As I have decided to make portraits for Men’s Health , I thought it would be appropriate to re-create an image from the same magazine for this tear sheet task. This would hopefully provide me with some more experience with using studio lighting which I can use when taking portraits of Brett in April.
I decided to re-create this image of James Haskell, published in the February 2017 issue of Men’s Health:
I chose this image because I liked the effect the lighting has in it. Particularly how it makes the subject look powerful. The background of the image also places him in context. As well as this, the subject is clothed. This was important when I was deciding on an image to re-create as I needed to find somebody who would have been willing to model. In other images from this shoot, the subject was topless.
This was my re-creation of the photograph:
I think this image is relatively similar to the original, although there are certain elements which could have been more accurate.
I used a Canon 70D with a 24-105 lens for this shoot. The final image was shot using an ISO of 100, an aperture of 18, a shutter speed of 1/125 and a zoom of 24mm. However, I shot a lot more pictures using both different camera settings and different studio lighting.
As I couldn’t shoot on location in a gym, I decided to use a black backdrop as the background in the original image is dark. I used a flash with a honeycomb filter in order to disperse the light, making it closer to the original image (Honeycomb filter).
I moved the subject far away from the backdrop so it wasn’t noticeably paper, and I positioned the modelling light with the honeycomb filter in front and to the right (my POV) of her. The light was also positioned at a high angle so the most highlighted point of the image is the subjects’ head, as this is the highlight in the original image.
This was the first image shot:
This was shot using an F stop of 16, shutter speed of 1/125 and an ISO of 100 – these are the same settings as the final image. However, the model light was positioned closer to the subject which made the shadows darker and more sharp. This image was also taken without the honeycomb filter in the flash. This has made the light on the subject much more direct, creating a hot spot on the subjects’ left cheek (their POV). This image was considerably darker than the original as the whole right side of the subject (their POV) is in shadow to the point that it isn’t visible. Because of this, we decided to lighten the image:
This was shot with a shutter speed of 1/125 sec and an F stop of 18. However, the power of the flash had been increased by 1 stop and the honeycomb filter had been added which dispersed the light, making more of the subject visible and making the exposure on the torso more like that on the original image. Because of this, the face is over exposed and has become a hot spot.
This image is considerably less contrasting as a thinner honeycomb filter was used with a slightly less powerful flash on the power pack. The thinner honeycomb dispersed the light less effectively. As well as this, the picture used a shutter speed of 1/250 and an F stop of 20. This faster shutter speed and high F stop has made the image darker.
Reviewing the final image
When comparing both images, the original is slightly brighter (this is partly down to the original image being a picture of it as opposed to a scan). I think the right shoulder (subjects’ POV) is a lot brighter in the original image. This may be down to the light being positioned higher up in the shot. This was not possible as the light we used was at it’s maximum height level.
I think the light has been more dispersed in the original image as the subjects’ left hand and forearm are also slightly brighter. But something that needs to be considered in my image compared to the original is the props used. The jacket on my model is slightly darker which means that the lighting is absorbed a little more, so the jacket isn’t as illuminated. As well as this, the ‘weight’ prop was not a weight, and so the reflection of light is slightly different as my prop was smaller.
As well as this, the shadow on the subjects’ cheek is a lot darker in my image compared to the original. We tried to make this shadow lighter by moving the flash slightly further back as this softens shadows, but it wasn’t as effective as we’d hoped.
Having said all of that, I think the positioning of my model was accurate to the original image. As well as this, I think the lighting on the left shoulder (subjects’ POV), head and hood of the jacket is relatively close to the original.