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Tips & Tricks

On Lighting: Andrew McGibbon on Horses and Powder

By fotosiamo on May 14th 2012

Ever looked at a great strobe-lit photo and wonder, how did he or she light that? I find that nowadays, I like to reverse-engineer a great photo to see how it was lit and see if I can learn something from it. Lighting is a lot like chess, you see. You can know all the different modifiers, like you can know how each chess piece suppose to move, but the mastery comes from envisioning the way the combination of light, modifier, angle, quality, power, distance, etc. work together as harmoniously as a string of masterful chess moves that leads to a checkmate.

Lighting is photography. The play of light and darkness creates photography. That’s why no matter what level you are as a photographer or whether you prefer all-natural vs strobe lighting, it’s always important to be develop and nurture your skill in seeing light. I have really started following Profoto’s blog. Now for the majority of our readers, who are typically enthusiasts, Profotos may be overkill and quite expensive to begin with. Heck, even a lot pros rent, rather than straight out buy Profotos. They are the industry standard, but buy several light and pack system, and you’ll start to venture into the 5-digit $ realm.

Regardless, their blog is actually pretty awesome! Very educational and insightful in teaching and showcasing what else but lighting. Great thing about it is that you can apply the lighting techniques they use onless expensive strobes light the Paul Buff Einsteins, which I highly, highly recommend.

Just take a look at their recent post on Andrew McGibbon’s lighting lessons. Whether it’s shooting horses in a very different way or using a star-shaped gobo for catchlights (Click here to read a bit more on gobos), Andrew reveals all.

Not only did he include several amazing photos, but he also provides the photography version of the cheatsheet/cliff notes, the lighting diagram. For example here is one of Andrew’s photos of a horse and its diagram:

Andrew McGibbon_Star_Bow


Andrew McGibbon Star Bow Diagram


Pretty nice right? Well, he has several more of these on the Profoto blog post, so be sure to check them out. My favorite is the ones for the dog. It’s something I’ve done before, but I like his look in them and it’s definitely a pretty versatile way of lighting, too.

Andrew McGibbon_Dog


And be sure to check out the rest of Andrew McGibbon’s photos on his website. I’m definitely a fan of his work now =)

So a question to all of you readers: What websites do you go to to learn more about lighting?

Stay creative!

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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.

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  1. Ed Rhodes


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