LATEST FEATURE: On Assignment: Ben Lurye

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Gregory Heisler, on Stripping with Derek Jeter



We pre-empt our regularly scheduled programming today, as we do pretty much any time Greg Heisler whiteboards one of his shoots.

(Ditto you too, Dan Winters, or Peter Yang. Seriously, whip up a good BTS and the joint is all yours for the day.)

For a little sense of chronological scale, this video lasts about as long as Heisler takes to shoot Jeter. For an SI Sportsman of the Year cover, no less.

Quick takeaway: Hiding a face light on-axis of a bigger strip light (sorry for that misleading headline, ladies) for "a little more oomph" on the face. "Oomph" being one of those light qualities Heisler learned about when studying with the Great Masters.

And on the Profoto strip lights -- if you have to ask, you can't afford them. They are not strip boxes. They are strip lights. Completely different animal. They are apparently made in Sweden by elves using pixie dust or something even more expensive.

I am working on a DIY version for speedlights, made out of polished, inside-out Diet Mtn. Dew cans.
__________


(More Heisler vids on the Profoto site.)

-30-


__________

Brand new to Strobist, or lighting? Start here.
Or, jump right into our free Lighting 101 course.
Connect: Discussion Threads | Reader Photos | Twitter

24 Comments:

Blogger R. J. and Nicole Kern said...

This goes under the "greatest hits" category for humor, wit, and substance packed into the time it takes for me to drink a Diet Mtn Dew. Thank you for sharing, David!

July 01, 2010 12:20 AM  
Blogger Clindt said...

Great video, awesome image, thanks for posting i love all the BTS videos you post very interesteing

July 01, 2010 1:52 AM  
Blogger brian faini said...

This a good one as well.
http://vimeo.com/12659680
A bit long at an hour but good info.

July 01, 2010 4:52 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

"I am working on a DIY version for speedlights, made out of polished, inside-out Diet Mtn. Dew cans."

Prediction: One of your readers is going to build one of these before the end of the weekend...

MikeScott

July 01, 2010 8:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Meyer said...

"Not over lit" - "lit like it's not lit" - "... without looking overlit" - "it's just kinda quiet".

A great lesson that I hope indicates a re-direction in editorial photography. The Leibowitz vid of the Keith Richards session looks like her version of "quiet lighting". It's good to see both of these show up in close proximity. Thanks David, and congrats on the Times ranking... t

July 01, 2010 8:32 AM  
Blogger kitehill said...

You've given this woman another thing to lust after:

Strip lights.
Sigh.

Kind regards,
Heather D'

July 01, 2010 10:00 AM  
Blogger Mikey said...

I love the way Heisler explains things! He is so "no sweat" about his lighting and photos. Great vid!!

July 01, 2010 10:28 AM  
Blogger alistairkerrphotography said...

Really enjoyed that...

I'd heard ProPhoto Strip lights were made by Aliens for another Galaxy, it would explain the cost of the units having to bus these guys in from home everyday!

July 01, 2010 11:03 AM  
Blogger Sebastian Kubatz said...

Thanks for the interesting video David.

Also big thanks to Brian for the link to vimeo.

July 01, 2010 11:47 AM  
Blogger Sebastian Kubatz said...

Thanks for the interesting video, David.

Also big thanks to Brian for the vimeo link.

- Sebastian

July 01, 2010 11:48 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Although it was almost certainly planned as part of the framing for the SI cover, I'm glad the Sports Illustrated banner covered Jeter's side-view reflection in the glass of the subway entrance.

July 01, 2010 1:18 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Although it was almost certainly planned as part of the framing for the SI cover, I'm glad the Sports Illustrated banner covered Jeter's side-view reflection in the glass of the subway entrance.

July 01, 2010 1:24 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Heres a link to the shot in case it wasnt posted.

http://glitterati-gossip.com/.a/6a01156f5ae6a9970c0120a6f090f7970b-800wi

Great post DH.

July 01, 2010 1:26 PM  
Blogger 2Hphotography said...

The use of the diagram is great. I would have liked to see a top view just to more readily understand where he's positioned the lights.

July 01, 2010 10:37 PM  
Blogger Ian Johnson said...

I need to get me some of those floating lightstands.

Thanks. Really informative.

