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Gregory Heisler Whiteboards Giuliani Time Cover

Any time Gregory Heisler gives one of his iconic photos the BTS treatment we pretty much pre-empt the regular programming and turn the joint over to him. And his photo of NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani for the 2001 Time Magazine Person of the Year cover certainly qualifies.

I love this photo, and actually carry it around on my iPhone in my inspiration folder.

Before you make the jump to the very cool video inside, take a moment to reverse what he did with the lighting. And more important, why he did what he did...

I love how the environment drives the lighting in this photo. Every full-strength light comes from below, because that is where the ambient is coming from. Every full-strength light (key or otherwise) is green, because that's what color the lights in the buildings were at dusk.

It is only the fill that is soft and comes from up top, and that light gets a warming gel. So there is not a single white light in the bunch, and only the fill is coming from a traditional key light position.

I love the way he deals with problems -- most notably, whether or not his subject will stand on the edge of a skyscraper. He mentioned in the video that it started to rain, but what he didn't say was that he only got off a few frames before it was all over. (I wanna say four, but it has been a long time since I heard him talk about this one and I cannot remember for sure.)

How's that for a pucker factor? Especially with no digital screen on the back of his 8x10.

And speaking of 8x10, there are some unmentioned camera movements involved, too. Check the focus on the Empire State Building as opposed to the background buildings on the right.

Major props to the folks at Profoto USA for doing this series. we'll gladly sit through your soft sell in exchange for this kind of info. Pass the popcorn and keep 'em coming.


:: Heisler's Site ::
:: Heisler Whiteboards Bruce Springsteen ::
:: Profoto USA ::


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