Annie Leibovitz’s Lighting, from the eyes of a Photo Assistant
Assistants, aka “voice activated light stands”, can be a wealth of knowledge and experience if you are fortunate enough to have access to one that’s been around. It’s not entirely unheard of, to meet an assistant that knows their lighting better than the photographer they are working for. If only one of them would create a blog about their behind the scenes exploits… wait a minute. What do we have here?
Melanie Mann is the author of a blog called: Confessions Of A Mad Photo Assistant, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Where she post really insightful articles, detailing the lighting set ups for shoots like the one below. But she doesn’t stop there. She also promises to share with us “…the stories no one gets to hear from the view of the lowly photo assistant–from plucking the gray stress hairs off of your boss’s wife’s head to chatting with John Paul Jones about smoked salmon eggs benedict.”
“Tell me these aren’t the most stunning rendition of Disney art to date! LOVE! Alright before I start getting carried away and prattle on about how epic I feel these images are, let’s examine one…”
“Here is Queen Latifah portrayed as Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Amazingly I stumbled upon some behind the scenes photos of the set from different angles, so I think this diagram is a pretty good representation of the set up.”
To camera right, a large octobank shooting through a large diffusion panel toward the Queen. Two large strip banks on either side of the camera, low, illuminating the underside of the tentacles. Two large octobanks, one above and slightly behind the Queen camera left, and the other handheld by an assistant at 45 degree angle to Queen also camera left. Another large octobank is boomed overhead, an umbrella illuminates the background, and a reflector held by an assistant camera right. Quite an impressive set up! Understandably as there are several moving parts and awkwardly twisting tentacles. Overall beautifully soft soft illumination.”
“Here’s a behind the scenes video you can see the whole thing in action:”
“How fun would it be to climb into that get-up!! And Queen Latifah makes the perfect Ursula! Beautiful lighting, amazing final image.”
via [Confessions Of A Mad Photo Assistant]
I have to thank Corey for turning me on to this oh-so-fun blog. And if you get a chance you should too, by either: friending him on Facebook, following him on Twitter, or joining him on the Fstoppers Flickr group. Heck you should do them all.
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