Five-Minute Portrait, Dean Collins Style

Software Cinema has released another of the 27 shoots on the 'best of' Dean Collins DVD set into the wilds of YouTube, following up on the hot lights motorcycle shoot. And this time it is a 14-min video of an annual report cover Collins did of two airline bigwigs back in the '80s.

Hit the jump for parts one and two, and links to the full DVD set.

(If you are reading this via feed reader or email, click here if you do not see video directly below.)

Part One

Part Two

This particular shoot has a little backstory, at least as Collins used to tell it while lecturing on the road. This is the shoot that was happened upon by a pair of camera-ladened, elderly "lookie loo's" while Collins was waiting for the CEO to show up.

I won't repeat it here, but if you missed it the first time it is at the bottom of the original review of the DVDs.

More info, and another embedded video:

:: The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting - 4 DVD Set ::


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Blogger TBG said...

I remember both of these. Glad I spent my hard earned money on the dvds. haha. Dean Collins is my own personal idol along with david hobby

December 07, 2009 3:03 AM  
Blogger Brook said...

What a great share! I've been lurking around Strobist for a few years now (and have turned several friends towards your site), but this quick post just revitalized my own passion for off-camera lighting after losing it somewhere in the last year of my life!

Thanks again...

December 07, 2009 3:21 AM  
Blogger corea said...

What a nice shot! If this was a video, they would be doing the hero-walk towards the camera in slow-mo, about to kick some butt. Still, the interior above looks like a big creature trying to eat the executives... maybe it was done on purpose? :)

Tnx for the videos!

December 07, 2009 3:45 AM  
Blogger niagaragirl said...

People who "think" they know lighting need to see these. They're more than just lighting. What he says about proper planning and prep work is true in all respects. Dean was a very special guy, and I'm still amazed by him.

December 07, 2009 4:49 AM  
Blogger kramon said...

although 'dated' in look, the info is fresh and absolutely relevant for todays shooters.

it makes you realize how much craftsmanship was involved in these pre-schimpin'-the-back-of-your-camera-to-check-days and just how big your moustache actually was supposed to be!

December 07, 2009 4:52 AM  
Blogger Marc Pritchard said...

What a genius! Thanks to Software Cinema for the video :D

During the video I could think of many places where I might have considered the use of photoshop (removing the plastic signs, shooting the execs on location etc).

December 07, 2009 5:15 AM  
Blogger Chris Giles said...

I am not worthy! I am not worthy!

Its awesome to watch a master in his process. I am so inspired to create after watching Dean. So cool!

December 07, 2009 9:24 AM  
OpenID nikitabuida said...

That is really cool! I got his DVDs some time ago, but didn't have a chance to watch. I guess the day is today :D Thanks, David!

December 07, 2009 9:58 AM  
Blogger JeremyGriffin said...

Dean is awesome, I watch his dvds over and over, his insight and technique is invaluable to photographers.

December 07, 2009 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I attended two of Dean's amazing seminars, and I'm very happy that you have helped promote his work. From his first articles in Petersen's Photographic magazine, mostly clever do-it-yourself ways to produce excellent lighting without breaking the bank, to his later work with heavy Hasselblad and Broncolor sponsorship, he always planned his shoots to produce the best possible results in-camera. Even in the digital age, where chimping and "fix it in Photoshop" are so common, that's an excellent way to approach any assignment.

December 07, 2009 12:04 PM  
Blogger PShizzy said...

I've seen this countless times, and it's still impressive each and every time.

December 07, 2009 12:48 PM  
Blogger Dustin said...

Dean Collins is a lighting gangster!

I've been so incredibly impressed with the guy that I can't thank you enough for posting anything and everything related to him. He's a true creative who brought a very high level of professionalism and respectability to his job, in a profession that nowadays is often lacking in both.

December 07, 2009 1:24 PM  
Blogger Yoram said...

Wow, pretty cool.

December 07, 2009 3:39 PM  
Blogger Eugene Sysoev said...

BTW, there's a Totoro face above their heads on the photo.

December 07, 2009 5:30 PM  
Blogger thanapatra said...

I just repeat seeig this vdo lastnight!!!
He is truely great guy.

December 07, 2009 7:10 PM  
Blogger Anthony T said...

Does anybody know how many videos were originally created by Dean and over how long a period he made them? The 4 DVD set is the "Best Of" collection; will there be a volume two someday?

December 07, 2009 9:20 PM  
Blogger gwppk said...

That promo code on the page good from Dec 7-20th good gor 30% off. Knocks the price from $179.00 to $125.00


December 08, 2009 8:44 AM  
Blogger Joe 2.0 said...

Eugene! Great eye! As I glanced at the opening photo and absorbed the information in the very well done videos, the Totoro completely eluded my attention but reading your comment and looking back became a "wow!" moment.

