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Tips & Tricks

BTS at Sports Illustrated: How to Get Two Different Looks At The Same Time

By Chris Nachtwey on May 21st 2014

What would you do if you landed a dream assignment, but the criteria for the image was not your normal look? Alexis Cuarezma was hit with that exact scenario. When asked by Sports Illustrated (SI) to make portraits of Shayne Skov, former Stanford Linebacker, SI asked Alexis to shoot Shayne in front of a grey seamless backdrop, light it well, and have fun. SI’s plan was to replace the background in post. While Alexis fullfilled SI’s request, he took it upon himself to use technology to light Shayne with more dramatic lighting  for himself, all the while capturing the same look that SI wanted.

Watch the video below to see how Alexis was able to capture the same image with two completely different looks, at almost exactly the same time.




Canon 1D-IV

Pocket Wizard Multimax

Pocket Wizard Plus III‘s

Dynalite Power Pack



Alexis knew that if he had the Pocket Wizard Multimax on his camera set to the Speed Cycler setting, he could assign each different group of lights to a letter channel on the Pocket Wizard Plus III‘s and fire off both looks at almost the same time. Alexis assigned his lighting set up to group A and SI’s to group B. Using the power of the Canon 1-DIV shooting at 200 milliseconds, he was able to fire off two shots at almost the same time, capturing the same expression, but with two very different looks.





I absolutely loved this behind the scenes! Alexis found a really creative way to use the technology available to us photographers to create images for his client and himself. It all paid off in the end, most of the images SI choose for the story were with Alexis’ lighting.

For more about Alexis technique head over to his blog. You can also connect with Alexis via Twitter and Instagram

CREDITS: All photographs by: Alexis Cuarezma are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

Via: Alexis Cuarezma blog

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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

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