Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gregory Heisler - explains his lighting for a Sports Illustrated cover

Gregory Heisler, one of the dons of editorial portraiture, in this video below, explains how he lit a portrait of baseball player Derek Jeter for a cover for Sports Illustrated magazine.

Its interesting how he explains all this in a very classroom fashion by  sketching on a whiteboard. Quite an elaborate setup, I was only thinking how important it is to have location shooting permits and a sizeable (and skilled) crew!  This would have taken a fair bit of time to setup and test and fine tune. This would have been necessary so that the subject would just have to stay long enough to shoot 20-30 frames!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Tearsheet

Last week, I shot with the star of Emirati film, City of Life at one of the Dubai locations that features in the film. I shot some of it with a cover in mind, but I had no idea until I saw the latest issue of M this morning! NICE.

I am very happy with the cover but really wished a different image was chosen for the inside. I shot this at a classic Dubai favourite, Al Ijaza Cafeteria in Jumeirah. I planned the shoot so that it was in the evening so I could shoot from daylight, into twilight and then night. This was so I could incorporate the glowing sign of the cafe, street lights, etc. I also love shooting with wide open apertures to render blurry backgrounds and lovely out of focus points of light. 

Technically, all the shots were with one speedlight at fairly low power. Thankfully, I had Raja assisting me with the lighting. The cover shot is a speedlight through an umbrella placed very close to the subject's face. The speedlight was triggered by the D700's on board flash. At very wide apertures, the little trigger burst from the on-board flash actually affects the actual exposure (Which according to Nikon, it isn't supposed to!) In this case I chose to keep it because it was acting as a nice 'on-axis' fill.. other photographers would use a ring flash or a large softbox directly behind camera to do the same. (Here is Mr. David 'Strobist' Hobby's introduction to on axis fill) Happy accident that worked for me! Here is a slideshow of some of the images from the shoot. As per usual, thanks to the inimitable Mr. Clint McLean.

SaoudAlKaabi_public - Images by Siddharth Siva

Note: Hover mouse over slideshow to reveal arrows for manual navigation. Clicking on the slideshow will take you to a web gallery of these images so they can be viewed larger.