems. I would guess a snooted strobe or a snooted spotlight.

    I agree with matt that the thing that makes the pic isn't just the dramtic light, but all the elements that come together.
     
  6. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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    My experience is theatrical lighting rather than photographic, but It looks to me like it's a strong daylight corrected artifical light from almost straight above, just slightly forward (enough to keep the hat from shadowing the whole face). Something with a fairly tight, sharp focus, with just a little softening around the edges.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    It's in the eyes!

    The eyes will tell you a lot about the lighting. Bring the image into an editor and zoom in on them. They give you a convex mirrored view of the scene in front of him. It's distorted like a security mirror, but you see a lot.

    Here I can see the camera right in front of him. I'm pretty sure he's in a room, not outdoors, from the lines. There's a light just over the camera's right shoulder. The one high up that gives the harsher light is probably a non-diffused one and snooted, as MS said, and too high to show in his eyes, but the one I see is probably a softbox, which is filling in his face. At first I was thinking that it was a PS manipulation. It looks like there may be another light a bit off to the photographer's left and either smaller or further back.
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I agree that it's lots of dodging and burning.
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Doh! In the details, it says that it was taken outside on the street. I guess that it's sunlight then. There's definitely a bright spot over the camera, though. Maybe it's a diffused fill-flash. That could have brightened up the face. Or manipulation. That's the tough thing about figuring out lighting. You can tell where it's coming from, but not exactly what it is. The cool thing is that there are many ways to get what you want.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    There are similar photos like this all over the web. It's a trendy technique right now, and easy to do with digital. Many people are doing it as part of the HDR conversion of a 32 bit file adjusted to be viewed as an 8 or 16 bit file. You can also do it with burning and dodging, or even light painting at the time of the exposure. It's all about the local contrast. Painters have been using it for hundreds of years. Photographers haven't used it much in the past because it would've been a real pain in the butt to do it in the processing or printing stage, and that pretty much leaves light painting, and digital technology.

    http://webexhibits.org/colorart/monet.html

    http://www.cybergrain.com/tech/hdr/
     
  11. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    I think "KevinR' is right on. It is simply available light in semi sunlight, and probably just a straight shot with no work done in image manipulation. The conditions for the shot were just perfect. Sure you could probably imitate it in the studio, but I don't see anything tricky in it at all. It's just a good shot in good conditions.
     
  12. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    The photo is gorgeous.

    I'll agree with ksmattfish. It's been worked with HDR, but if you look at the hands particularly, you'll see that it has in fact been PS'ed.
    the lightness around the whole subject though is even, it has been burned.
    The color is the giveaway for another reason.
    For those not old enough to remember, in the mid1970's-1980's, there was a popular technique of using anodized foil to make pictures with a high metallic look. the pictures were great, and as ks said, it's an old technique.

    The really great thing, is that the image becomes very appealing to the viewer because it creates an almost eye like contrast with perfect dynamic range. So you do not have an odd contrast in either light or dark areas.
     

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