AD4803 Studio Artist Research – David Clerihew

David Clerihew

David Clerihew Photography Website

I found this photographer as he photographed the James Haskell interview for Men’s Health magazine (see Tear Sheet Recreation blog).

James Haskell is a sports photographer who is commissioned to photograph for magazines, companies and sports stars. As my brief is to shoot portraits of my subject, I have been looking at his portraits, and they are my personal favourite of his work anyway.

The brief requires us to shoot on at least two locations. I have been inspired by the different angles Clerihew uses in his work, and I intend on trying to recreate them or make something similar before my final shoot with my subject, as well as potentially on my shoot with Brett.

I particularly liked this shoot on his website (Link to shoot) which features Nikolaj Coster Waldau; a Danish actor, producer and screenwriter:


I like the aesthetic of these and the colour scheme works well for making the subject look tough and muscular which is what I assume Clerihew wanted to show in the images. Both were shot from a lower angle which emphasises his power more.

The first image uses a softer light source than the second. I think a soft box has been used on the right hand side (subject POV) as there are hot spots on both the bridge of his nose and his right ear. The shadows from his chin, nose and eyes are all relatively soft which suggests that a stronger light source such as a spotlight has not been used. The subject has been positioned directly in front of the background in this image which is obvious because of the shadows being cast behind his head.

The bottom image is using a harsh light source and the contrast has been increased during post production which makes the already sharp shadows darker and more harsh. I like that the background in both images is reflective which may help to reflect the lighting onto the subject. However, I think the subject has deliberately been positioned far away from the background (in the bottom image) to prevent this from happening. I think this because there is no shadow being projected onto the background.


I liked the framing and angle of this image as it is different to the others, and I think it would be easier to recreate this myself. I think this has used a soft box which has been positioned above and to the left of the subject (our POV).I think this because the lighting is fairly harsh on the left side of his face which is where the main source of light is, but the shadow being cast from his chin and nose as well as the shadow on the background is soft. This suggests that the light source is quite far away from the subject.

My favourite image on his website is this portrait of Sebasten Vettel:


I love the framing of this as it immediately makes us as the audience feel closer and more intimate with the subject. I like that the depth of field and focal point is on the eyes. As well as this, I think the background being a blue/grey colour works well as it matches his eyes which are the arguably the most prominent part of the whole image.

Looking at the image closely, you can see that a minimum of 2 light sources have been used. In both eyes, there is a reflection of 3 small circles. This may indicate that there are beauty dishes being used to create this. They have been positioned slightly to the right (our POV) which is clear as the left side of the subjects’ face is more in shadow, and the right side has a more even exposure. I think that another light source has been used to light the backdrop on the left (our POV). This is indicated in the small white dot in his right eye. As well as this, the backdrop is brighter on the left side of the photograph than the right. Had there only been a singular light, the left side would be darker than the right as the light source wouldn’t be strong enough to light the backdrop as well as the subject.


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