As always David, thanks for sharing this. Bullseye!

December 08, 2009 11:21 AM  
Blogger Gard Gitlestad said...

Awesome video. It somehow made me simultaneously realize how much I have left to learn, and how awesome I can potentially get.

Also reminded me that I should plan more carefully ahead of shoots - I tend to fail miserably when it comes to that.

And @ Eugene: I find it absurd that I didn't spot the Totoro face - it's so crazily obvious now that you said it :D

December 08, 2009 3:45 PM  
Blogger Jakob said...

I wonder what a shot like this would cost in current US$? Can ayone give a quick estimate ?

December 08, 2009 4:18 PM  
Blogger fotografia said...

I'm so glad you turned me onto Dean Collins. The photo looks like you'd see something from a photographer in 2009. Amazing light! And to listen to Dean speak about!!

I've created a site with great information on light. I'd love to interview some lighting guys for my audience. Can anyone recommend some great lighting guys that would be interested in an interview?


December 10, 2009 11:03 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Does anyone know if images of his work exist online or in book? I'd love to see some of this stuff larger.

December 11, 2009 5:16 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

great videos from Dean again.

I have a few questions which I don't really get. Around the 4:32 mark he mentions that he was shooting with a lot of watt seconds and that this meant that his shutter speed had to be slower. I always was under the impression that the more watt seconds the faster you could shoot. This is obviously not the case then, can anyone enlighten me?

the two panels P42 and P22 he is reffering two, are they some sort of brand reference?

December 14, 2009 9:46 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Paul, the P42 and P22 panels are referring to the respective size of the panels. The P42 is 42 Sq.ft in size (6.5 x 6.5 ft) and the P22 is 22 sq.ft (6.5 x 3) in size.

These are panels that Dean himself developed (AFAIK) and were sold I believe by some companies as Lightfrom panels. You can find details of what more Dean made using PVC in his book 'Tinker Tubes' which is available at (and is my next buy the moment I can save 20$) . Sigh if only money grew on trees.

December 17, 2009 12:22 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

@anthony - That Best of is AFAIK all of his series. But his Brooke's sessions have two volumes and his 3D Contrast video has a newer version too. Yet to see the new one, but apparently it's updated with info for the digital age.

December 17, 2009 12:25 PM  
Blogger aruiz said...

legit ,it just inspires me to go out and shoot

December 17, 2009 7:21 PM  
OpenID realitytourist said...

@Paul said "Around the 4:32 mark he mentions that he was shooting with a lot of watt seconds and that this meant that his shutter speed had to be slower. I always was under the impression that the more watt seconds the faster you could shoot. This is obviously not the case then, can anyone enlighten me?"

Paul, Dean wanted to mix in the available light from the sky in the windows into the shot. The more watt seconds he used, the smaller his f/stop, hence the longer the available light exposure for the blue sky would be.


December 19, 2009 7:14 PM  
OpenID realitytourist said...

On another note:

I was cleaning out this week and came across the Dean Collins Finelight Portfolio Vol 3 I bought a billion years ago. He had a series of spiral bound books where he analyzed and broke down a number of studio shots. They demonstrated his Chromazone system, basically a Zone System for exposing color in strobes and predicting the density of a color on a backdrop.


December 19, 2009 7:21 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

The finelight series is also available from Software-Cinema in PDF format. I bought in a couple of months ago.

Amazing info.

David: Being a spiritual successor to Collins, you should start publishing compilations of your shoots too :-)(in e-formats)

Just a thought.

December 19, 2009 8:54 PM  
Blogger robert said...

@Paul said "Around the 4:32 mark he mentions that he was shooting with a lot of watt seconds and that this meant that his shutter speed had to be slower. I always was under the impression that the more watt seconds the faster you could shoot. This is obviously not the case then, can anyone enlighten me?"

he explains it just after that--a lot of watt seconds meant (in that day and somewhat today) that the flash duration was around 1/250th-1/400th of a second--if he starts to increase the shutter on the camera to drop the ambient he runs the risk of cutting into the brightness of the strobe.

we don't think of this these days because many high wattage strobes like broncolor and profoto develop their max wattage at a minimum of 1/1000 of a second. Pull out some old school speedotrons and you can clip the strobe output pretty quickly at even 1/200th of a second full pop.

the previous reply had it correct but not what dean wanted, a saturated blue sky.

@paul you do have it "right" in the sense that packs with high wattage available can shoot "faster" meaning recycle faster at fractions of their power than for example, speedlights popping full power. Same output, different recycle times. Different idea of "faster" is confusing you.

December 21, 2009 1:46 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

You kids would be wise to watch all of Dean's vid's He shot FILM!

Seeing him live in the late 80's was a life changing event for me.

Dean Colins RIP

December 22, 2009 9:17 AM  

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