Deconstruct This Photo 2.0

Deconstructing the work of others has been–and continues to be–one of the most influential things in my technical development as an artist. I’ll always bring my own vision, but I’m constantly asking myself, how in the hell was this, that, or the other photo made?

That said, we’ve dug into this before on a similar post that proved to be quite popular and–according to feedback–fun and helpful. As such, I’m interested to hear how YOU think I created the above LuluLemon Athletica advertising image. Was it in studio? Location? Composited? What was the lighting? The circumstances? The camera settings? The equipment used? Tricks?

I’ll reveal the details in a followup post. The person who gets the closest to describing the actual means of my creating it gets a signed book, a high five, or something interesting. G’head and let ‘er rip, love to hear your thoughts. Please don’t be shy… […click the ‘continue reading’ link below]

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285 Responses to Deconstruct This Photo 2.0

  1. Laurence Hardy March 9, 2010 at 4:19 am #


    one softbox set to fill in from above (flash due to colour cast on railings in the background).

    shot on location, with about 24-70 about 35mm f2.8-3.5.

    as for trick i'm not sure there are any. lol

    awesome pic though!

  2. FOOSE March 9, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    ok here is what I think.
    1.big (maybe a octa) softbox light from the top of the main subject (which cause the softer shadow directly below.)
    2.ther are two back ground lighting. one just behind the hoop. pointing down on to the wall. the second on is on the far right. round about the same high as the first one. just under the ledge.

    hope I got somewhere close to the real thing. :)

  3. Jason March 9, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    I'm guessing it's a composite. He's sitting down and you're shooting from above him.

    guy lighting:
    looks like a softbox at his back and another diffused light to his right (camera left). (possibly a fill light on camera).

    gym lighting:
    looks like it was lit with a few additional accent lights – one under the hoop lighting the wall. I also think the area above the net was artificially darkened to provide more depth.

    thats my guess

  4. Kevin Pohl March 9, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    Hmmm….the guy is doing the pose for real…ambient light…fill from top and fill or reflector from left…on actual location….low angle, somewhere between 24 and 70 mm and between f3.2 – f8…I guess he held that pose for a few seconds or a second or two…general post production I reckon

  5. Kev March 9, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    softbox (top light) + white reflector – camera left.

  6. vlatkojk March 9, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    If it's composited, my congratulations to the master. :)

    Yeah, on location. One softbox from the above. One flash from the left, and one weak flash from the right. (There are two reflections on the backs of the chairs on the right. And the backs are curved. Plus there's a reflection on his right shoulder that couldn't have come from the above.)

    Tricks… Hmmm. Maybe snouts on the flashes to kill possible shadows on the floor.

    Settings, a goodish DoF. Because of the postprocessing I really cannot tell what camera or what lens. could be a lot of things.

  7. Mårten Keijser March 9, 2010 at 4:26 am #

    Medium or large softbox in the air straight above or slightly behind the talent. Gridded strobe camera left at floor level.

    I'ts either a 35mm or 24mm lens and the camera is of course at floor level. The model and the pose is all real, I believe there are no cloned out rigs or assistants holding him.

    B.G. is all natural light and the corners are burned down a few steps in P.S to focus attention on the talent and the message.


  8. FOOSE March 9, 2010 at 4:26 am #

    Oh and the Lens is prob. 24-55mm with f/4-5.6 focus on the main subject (duhh..)

  9. Bartosz March 9, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    This yoga guy is 90 degrees rotated. Normaly he stands on his feet. This photo was made in studio. Background was combined with this guy on computer.

  10. David Peacock March 9, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    Ok, so on location in a gym. I'd say you went with mostly ambient gym lights, with your strobes gelled to match the colour temp, focused only on the subject.

    Large softbox (maybe octabox) from above, pretty close to subject giving the moderately strong lighting, with soft diffused shadows on the floor.

    Either a reflector or very low powered diffused light to camera left to provide fill for the right hand side of the subject's face.

    Shot pretty wide, but not so wide as to distort the subject's body. I'd say 30-35mm.

    Aperture was maybe 5.6 or 4.

  11. Pelayo March 9, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    Big octa on top of the athelete, hitting algo his nose and one front light filling the shadows.

  12. erik March 9, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    I'm thinking there is some sort of soft box camera left near ground level.

    Then a second box higher up above the subject.

    There seems to be a light up in the rafters pointing down towards the hoop creating the shadow on the wall of the rim and net. This seems to be off to camera left slightly.

    Also looks like another light for the background up high somewhere at camera right, You can see a second hot spot on the back wall created by this light.

    Shot with a wide angle lens maybe between 25 and 35 mm.

  13. Boris Meyer March 9, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    That's fun game ! : )

    I have some feelings that the body was taken with 2 pictures one for head/body/arms, and another one for the legs, both in studio and the ambiance is a 3rd picture.

    am i good ? Anyway great job.

