Schools Out For Summer

I'm uploading two images I shot recently. Each of these images employed lighting similar to that off Irving Penn, with modifications to suit my tastes.

The color image employs eight lights: four soft boxes set up in a square surrounding my subject from the front, two kick lights one with a 40 degree grid the other with barn doors and warm tone gels, and there are two lights on the background. I normally use a hair light but as you can see that would have simply created an unproductive specular highlight.

I usually keep my soft box assembly remarkably close to my subject to take advantage of light fall off to create contrast and dimension, but because of his glasses I had to expand this system to the point i had to modulate the power of my lights to create the dimensionality you see.


I feel this B/W image is one of my career best. I employed the same basic lighting pattern modified to capture the character and characteristics of my subject. Though I did turn one of my soft boxes off to create the contrast in the images. I employed a lot of post production manipulation of the image as well. I've recently been taking advantage of the capabilities of luminance masks and find the opportunity to add contrast to select areas of the image based on luminance to be very helpful and intriguing.


Well I hope I haven't come off as a know-it-all blowhard or a condescending @$$ this quarter. It's been challenging running one business, starting another, watching one fail as the result of time constraints and loosing my help while puling a full time class load but I've made it and I hope you will all continue to explore the creative opportunities life presents you with.

You are all welcome to come by my studio for headshots, portraits or to take workshops as I can offer them.

Please contact me via: to be placed on my mailing list.

And remember the words of Edward Weston "If you can see your shoes you can make a great photograph."