Julie Blackmon’s environmental lighting

Julie Blackmon oftentimes uses digital collage and montage techniques in her imagery, I’m guessing this shot, entitled PC, was created entirely in-camera using 4 lights without montage techniques.

Camera: Hasselblad 503cw with 50mm lens and Kodak Portra NC 400ISO film, set on a tripod 2,5m back from girl. Shot at 1/60, f11, ISO 400.

Lighting: The key light on the little cherub is a reflector with grid with 30 degree grid at f11, positioned 1,2m to camera right. A white umbrella at f2.8 (-4 stops) placed 8 feet to camera right serves as a light fill for the room. A standard reflector at f16 (+1 stop) is behind the wall to camera left, aimed upward at the woman on the stairs. Another standard reflector at f11 is set behind the wall to camera right, aimed toward the staircase. The glowing computer screen was added in postproduction.

Comments: Julie’s 3 year-old daughter (she uses family members in most of her photos) initially refused to pose for this shot out of principle. Julie offered up later bedtimes, broccoli-free dinners and an extra hour of TV to no avail. When Julie finally agreed to trade the toy rocking-horse for a Shetland Pony, her daughter threw on her pretty white dress, hopped in front of the lens, smiled and said, “okay, mommy, let’s make some art.”



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