  14. Kjartan March 9, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    Let's see….

    A big softbox from directly above.
    a small one for fill on the face, camera left.
    2 lights (sb900's?) on the wall in the back.

  15. snoop March 9, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    He was lit from above with a soft light, fill on his face from camera left.

    Shot in studio and composited – I say this because the reflection of his right hand is off. A real reflection would show the underside of his hand not a mirror image upside down.

    Angle of view is relatively normal, 40-50mm on FX. Probably shot at f11-16 for the subject and f5.6-8 for the background.

  16. adamgf March 9, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    Well I reckon the guy is doing a pressup holding himself perfectly horizontally. there is another guy in the photo (you see his legs) he is laid flat on the pressup guy and his head is tucked in, so you see only his legs. giving the illusion that there is one guy, with very strange legs!

    The shadows were then altered afterwards and the guy was cleaned up around the edges.

    Brilliant lighting though!

    I reckon it was done on location in a gym hall but the background with the hoop and chairs etc is added later.

  17. tommyjz March 9, 2010 at 4:43 am #

    Shot on location without any tricks because Chase is a honest guy.

    Lighting: at least two strobes to boost ambient on the background and give definition.
    One camera right in line with subject, soft-box directly above subject and low level fill on the subjects face.

    Camera: Obviously low angle at about 28mm 1/60th F4

  18. marcus grip March 9, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    a flash(elinchrom) over him with big softbox since the floor is so light on a big area except in background and also natural light helped from like a window or lamps in the roof, and you also got a small flash on the left to lit up his face.

    it is on location, u were using a stand for the camera wich is your Nikon D3s with a 24-70 lens, just like the first guy said around 30-35mm with probably f2.8 to get just the guy in focus and to get some natural light in there, ISO 100, AF and a shutterspeed at 1/125 and you were using elinchrom universal triggers for the flashes.

    the flash and softbox was held by a person with a handcrane or whatever you call it(my english sucks)

    the person is not hanging or is helped, he is doing that position by himself and you have lighted him up a bit on the cheeks and thighs in the editing process and the balcony and the wall in the top as been darkened after.

    the building have you found by a guy you know so there is not actually a room where they usually perform yoga.

    probably almost everything wrong but it was fun to really think and imagine what was going on :D

  19. Justin March 9, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    I think you've got one big-ass hard light (technical term) high and directly above the subject with a small softbox camera left for a little fill on the face. The shoot is on location, and I'm guessing you used some kind of Nikon super shooter D- whatever and a 24-70 lens.

  20. F.Fridriksson March 9, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    I'm guessing it's shot on location using small flashes/strobes. One is shot from above (hence the shadow) and a couple others from the right and left to create some mild fill (with softboxes) or maybe you just used reflectors for that.

    As for lenses, you could have been using your Hasselblad, in which case I have no clue what lens you were using, maybe 80mm?

    Otherwise it's a Nikon D3(x) with a 20-70 f/2.8 shot at approx. f/5.6… seems like a wider shot, so I'll say between 28-50mm.

  21. Alex March 9, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    Big softbox on the top and a kind of a fill light in the front of the subject.
    I see front light on his left hand. If it was no light in front of him, the hand would have more yellow tint.

  22. Davidoff March 9, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    I also think it's shot on location. Big light from above (maybe an octa), smaller box (or a reflector) from camera left at nearly floor level for lighting the face. A flash head camera left high for the background possibly with long throw reflector. There is also a background light camera right but it seems softer it looks like available light but the longer exposure needed bothers me… after all he is frozen. May be his area is flagged from the available light in qustion. It looks like 35mm lens @f4 or f5.6, possibly about 1/30th.

    Anyway it's a good shot. May be a little cluttered in the top (poles sticking out, some cables on the wall etc.) but on the other hand, it's more real that way.



  23. Marc... March 9, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    Hey Chase,

    My guess is also like all others a big softbox from the top, filler camera left for the face/hair maybe diffused, but it's really low powered. I'm thinking below/behind the basket it might be a strobe, but i'll let that go since i see a powercord running to it. The light on the right side of that " balcony " type thing doesn't look to logical to me, so I say a small strobe. Looking at the temp. difference between the strobed light and the rest of the lighting I think that's all of it, and the gym lights to fill the rest ( look at the orange basket board ).


  24. Marc March 9, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    Hey Chase,

    My guess is also like all others a big softbox from the top, filler camera left for the face/hair maybe diffused, but it's really low powered. I'm thinking below/behind the basket it might be a strobe, but i'll let that go since i see a powercord running to it. The light on the right side of that " balcony " type thing doesn't look to logical to me, so I say a small strobe. Looking at the temp. difference between the strobed light and the rest of the lighting I think that's all of it, and the gym lights to fill the rest ( look at the orange basket board ).


