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News & Insight

Behind the Scenes Shoot: NFL Madden and NCAA ’13 Cover Shoot with Tim Mantoani

By fotosiamo on October 2nd 2012

Calvin-Johnson EA Sports Madden NFL

If you’re a big football fan like me (Go 49ers!), then you know that the process of voting for the NFL player to be on the cover of EA Sports Madden football game is a big deal. This year, the fans voted down to two finalist, Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson and Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton. Both are exciting and super-talented players in their own right and I’m definitely a fan of both athletes. This year, EA Sports created a stage in Times Square in New York City and invited fans all over for the live reveal. Both players were present and an open air studio was set up for the main photographer, the legendary Tim Mantoani.

Calvin-Johnson EA Sports Madden NFL

Check out the video below to see how Tim shot the photos for Madden 2013.

EA Sports Madden 13 Cover Shoot from Tim Mantoani on Vimeo.

Additionally, Tim Mantoani visited Baylor University to shoot Robert Griffin III for the cover for EA Sports’s NCAA 2013.

Robert Griffin III EA Sports NCAA 13

Robert Griffin III EA Sports NCAA 13

EA Sports NCAA 13 Cover Shoot from Tim Mantoani on Vimeo.

But wait, this isn’t ESPN. This SLR Lounge! So of course, I had to check out how Tim shot both covers. It looks like he used the same lighting for both covers, which you can see clearly in this screenshot.

Lighting Snapshot

So here’s what I believe is the lighting diagram for Tim’s photos:

EA Sports Madden NFL NCAA 13 Lighting-Diagram by Joe Gunawan | fotosiamo

What we have here is a 5-light setup. Going from the top, there are two small octaboxes to blow out the background. The other three lights and the white fill reflector are arranged in a “X” cross-lighting formation, with the two stripboxes behind the player for edge lights, the large octabox camera right for the key, and the large white reflector camera left for fill. It’s a fairly broad lighting that makes it easy to catch Calvin Johnson and Robert Griffin III in action without having to have to adjust the lighting too often.

Enjoy the videos and have an awesome football season!

You can see more of Tim Mantoani’s work on his website. Also, be sure to check out his amazing project capturing Steve McCurry and other the legendary photographers and their iconic images, as shot with a huge 20×24 Polaroid Film camera!

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Joe is a fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Ed Rhodes

    wow, that is an elaborate setup

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  3. Adam Temple

    does anyone else feel that is over kill and highly unnatural in the helmet reflections

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  4. Chuck Navarro

    Gonna have to give this lighting a shot on my next action style shoot!  Great post!

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