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How was this taken?

SkipperlangeSkipperlange Member
edited January 2014 in home
I am wondering what lighting might have been used for this photo of Shaun White in Sunday's NY Times magazine? It looks like it was more than natural light. The sun appears to be behind him to our right? Wide angle lens? I doubt anyone here knows but just wondering if anyone cares to speculate on how exactly this photo was taken. I think it's great and has a really nice dreamy yet starkly realistic quality to it.

PHOTO CREDIT: FINLAY MACKAY, NY TIMES.

Comments

  • Snow is a great fill reflector! Looks like there may be a tri flector or beauty type reflector under his face to fill the shadows or it is just the snow covered terrain. There is a shallow dof field so maybe a 50 or 85mm in a prime. Could be hard to decipher the lens though. 70-200 in the range could look similar.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    This looks like it could be a 50mm lens.
    The highlights in his hair is most likely from a secondary light source like an off-camera speedlight.

    As for the rest, I agree with Mike, that it just looks like light from all around because of the snow.
  • Yea, that rim lighting on the right might be assistant crouching down with flash. Probably not that sunny with all the snow around. I wonder why the flare on his chest.

    Could be reflector MikeZ, but if so a mighty subtle one, like white. Nice exposure work whether the reflector is the snow or a handheld. And I doubt a newspaper photographer travels with more than one assistant, which would argue for natural light on face.
  • Here's is one more -- a series of really incredible photos that are really knocking me out. What do you think about how these were made? The photographer does say she prefers natural light but it's much more than that I think.... if only that her command and understanding of her light is truly amazing. These pix are breathtaking. Do you think there are filters or a lot of post-processing involved? Probably not but I don't know. Sounds like she uses just a 135mm lens. Shallow DOF for sure but there's something else going on here. Is it truly just sheer talent or something else?

    http://www.boredpanda.com/animal-children-photography-elena-shumilova/
  • hoyaterphoyaterp Member
    edited January 2014
    Wow, totally incredible stuff.
  • edited January 2014
    Those are THE most moving and incredible, sureal shots I've EVER seen. WOW. Would love to know as well, how they were achieved, what camera, lens, setting...so on, and so on, and so on.. in a little more detail. DOF is off the charts. Fantastic. I'll have to attempt this with my new (old) Minolta 85mm F1.4. Very VERY nice
  • ErinCErinC Member
    edited January 2014
    She has a flickr gallery, might be some exif data there to reveal some secrets:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/75571860@N06/with/10949174803/
  • She's using a 5D MKII and the 135mm lens is the Canon f/2L. She certainly gets every bit of performance out of it, too. The great separation of subject from background plus the backlighting makes for some incredible 3D pop. Oh, and don't forget the tons of talent.
  • ErinC said: She has a flickr gallery, might be some exif data there to reveal some secrets:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/75571860@N06/with/10949174803/
    Thanks Erin...
    hoyaterp said: She's using a 5D MKII and the 135mm lens is the Canon f/2L. She certainly gets every bit of performance out of it, too. The great separation of subject from background plus the backlighting makes for some incredible 3D pop. Oh, and don't forget the tons of talent.
    As well hoyaterp!
  • She has a great eye for composition and quality of light, plus some high level post processing skills to get that "dreamy" look and DOF. Very impressive.
  • Would love to know her PP settings!! Love to be able to come close to it. I do notice most are back lit, sun setting, and Very shallow DOF...Makes for a great start with or without PP. I think I need to practice that type much more...
  • Also, I'd love to know if she used a tripod, monopod, or strictly hand held.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2014
    Penn,

    The thing I notice is that the ambient is nearly always 'overcast' style which will lend itself to great even (although generally flat) lighting but some tweaks in post to bring in some contrast and bingo.

    Plus the little bit of sunshine is judiciously positioned perfectly. Certainly not by accident.

    Beautiful imagery for sure.
  • I agree with all mentioned above, i. e. overcast light and shallow DOF.... But it seems there is something else going on here.... Don't know what. Maybe something as specific as a technical setting or as vague as sheer incredible talent and skill. But these pix, to me, are so magical beyond I think any I've seen before. Maybe she's super skilled at post-processing but I don't think so, I think she's got amazing skill. I do think at least in one, with child in window with ice around, there is some p-p because I see the ice patterns bleeding onto his hat, as an artistic blend. How about the photo of the child running toward the rainbow? Holy mackerel. BTW, just saw this series as a headline on NBC News.com as it's on the Today show website.
  • If I didn't know better, I'd swear there was a hint of HDR going on there.
  • Skipperlange said: Do you think there are filters or a lot of post-processing involved? Probably not but I don't know. Sounds like she uses just a 135mm lens. Shallow DOF for sure but there's something else going on here. Is it truly just sheer talent or something else?
    The compositions and use of available light are excellent but....there is a great amount of superb post work taking place here. I wish I could still look at photos the way I used to-with amazement-but I know that there is so much going on in the digital darkroom. While this does not change the outcome (they are great photos), I do know that with the right post work, a mediocre shot can become amazing.