  25. Existence March 9, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    Regarding the body position, I think that the guy was standing up and his hands were probably on a table or sth. The reflection on the floor from his right hand is definitely made up. I'm not sure whether the legs are from this guy or from another photo btw…

  26. Peter ph from at March 9, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    Well I guess this is a composition of 3 pics:

    1) wooden floor on location 35mm f4 flash from the top
    2) talent (studio) 50mm f4, white background maybe with a little hidden support for the talent,
    big softbox from the top, fill light left (stronger) and right of the camera,
    3) background different location 35mm f5.6 natural light

    All of this knocked together by Scott ;-)

    Sounds easy, looks great! :-)

  27. Mike Last March 9, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    KISS Method.

    Available light… possibly a reflector to fill in his face or just a bit of dodge in post.

    D3s and 24-70. ISO… let's go with 1600.

  28. Warren Brown March 9, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    The subject is holding the pose.

    Camera/photographer is as close to the ground as possible and you've used a high powered flash which is that close to the ground as well to light, floor, etc. which is in front of and slightly to the left of the direction that the subject is facing.

    You're likely using the 24 – 70 lens, as wide as possible…F5.6'ish?

    Shooting with the D300s.

    You may have burned the corners a bit, though that could be from the fall off of the flash.

  29. Ryan Kirk March 9, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    Here's my 2 cents:

    It's a composite with Scott's legs. A bit whiter than the rest of the body thanks to the Seattle weather.
    Shot in the studio with 3 flashes on an infinity wall
    Camera used was the digital Hasse
    The basketball backboard reminds me of an old family reunion at a church in the country.

    Painful contortion yet beautiful image!

  30. Davidoff March 9, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    Oops! Forgot to mention the small light below the basket. It really gives the picture some depth. I couldn't tell though if it's a continuous light source or an added small flash, but I guess it's a flash.

  31. Juma March 9, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    First thing is about the subject,

    Having seen Chase's work over a period of time, one of the consistent things is that he gets actual people who can do the actual thing. So what's a yoga shoot without real yogis. That guys is actually doing the move plus I'm sure its a series and there are other poses from other yogis.

    That's one.

    About the light

    I'm a big fan of available light, this light looks so natural its weird…like its on location with just the overhead lighting from the building, but I'm tempted to say big brolly box or soft box directly above the yogi…the floor seems to be reflecting on his face. Same light over the right and backboard.

    f/stop & FL

    Taken from pretty close just a few feet away, front and back not going crazy out of focus so I'd say about 28 – 35mm or so, I'm totally torn at the aperture, one part of me says bigger for ambient and another says smaller of increased depth of field but in the end I'll say f5.6 probably laying belly down on the floor while taking the shot. This aperture conflict might lead me to think comp…not sure tho.

    Lastly, ISO 400 FTW

  32. David March 9, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    Two, maybe three, shots. One 'model.' And a whole lot of cloning going on.

  33. ThomasMN March 9, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    ISO 1600
    24-70 @ 35mm f/7.1
    Ambient light
    Reflector from the left.

    I'll be more than surprised if my guess it correct :)

  34. Linda van Rosmalen March 9, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    Taken at ~30mm. Large octobank overhead. Fill flash camera left. Bounce low at camera right. (It's my first try at deconstructing, go easy on me, lol)

  35. Linda van Rosmalen March 9, 2010 at 5:09 am #

    Oh and I'm guessing f4

  36. Andy March 9, 2010 at 5:09 am #

    Maybe I've been staring at it too long but the guy's right shoulder upper arm doesn't look right. Perhaps signs of a composite. My guess is two shots. First one guy is in push up position, sencond he is laying on the side at 45 degrees, resting legs on a stand, or another arm.

    Lighting: overhead on the model, larger light source top, camera right for fill.

    Accent lighting on the back under the balcony.

    Harder light into the back left stairs.

  37. Dustin Prickett March 9, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Chinese dueling dragons throwing fire all over the place.

  38. NESOHU March 9, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Unfiltered Strobe, top of model, 15 degrees left. (highlights on the legs)
    Reflector on the right bouncing light on the shadow (most probably warmed)
    Natural stadium lights turned on (soft shadows below the net)

    Camera: D3s with a 14-24mm F2.8
    Shot at rear sync, 1/50s

  39. Gustaf March 9, 2010 at 5:12 am #

    Shot on location with an iPhone 3GS obviously ;-)

  40. Relle March 9, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    skylight on the roof of the gym and 1 fleckie to the left and 1 fleckie to the right but further away…and a D3 with about a 50mm.

  41. Martin March 9, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    It's screen-grab off Joe McNally's site… ;-)

  42. :trond: March 9, 2010 at 5:18 am #

    Looks like it´s taken on location, also I think it´s taken with a shoot through umbrella from high above (without umbrella reflector on lamp). A second lamp with a reflector seems to be placed on camera left shooting down from about 5 feet. Maybe also some white reflection screens in the front to lighten shadows.

