A Master Class in Sculpting With Hard Light

UPDATE: For some reason, Brightcove has blocked external access to the National Geographic slideshow. Odd, as they originally listed the embedding code right under the hosted video. So, you'll have to click over to the original NGS page if you want to see it again.
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National Geographic has a wonderful "Editor's Pick" piece on photographer Rob Clark's approach to lighting a series of bodies that have been preserved for 2,000 years in European peat bogs.

The article shows Clark's relatively simple lighting design on the same subjects as he shot them ten years ago. His earlier thought was to bathe them in broad light sources to use the specular highlights to define the form of the bodies.

But lately, he has evolved to using as many as ten individual hard lights equipped with focusable irises (note to self: learn more about that) grids, snoots, etc, to sculpt the bodies with restricted beams of light from a wide variety of angles.

Check out the above slideshow of his thought progression on just one of the bodies, then head to National Geographic to see the difference between his more pedestrian stuff from ten years ago and the stunning lighting design he is doing now.

Watching his examples flash by, I wonder how much earlier I would have bailed out, happy with my interim results. The lighting certainly impresses me. But the tenacity of the photographer during the process of designing the light impresses me more.

There is a series of edited photos of some of the other bodies, too. Amazing stuff.

(Thanks for the heads-up, Duncan!)

:: Main Story ::
:: Rob's Edited Photos ::
:: Rob Clark's Website ::

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