David Strauss's picture

Atlas and the Sun

This shot was a result of a little over a year of planning. My goal was to have a bodybuilder "holding" the sun with an atlas style pose and get everything in camera.
I shot on a crop sensor with a Tamron 150-600mm with a 2x extender. I then cropped a bit more to get my final composition. I used 4 Profoto D1's powered by a generator to light the subject.
At this distance the sun set at about an inch per second on the models body. I only had enough time to take about 4 shots before the sun dipped too low and we nailed it on the second shot.
This was by far the most complicated picture I've every planned for.

1200mm · f/45.0 · 1/200s · ISO 50
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Ryan Mense's picture

This is so so good. Well worth the effort you put in to plan for it.

Lasaro Abalos's picture

Like the shot. Sometimes the experience is worth all the effort. I think he learned some new things that might help him in his future shoots. Good on you for not taking the "easy" way and photoshopping

Eduardo Libby's picture

Great photo and great story!

Glenn Smith's picture

You got the image you were looking for. Validation enough and great training

Mihnea Stoian's picture

Well worth the effort. Memorable images aren't ones that were created in post, but that show the scene as it was. Photoshoping this together would've looked too clean and artificial (for ex the light bleed around the model's head would be missing), and taken away from the realism of it.

Osman Merdan's picture

I watched the video :D I cant say it is worth it but I am sure that must be definitely fun to do something like that :D The effort and creative process you put in this shot sure will inspire many of us

Ivan Boden's picture

A herculean effort. Well done!

Zoe Larkin's picture

So much better for the effort. Photoshop pish.

Jeff Greene's picture

I prefer the authenticity of the real thing. People can tell when an image is Photoshopped. Nicely done...

Reza Maleki's picture


Clif Lowry's picture

This is a great shot. As to whether or not it was worth the effort, beyond the shot itself, consider how much you learned from the experience that you can pass on to your fellow Fstoppers.

Andrew Hurll's picture

Ngl i don't how lee said this photo was garbage as photography we are artists of time not perfection and also to the people i see say but it not round the sun is not perfectly round ahha but man i love this photo make we want try and get something like this

Marina Vieira's picture

I can't understand why this picture is so high rated. This is just... Hideous. It looks like a low budget film's cover from the 80s. A movie with hair metal songs and a terrible cast.

Paulina Jowita Koltun's picture

Creative Wow!!

Luca Blades's picture

Looks awesome. Well worth the effort, it would've been a great experience. Definitely think a different location wouldn't be the same as the beach and it's cool to see it all done in camera and not photoshop. Good on you mate.

Zakaria Salhi's picture


Nawaz Khan's picture


Mike Yackulic's picture

I love this phot and the BTS video you guys did. Great to see the amount of effort that went into this

Agustin Tajch's picture

hahaha The famous photo! 💪🏻😎👍🏻