    Camera shot with quite a long lens (120-200mm if you are using you nikon)

    I don´t think a lot of artifical light is viewable in the photo so maybe 1/125, f8

  43. Rikke March 9, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Going out on a limb here, but I think it is on location, natural light, high ISO maybe 3200, 16 – 35 F5.6 1/400 from a low pow

    Just because you have all the equipt in the world doesn't mean you have to use them when you own a gift like yours ;-)

  44. renatotarga March 9, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    The main light is probably the available light: the gym's lights (you can see a reflection of them on the floor, on the right) as they are somewhat uniform on the floor. A softbox or diffuser over him probably would make the floor look different.

    There is some kind of filling from camera left, which could come from a reflector or a flash, with a Rembrandt lighting pattern (there is that illuminated triangle under his left eye).

    The yoga asana (posture) is called Parsva Bakasana (it is more common whitout extending the legs, I could do that a couple of years ago).

  45. Marc Pritchard March 9, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    cgi – place doesn't exist!

  46. Joe March 9, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    For lighting, I see 4 primary lights going on – 1 large diffused light source over the model, and 2 very narrow (possible snooted) lights pointing from either side at the back wall – one is hitting the net and one is aimed to the right in the area behind the model's foot. The last one is filling the model from the front gently.

    For the lens, this could be done with just about any normal ranged lens (although there isn't a lot of separation so he could be making use of a zoom), probably about f8.

    I do believe it is at a gym location and I believe the 4 metal chairs were strategically placed to balance the composition. The wood floors would make the lighting nice and warm, it is possible that either some gels were used to reign that it or some white balance adjustment was used in post to bring in some more green.

  47. Michael Plaxico March 9, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    This was shot on location. I'm playing the natural light card, sir.

  48. Kenny March 9, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    Background three lights. One basketball hoop and two underneath.
    Subject one softbox above and one reflector camera left.

    Camera settings iso 400 1/30 @ 5.6

    A little photoshopping for final result.

  49. Dejan March 9, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    - shot on location, with a real guy
    - camera low on the floor or almost
    - composition wise: the guy is smartly positioned abit left and his legs hold the balance on the right side, while the camera still tryes to point to a virtual centre of the gym (you had to avoid that the lines in the background don't stick out of his head)
    - probably arround 35 mm, f5.6 or one stop more
    - relatively big softbox (the lighted part of floor seems circle-like) above the the guy, plus some ambient lighting for the backgroud (as far as i can see the shadows from the basket)
    - the strange thing (maybe a resizing thing or weird postproduction photoshop outcome) is the very straight line and diffused color on the guys thigh of the upper leg

  50. Rob March 9, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Was it in studio? Location? Composited?

    I'd gather it was a location shoot.

    What was the lighting? The circumstances?

    There's definitely a huge bank from directly above from the shadow on the floor. Additionally, there's a fill light off to camera left on his face.

    I'd guess there's a flash on the back of the rafters closest to the photographer and another light off to the camera right in the rafters.

    As for the camera, I have no idea, but I'll guess a Nikon D3 at f/10, 1/400th at ISO 200 with a 24-70.

    The camera settings? The equipment used? Tricks?

  51. Patrick O'Gara March 9, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    Shot on location (the small fold in the skin on his knee by his elbow tells me he's likely holding that pose on the ground) at about f/5.6 with somewhere between a 20-70mm lens. One large softbox above (and slightly behind?), probably an octabox because of the round area of light with soft shadows surrounding the guy . Two speedlights, one behind the hoop shining on the wall, and the other on the same level out of frame to the right (can't be hidden because of the glare on the gym floor). And one low soft light (strip box?) low and slightly left if not centered to give fill light on the dude's face and arms (as indicated by the highlights just above his wrists and on his right shin).

    And I'm not sure, but some possible lighting on the hoop and backboard itself. I think I see it brighter from bottom to top, but it is very subtle.

  52. Paul D'Andrea March 9, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    Looks like a medium sized soft source above and slightly to (camera) left. Maybe gridded, you can see the fall off in the court behind your subject.

    A hard light coming in from the left on his face. You can see the hard shadow on the thigh of his upper leg and just a bit on his left nostril.

    There's going to be a good bit of bounce coming up off the floor for fill, possibly a reflector camera right though?

    I see a shadow of the basketball hoop, so one hard light on the backboard, upper left. This one is also lighting the stairs.

    There's two (ambient?) lights in the over-hang, one directly below the backboard and one on the right side of the frame.

    There's one more shadow that has me stumped, the horizontal line just above the line of chairs. Possibly this is caused by the light on the hoop and stairs?

  53. Ovidiu Morgos March 9, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    So… first of all there is a lot of photoshop in this. Look at his right arms thumb(cut) and mostly at his fingers all squeezed like a piece of paper.

