Friday, January 22, 2010

Fitness/body building - behind the scenes

From a shoot with Roman a few days ago, he’s the singer of Burlak. Burlak is an independent Turbo-Metal rock band that I’ve been working with for a couple of months now. I’ve been producing their first video, booklet pictures and this shoot was for their poster. If you are identifying yourself as a struggling artist or have friends in that position you should check this post out or tell your friends about it.

Today I can’t show you any more of the Burlak material than what’s already online, but their debut album will be released within a few weeks (unless a major speed bump in the beaurocracy strikes them). When everything is official I will give you all a nice backstage tour on the entire process for all their promotional image material.

Full BTS story with lighting setup of this shoot however after the jump, click the link below or the header.

To explain in words what it’s like to work with a subject such as Roman is to much to ask for. There is however a mini-documentary with Burlak in the Pipeline, it will hopefully come online within a few days. Subscribe to the RSS-feed of this blog if you want to be sure not to miss anything.

This post will be rather technical, but if you are a photo geek like me you will probably enjoy the following reading as I will try and explain the lighting behind these images. These are good examples of how important lighting is because I haven't done anything in the computer to make them stand out, it's all light (and an interesting subject) :

This was a very extensive shoot that forced me to bring out almost my full arsenal of in-house lighting gear. I placed two large soft boxes behind and partly above the talent to create a nice rim light (it would have worked without the soft boxes). I wanted a well-defined rim light for two reasons; it looks good and fits the subject and it makes it easier to extract the subject for later compositing against a different background (if you stick around I will post the complete poster here later).

The main light is a large diameter beauty dish mounted with a tight grid. This light was placed at a rather steep angle camera left and high above the talent, the main purpose of this light was to cast strong shadows defining the contours of the muscles and abs of the talent.

To finalize I set up a tightly gridded light camera right directed to only illuminate the face of the talent. This last light destroyed any weird unwanted shadows around the eyes for example.

Again I share these lighting recipes because I know that if you are photo geeks like me you love reading about this stuff, but please remember; I’m not trying to tell you how you are supposed to light a certain subject. I always start with an idea and shape the light according to that, not the other way around, and it’s the idea that’s valuable, technique and equipment etc is just extras.

Update: Here's a lighting diagram I created using the website It doesn't show a correct 3D perspective of the setup but I figured it's worth to add anyway.


  1. Great lightening
    Thank You

  2. Looks really good. (hittade det här på Fotosidan, alltid kul med folk som visar sina setups).