July 02, 2010 8:10 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Thanks, Super Dave.
The BTS videos are worth their weight in gold, whether they're from Heisler, Winters, or Hobby. I never thought of pairing up strip lights like that for a face light. Pure, unadulterated, mellow genius.

July 02, 2010 8:21 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Thanks, Super Dave.
These BTS videos are worth their weight in gold, whether they're from Heisler, Winters, or Hobby. I never thought of pairing up strip lights for a face light. Pure, unadulterated, mellow genius.

July 02, 2010 8:23 AM  
OpenID damnuglyphotography said...

Not to take anything away from Greg's love of the Profoto Striplights, but lets not forget that he is a paid spokesperson for the product. Back in the day when I was an assistant...and working for him...I can't say I remember seeing a single Profoto product in the lighting kit and yet we still somehow managed to get the job done. In fact, the usual deal was lugging a few tons of Speedotrons from location to location and God knows there ain't nothing blingy about Speedo's! I'm almost certain that substituting a $175 small & $300 medium Chimera Super Pro strip bank in place of the $3800 StripLight S & $5800 StripLight M (that price includes those swanky, gold-plated barn doors!) would result in the same overall effect. OK...OK...you say you need more control over the light and you don't wanna look low-rent by simply cutting a couple of showcard barndoors and gaffer-taping them to the side of the banks...I'll give you a few more dollars to spend and you can go out and buy a set of fabric grids for the Chimeras, but that will still only add another 400 bones, tops!

BT in NYC

July 02, 2010 10:03 AM  
Blogger David said...

re the above comment, Brad can say that with absolute impunity, as Brad is himself a Profoto Acute guy.

That said, there is always more than one way to skin a cat, and the point is well taken. FWIW, I was mostly riffing on the pricey-ness of the Strip Lights. Pretty sure the pixie dust thing is just a rumor. Or if you are from the UK, a rumour.

July 02, 2010 10:32 AM  
Blogger Kevin B. said...

Regardless of whether he used Profotos or any other brand, its the information he provided that is fantastic. I studied under Heisler this past year at Hallmark Institute of Photography. His style of teaching down to earth and straight to the point. He showed us how to achieve similar lighting with fluorescents purchased from Home Depot. Greg is a great photographer and instructor.

July 03, 2010 10:36 AM  
Blogger Ranger 9 said...

"Lit like it's not lit." With $8,537 worth of not-lights (B&H prices; I looked 'em up) not including a power pack and a head for the beauty dish. Geez, I love the 21st Century.

It's clear that editorially we've come a long way in the 55 years since Dennis Stock shot James Dean walking in the rain in Times Square. (Backstory: http://www.famouspictures.org/mag/index.php?title=James_Dean#Taking_the_picture )

Heisler's picture surely is ever so much brighter, happier, more commercial, more-than-human. But will this kind of image ever become iconic, the way Stock's did? Hmmm...

July 03, 2010 11:17 PM  
OpenID damnuglyphotography said...

"...Regardless of whether he used Profotos or any other brand, its the information he provided that is fantastic.....Greg is a great photographer and instructor...."

Lest any of you think I was at all off-base in my earlier observations...allow me to clarify...

I worked with Greg back in 1983-1986 on a lotta jobs...and he was probably the most unassuming and open-minded photographer I had ever spent time with! When it came to talking about his technique, his style or his approach to a shoot, his standard line was always, "My book is an open book!"...meaning, he would tell anyone who cared to listen exactly what he did to make a shot. Back then that was a really big deal 'cuz most guys were keeping their trade secrets very close to the vest! Greg could care less...he knew that the technical stuff was only half of the equation......there's a lot more that technique involved in making a photograph, and he was one of the only guys I knew that realized that! I assisted a lotta guys back then (prolly 125+ in five years) but I might have learned more stuff that I still use today on the Greg shoots than from anybody else..and that says a lot!

BT in NYC

July 03, 2010 11:35 PM  
Blogger Brian Bray said...

Thanks David. I could do nothing all day but watch BTS vids. Heisler and Liebovitz in particular are personal style personified.

I'm sure it's unnecessary to ask for more, but...
MORE! MORE!

July 04, 2010 12:13 PM  
Blogger ChibaCityFunk said...

Well. Actually the strip lights are made by german elves. ;)

Bacht is the Company.

July 05, 2010 6:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home