    My opinion there are at least 3 lights used in this. One light behind on legs and shoulders probably softbox 120cm dimensions or bigger as main light. Rim lights on his right side of the legs and arms probably snooted or well gridded sbox. Then there's the light on his face coming from camera left and above causing reflections on his hair that clearly show the use of one light in front of the subject.
    If they only used one strobe camera left, the falloff of the light could have never been so intense on his left shoulder and legs, and the shadows on his tshirt are created by a light coming from behind.

    Then, where did his head shadow end and why isn't the shadow underneath equally intense? Look at the golden line.

    As for the ambient, they probably used a photo where one or no strobes were used. You can see two lights reflected on the chairs, a very small one under the basket(strobe??) and a bigger one on the right the is probably the same reflected on the floor down and at the right.

    For the gear, ambient with a 24 max 35mm lens with a small aperture for the DoF , over 85mm for the body anywhere in between f8-16.

    Besides, for his left leg they probably burnt some highlights and restored them with photoshop, you can see a straight line with clear colour artefacts…

    Cheers and hope my english was good enough!

    • Brandon November 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

      Its NOT photoshopped. im not a pro- photographer, but i know that what his pose is is called a freeze. Its a b-boy move, and with enough practice and stretching, many are able to do this. Just look it up. It just sucks that people would say that this is photoshopped when in reality they are putting effort into this. Im speaking from my dance experience that its possible, not fake. I dont want to sound rude, but just saying. :)

  54. Simon Fleming March 9, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    Real pose, on location, lots of shooting.
    Combination of large overhead softbox on a boom, smaller softbox or reflector to camera left, blended with the ambient gym lighting. The powered lights may have been gelled with a half cut of CTO to keep the skin tones & wooden floor looking nice & warm. May be a couple of speedlights firing along the back wall in strategic positions to add some depth & interest. Bit of subtle post processing – mainly vignetting. Nikon D3/S/X shot at the subject's eye level with the 14-24 @ 24mm F2.8…..?

  55. pindaro March 9, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    On location with available lights and reflectors.

    High ISO, medium aperture.

    Theres also a lot of editing, possibly lucis, topaz or some sort of software hdr.

  56. Patrick O'Gara March 9, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    Scratch what I said earlier about the speedlights, the one behind the backboard is higher up than I indicated and left (just noticed the hard shadow jutting to the right) and the one on the right side is still out of frame, just pointed much further left than I had originally thought (again, a hard shadow).

  57. Brad March 9, 2010 at 5:56 am #

    He was definitely on site and holding that position, if he was sitting upright and rotated in post his left calf muscle would not fall like it does. One large softbox overhead and a smaller one camera left and in front of the subject to highlight his face. two small strobes under the track behind the basket and one softbox on a boom from behind the backboard to separate it from the dark track behind. Using the 24-70 2.8 lens. I'm guessing it's you probably set it at f6, that's almost 3/4 of a basketball court you're shooting and can still make out the folding chairs against the wall.

  58. Fabian Pulido Pardo March 9, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    I think the photo is taken directly on location, combining ambient light with a softbox from above, with curve fitting in ps

  59. Benjamin March 9, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    I think this is one of those shots that isn't so much about lighting technicalities but all about catching the perfect moment and expression while framing it in such a way to transform an unbalanced off-centered pose into something that looks perfectly symmetrical despite its asymmetry.

    I'd be extremely tempted to say that this shot was all ambient because of how simply spontaneous the shot looks but I have trouble seeing that happening on such a high scale shoot.

    In addition, lights are normally fluorescent and flat in a gym so that would eliminate the possibility .

    The main consideration must have been to avoid any large reflections on the glossy floor so gridded lightsources were definitely a must for the main model and i'd guess lights coming in from upper camera left to include create a spotlight effect, some type of diffused light on the right to light the feet, some fill in the front.

    For the background, I'd say a single large lightsource to light up the gym itself (bouncing off the cieling) and three small lights to fill the stairs, hoops and chairs respectively. Alternatively, the background fill could have come from the ambient light and color corrected in post.

    my thoughts.

    PS. the pose is real… his legs are being supported by his left arm!

  60. Aboco68 March 9, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    One, large soft box high and to camera left (45/45) provides the highlights – it's set at 2/3rds of a stop off ambient light. The shadow under the guy comes solely from the gym lights.

  61. Chase March 9, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    This is a composited image. The subject was shot in your studio on a seamless background that was edited out in post so the subject could be placed in the other picture which you also shot. The lighting is a one light set up. You have the light up above and behind slightly behind subject pointed down at subject. The flash is not modded with any type of light diffuser such as a softbox but a bare bulb. The light hit the subject and also was bounced back at his face and front with a gold reflector to help match the tone of the b-ball court when you composite him into the bball court photo. The reflector was camera left. I thought you might have had a two light thing going on but there is no catch light and the shot really can be done with one light. your camera settings are: f11 @ 1/160 with around a 40-50mm focal lenght. You used a Nikon D3S or whatever the pro camera is you use mainly for this shoot. The court was shot with ambient light with one strobe used to flash on the floor where the subject would be composited in.