    There are lots of layers, dodging/burning, blurring, selective contrast, etc taking place there. The SOOCs would leave you scratching your heads...

    How do I know this? I have seen enough Joel Grimes, Calving Hollywood, et al to know what the behind the scenes look like.

    If you are on facebook, join this group for some amazing before and after shots:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/688512357855919

    Warning: You will loose some of the amazement for photography once you know what goes on behind the scenes. You cannot un-see what goes on here folks.

    Having said all this, her work is amazing but post work is responsible for 60+ % of the impact...without the proper comps and use of light, the 60% post work would be useless....most of us are still struggling with the 40%...


    penndragonn2001 said: Also, I'd love to know if she used a tripod, monopod, or strictly hand held.
    hand held, 99.999999% sure. tripod or monopod would have 0 impact on any of her work. Shutter speeds are always high enough...

    Skipperlange said: Maybe she's super skilled at post-processing but I don't think so
    very, very skilled! I looked though her flickr and there are a few shots where you can see some minor editing flaws (additional Gaussian blur, etc)


    penndragonn2001 said: If I didn't know better, I'd swear there was a hint of HDR going on there.
    no HDR just great post work.

    again, do not join the group unless you want to see the "Wizard of Oz"....

    Rudy
  • hoyaterphoyaterp Member
    edited January 2014
    OK, so I joined that FB group and looked around. Not surprising, there's the usual sophomoric and narcissitic BS I expected. Some -- I repeat, some -- are pretty good. But there's a difference between "re-touching" and "re-creating". And there's good and bad on both ends of that spectrum.

    Safe to say, our Russian friend has got it goin' on. :)
  • You've already succeeded in me losing the amazement...I'll pass on joining the FB Crowd. Here I'm thinking it was all SOOC work...I should have known better.
  • Thanks for the detective work Travelintrevor. I am a little disappointed as I was hoping there was little to no Photoshop work. I was hoping this magic was spun up with talent and skill rather than post-processing. But I also agree that no amount of post-processing can turn junk or even mediocre photos into magnificent ones. And they won't be magnificent if they are not superb to begin with so I assume these were superb to begin with and the PP just gave them that 'wow' element. She surely could not have created that delicious and perfect light with PP or the compositions or fine exposures. The texture is what gets me -- in an envious awed way.
  • Skipperlange said: She surely could not have created that delicious and perfect light with PP or the compositions or fine exposures. The texture is what gets me -- in an envious awed way.
    Agreed Skip
  • edited January 2014
    hoyaterp said: OK, so I joined that FB group and looked around. Not surprising, there's the usual sophomoric and narcissitic BS I expected. Some -- I repeat, some -- are pretty good. But there's a difference between "re-touching" and "re-creating". And there's good and bad on both ends of that spectrum.

    Safe to say, our Russian friend has got it goin' on. :)

    I could not agree with you more. The group was made for learners but the pros do jump in on occasion and post stellar work.



    Skipperlange said: Thanks for the detective work Travelintrevor. I am a little disappointed as I was hoping there was little to no Photoshop work. I was hoping this magic was spun up with talent and skill rather than post-processing
    But it is talent and skill. Post work is a talent on its own and one I wish I had. When the two worlds collide, magic happens!

    penndragonn2001 said: You've already succeeded in me losing the amazement...I'll pass on joining the FB Crowd. Here I'm thinking it was all SOOC work...I should have known better
    Well, it may not be SOOC but it may be how she sees the scenes. Don't let the post work take away from enjoying her photos. Cameras just can't capture what we see and post work such as hers get it closer to how we see...


    Skipperlange said: She surely could not have created that delicious and perfect light with PP or the compositions or fine exposures
    I honestly do no think that is how she did it...but you can add light/exposure/texture post. While this pic is not meant to compete with her marvelous work, it does illustrate what can be done in about 10 minutes in CS6.

    NOTE: I took this years ago before I had a clue about digital cameras, additional lighting, etc.
    Rebel T1i and plastic 50mm lens. The AFTER is a print edit so if the eyes seem to bright, it is your monitor. Really.


    Rudy


    Before:

    image

    After:

    image

  • Nice work on the PP Trevor. Wish My PP skills were as such. when I do get my images to look like that, it's purely by accident messing with all the sliders...and then I forget how I got there, and how to replicate it.!
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