A New Short-Form Tutorial Series: How I Got The Shot

We're certainly seeing an upsurge in behind the scenes tutorials. If you're looking for some great insight, look no further. I've talked about Nathan Elson's tutorials before, and I maintain that his series really stands out.

His first episode of "How I Got The Shot" is up and ready to watch. Sit down for a beer with Elson.

Each episode in Elson's series will take some time to show a bit of the behind the scenes, review the lighting setup, and then delve into the post-production of the image. Elson's first episode focuses on getting this final image:

Nathan Elson, final image.

To get the shot, Elson used four light sources. I know there are only three strobes, but look closely. Here is the lighting setup: 

Three lights, four list sources. Nathan Elson.

It's important to note that the backdrop is actually the key light here, as it reflects the light coming from the two strobes set out wide.

Nathan Elson, raw versus edit.

Rounding out the tutorial, Elson shows us how he turns his straight-out-of-camera image into the finished product through Capture One and Photoshop. In particular, I found his discussion of how he uses his dodge and burn technique to even out skin tones for a natural-looking retouch really useful.

Elson's series promises to be efficient and helpful — so efficient, if it was my edit, I'd likely have gone through several beers instead of just one.

All images provided by Nathan Elson.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Mark is a Toronto based commercial photographer and world traveller who gave up the glamorous life of big law to take pictures for a living.

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Fantastic thanks Nathan. I'd love to see a video about your corporate portraits.

Lol, just saw this yesterday... same same


Valuable tutorial, but, I like how Elson's includes some BTS footage.

Don't we all :)