  62. JLP March 9, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    Shot in a studio against a white seamless. There is an octa directly overhead and the fill on his chest and arms is from the reflective floor surface below him. I actually think that they put a wood surface down on the floor to get more of a natural (warm) reflective bounce into him to match the gym. There is a light coming from low camera left. Maybe a head with a tight grid aimed at the face. to prevent spillover on the rest of the body.
    Then the gym was shot separately. 2 lights high up, pointing down. ONe back towards the goal and one slightly aimed forward to spread through the floor of the gym.

    there we go…that's my best go at it.

  63. LucyW March 9, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Model shot in studio on pommel horse (or similar gym equipment) to get the leg positions, shot again on location to get the hand positions and face. Composited together in PSP.

    Shot 1:
    Strong directional light above, slightly behind model and to camera left, with slight diffusion, to light back and tops of arms and his right hand. Large softer light above, with diffusion, to light legs – also picking out detail on toes. Black poly board to right to define shadows on balls of feet.

    Shot 2:
    Small directional light above and in front of model to camera left to light face, define cheekbones. Smaller, softer light/ reflector/ white material under model to define chest and chin.

    Large soft light from above model to simulate location lighting and picking out highlights in hair.

    Directional, slightly diffused, light from above, on balcony, camera left lighting edge of large white panel and creating basketball net shadow and triangular shadow under balcony.

    Softer directional light far camera right on balcony lighting gap and creating triangular shadow from balcony under wooden slats.

    Soft light or reflector from from floor to highlight underside of wooden boards near basketball hoop.

    Large soft light from above camera towards back of hall to simulate ambient lighting and to light back wall and white panels.

    Large soft light from above model to simulate ambient lighting, model's lighting and to give general light to area where the model will be.

    Large soft light at back of hall, very camera left and from above, softly lighting wall below basketball hoop, picking up detail in alcove and creating lovely soft shadow in alcove.

    Stronger light with some diffusion near the wall at back to light wall under hoop and creating stronger thinner shadow to right and top of alcove.

    Model and location shots combined. Shadows balanced out. Shadows heightened at back of hall behind basketball net. Reflections of hand in floor balanced out. Colours balanced out to give the model some reflected 'glow' from the floor and to give location light a warmer hue to balance reflected light from floor and a slightly flouri light look.

    Digital SLR with fairly wide angled lens for hall (24mm) at f5.6. Model shot on same camera at around 50mm at smaller aperture (f16).

  64. Omar March 9, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    I really don't know much but here it goes.

    lights ?
    softbox at 8 clock, (being 12 clock the subject)
    another light at 9 clock and elevated
    softbox at 4 clock

    thinking about a 24 f2.8 but shoot at f6 or f8
    or the 17-35 f2.8 shot at f6 or f8

    increase in the blackpoings, desatrate very soft the back,

    i'm really guessing

  65. thomas philipp March 9, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    pose is definitly real i can hold that myself for a minute or two :)
    yes im so good :D

    i think its a softbox from above. and another flash from the left, reflected into the ground a little bit infront of his head shadow.

    camera settings: to get expsoure right at maybe f10?
    haha im just guessing.
    but i want the book!

  66. Marlon dela Cruz March 9, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    One light with large softbox above the model to create nice soft light. One light with beauty dish, camera left, 2 feet higher than the models head. 2 speedlites clamped, one below the basket (under the platform where the basket is attached to), one to the side (on the right). Has to be a 'blad with HC 3.5/50 @ f11 judging by the depth of field. On location and not composited – less time spent on post production, bigger profit margin.

  67. Tiago de Paula Carvalho March 9, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    the way I see it, this is a perfect natural shot with no tricks or great lighting artifacts, probably some lighting from above the guy with the softbox and to the basket from above/left, either than that, it's just pure angle work and skill of the yoga guy! Nice one!

  68. Anthony Luke March 9, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    Done in one shot… Because it is cooler
    1. Softbox above yoga dude.
    2. Light above and to camera left of the hoop
    3. Another light from camera left on the background for seperation
    4. fill light from camera left on yoga dude
    5. post work on levels, saturation etc
    6. you were more sore from the shoot than yoga dude!

    please sign the book to Anthony

  69. Jeff Flindt March 9, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    My “Lizard Brain”-Seth was telling me not to comment on this, so i did it anyway. Let’s see what happens….
    I have seen how flexible and strong people are in yoga class so the body is not “Photo Chopped”.
    The client (LuluLemon Athletica) would want to keep the pose as natural as possible.
    It looks like it was shot in a old gymnasium with controlled lighting. If this was shot in the last 3-4 months then it was probably pretty cold inside the gym for the yogi to warm up. Hands and feet were cold. You can tell there is a pretty big light source (Broncolor Softbox) straight above the yogi. There is also a reflector or a second light source to the left of the camera to fill in the side of the subjects face. In the back there are some lights that are wirelessly (Pocket Wizard) stuffed under the hoop and up behind the balcony. Looks like another light is up against the far away wall to the top right above the metal chairs.
    The camera (Hasselblad) is tethered and a couple of inches from the ground. Looks like it could of been shot with a 35mm lens, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/125, around F5.6 or F8. Kate and Mikal helped produce, Cody filmed, Scott assisted, Dartanyon cleaned it all up on his MacPro. Probably used Aperture 3.0, and some detail work in “Photochop“ CS4. Looks like there was a stylist involved because of all the product in the yogis hair.

