DECONSTRUCTING THE SHOT | ALEX ODNORALOV

May 3, 2012

After the positive responses to the 5280 breakdown, I have another. This time I’m focusing on a recent shoot with painter Alex Odnoralov.

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CONCEPT // I was introduced to Alex’s work about five months ago by my good friend Illarion. After a botched email-straight-to-spam issue, I bumped into Alex at a party a few weeks back and we talked about putting something together. Having done so much studio work the past few weeks I wanted to shoot Alex in his environment. I immediately thought dark with a strong emphasis on motivated lighting. An artist in a space full of his work, blank canvases, brushes, etc.

SCOUTING // Due to scheduling conflicts I couldn’t get over to Alex’s for scouting. To make up for that I had Alex send me some photos of the location from his phone. Simple but effective as a last resort.

TONE // I wanted something deep and detailed as if Alex was up in the middle of the night putting the finishing touches on his latest piece. Warmer tones that would look realistic when I mixed the flash with the ambiance of a table/work light.

LIGHTING // I decided on a small diffused overhead light that would blend seamlessly with the table lamp, reminiscent of those old detective movies set back in the 40’s. The key to making this work was dropping the Profoto pack to the lowest possible flash power. By tilting the 7B head slightly forward I was able to motivate the light in the room and make it appear as if the table lamp was lighting everything. Here’s a pulled back view of the set with lighting and camera specs:

AO

POST-PRODUCTION // As you can tell by the test frame above, 90% of the shot happened in camera. The other 10% was removing the visible light stand and a few custom tweaks to get the color palette a little tighter. One of these days I’ll throw up a full screen recording of my post-production workflow but until then….