    Stuff maybe used for this shoot…
    Broncolor Verso A4 2400 w/s Pack
    Broncolor Mobil A2R Travel Kit
    Broncolor Softboxes
    Pocket Wizard Trancievers
    Sandisk Extreme Cards
    Hasselblad H2D
    Hasselblad H3D
    Hasselblad 35mm f3.5
    Tripods, Stands, Reflectors.
    Extension cords
    Macbook Pro
    G-Tech Drives

  70. Dominic March 9, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    Shot on location – setting, model and pose are real.

    24-70mm, f2.8

    * Overhead gym lights (see reflection in the floor and shadow on the hoop)
    * Softbox overhead slightly off camera left
    * Flash left

    Post Prod.
    * Image has some destauration possibly through combining a desaturated version with the original and blending options maybe softlight or overlay.
    * Burning in the background by the hoop, the arches and shadow areas
    * Dodging applied to the tops of the legs, models right hand shoulder and nose
    * Subtle noise effect been introduced to create a gritty look

    Really like the image.

  71. Dave Winter March 9, 2010 at 6:26 am #

    Daylight from roof skylight.
    No fill in.
    Yoga position held still.
    50mm lens on F/16 on tripod near floor with a time exposure set approx 5 secs.Simples:-)

  72. J. Harrington / Icon Imaging March 9, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Location shoot

    Main light: a flash over him with big softbox (Octobox or 4×6, 6×8) about 10' above subject.

    Fill light: 20-30 degrees off camera left, angled down about 20 degrees with grid and/or snoot. I don't see any catch lights in the eyes, so it could be a reflector, but I doubt it. I think they may have been removed in PS.

    Camera: about 1 foot off the ground and about 10 feet from your subject. Using a higher ISO to record the ambient light. Angle of view and lack of distortion suggests something more around a 70mm on a DLSR or equivalent on a medium format. As for shutter speed, a faster shutter speed around 1/125 @ around f/5.6.

    Post production: Increasing the warmth of the image slightly, adding a slight blur in the foreground along with a slight vignette. Along with other standard touch ups to subject or scene (blemishes, marks on floor/walls.

    I've been shooting a pile of yoga and dance poses in the past year, and this is my best guess from what I've been shooting. Looking forward to seeing the answer!

  73. David Dvir March 9, 2010 at 6:36 am #


    Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8
    Body: Nikon D3/D3s/D3x (but I'd guess the D3s)
    Softbox: Softbox A or Key light, is a small maybe 16inch rectangular box.
    Softbox B is another softox but larger.

    Camera Setting:
    f/6 or f/8
    1/50s shutter
    ISO between 1000-3200
    focal length about 30mm

    Softbox settings and location:
    A: location is 4'6" off the ground, aimed downward centered above his knees, or midway down leg between knees and ankle, and set at 3:1 ratio with Light B
    Light B is set camera left, beside subject at a hight of roughly 9'

    Shot on location – in one shot with slower shutter speed and low powered lights to fill the gym. Gym lighting is fluorescent although not abundant. One gym light is burnt out in front of, and to the right of the basketball net, guessing you chose to leave it that way to make the image more real – or to screw with us… although there is a light under the net – on the belly side of the track, it's just a regular gym light, and the ring shadow of the net is not actually from the net either, but something else, or added in afterwards.

    The time of day was about 8PM and it was shot 2 weeks ago. You had a sandwich earlier but didn't think it was the best ever.

    That's my go at it!

  74. Tom Hole March 9, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    A based Semiotic deconstruction of the image would point to the main signifiers

    1) Model, Asian – culutrally linked with Yoga, and 'far-east' meditation etc etc.
    2) Location, Mid 20th Century, Hard Woodern floor, possibly an auditorium or similar, repurposed for basketball. = old meets new (a parallel no doubt to the idea of Yoga itself, as old ideology meets the 21st Centuries inward looking (selfish?) philosophy.
    3) The Basket Ball hoop! What a Complex sign. Aim's, aspiration, unreachable, Yoga as the means to aspire to something more?
    There are of course multiple deconstruction of the schenes to do with the empty seats, and auditorium feel that pointwards a sublte jab at the personality types engaged in Yoga (i.e. wanting an audience?) But i am not cynical enough to go into further details.

    - Also why the hell is everyone else posting light setups? He ask you to deconstruct it, thats fairly obvious… lets get metaphysical people!

  75. Tom Hole March 9, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    A based Semiotic deconstruction of the image would point to the main signifiers

    1) Model, Asian – culutrally linked with Yoga, and 'far-east' meditation etc etc.
    2) Location, Mid 20th Century, Hard Woodern floor, possibly an auditorium or similar, repurposed for basketball. = old meets new (a parallel no doubt to the idea of Yoga itself, as old ideology meets the 21st Centuries inward looking (selfish?) philosophy.
    3) The Basket Ball hoop! What a Complex sign. Aim's, aspiration, unreachable, Yoga as the means to aspire to something more?
    There are of course multiple deconstruction of the schenes to do with the empty seats, and auditorium feel that pointwards a sublte jab at the personality types engaged in Yoga (i.e. wanting an audience?) But i am not cynical enough to go into further details.

    - Also why the hell is everyone else posting light setups? He ask you to deconstruct it, thats fairly obvious… lets get metaphysical people!

  76. Kreighbaum March 9, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Should have avoided the other comments, but trying to shutter those from my mind. I think it was location. Ambient lighting with fill/reflectors/actual pose. Wider lens, 50 or 35. Ap at 2.8-4. Can't forget you probably used a camera with great low light sensitivity. My hope it was not a composite. No tricks. Normal post.

  77. Matt Lange March 9, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Composite Shot

    legs shot separately – overhead lighting
    upper body shot pushup style – lighting to front right and overhead

    both composited onto background shot separately.

  78. owen fitter March 9, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Well, I like the idea that it would not be a composite. For the subject, there is a key light overhead, possibly a 6" strip just off his body camera left a bit. An additional light is coming in from the left front to fill his face and body, using the floor as a reflector. a Light behind the basket for the wall.

  79. Anonymous March 9, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    let's see what kind of trickery is going on here

    I'm gonna start off with a location shoot for the scene looks like and old Ymca joint

    on the background
    under the rim under the balcony is a spot type light and one off to the right

    just behind and over the yoga-man-rat is a big a softy light
    directed towards the camera.

    well the floor is bouncing some pretty stuff up in his face

    last light guess
    something is hitting the backboard could be some gym over heads with some neat white balancing
    and finally for the camera
    Imma go with a 2 1/4 f/5.6

  80. M. S. Kirk March 9, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Like a lot of people I think there are at least 2 lights on him; one soft box from above and one soft box or reflector fill camera left. Maybe you filled in the background maybe you didn’t but my main question is on that top light.

    How did you get it to not reflect on the floor but still produce nice soft shadows on the floor?

    Either you had a really good grid on that soft box (is that a little spill I see in the floor on the right side?) or you flagged it. Either way, how did you keep the light that is hitting the floor so uniform all the way to the camera? Or is it a PS job to take out the reflections?

  81. Ken March 9, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Two speedlights mounted on the dark rafters. One is directly under the hoop in the middle. The other is on the right side aimed at the back wall.
    The main light is probably a gridded octa or possibly a PLM high over the guy but slightly behind and to the right. There's a gridded octa slightly left and behind cam for fill and aimed so bouncing off the floor would light up the hoop a bit (though the reflection should be visible in his eyes).
    And a fresnel to camera right for fill on his right side (you can see the fresnel's edge in the archway). I don't like the look of that edge though :-)

    What I don't get is the line above the chairs in the back. I think that's a different color of paint because I don't see where that shadow line would come from.
    The guy should also have highlights in his eyes so they are either visible in the larger photo or photoshopped out. Without them, his eyes look a bit dead, so I'd hope they didn't photoshop them out :-)

  82. Pixel Fotografie March 9, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Well, I'll give it a try.
    When I look at his knee, he's doing it for real, so it's on location.
    You used a 45mm. PC-E Nikkor lense on youre D3s with f-8 and 1/30th of a second exposure for the ambient light.

    The PC-E is because of the perspective in the background. It's all straight and isn't "falling" over.
    It doesn't look distorted.

    There's a big light (soft/octa-box) above, a little bit on the right side of the subject. Look at the shadow on the floor.
    A fill-light, also a big one, but with grid is camera-left on floor level.

    If you look at the reflections in the background, the seats and the wall are reflecting in the floor, so that's another argument why it's on location.

    Don't be to critical on the language…I'm doing the best I can…

  83. Ken March 9, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Two speedlights mounted on the dark rafters. One is directly under the hoop in the middle. The other is on the right side aimed at the back wall.
    The main light is probably a gridded octa or possibly a PLM high over the guy but slightly behind and to the right. There's a gridded octa slightly left and behind cam for fill and aimed so bouncing off the floor would light up the hoop a bit (though the reflection should be visible in his eyes).
    And a fresnel to camera right for fill on his right side (you can see the fresnel's edge in the archway). I don't like the look of that edge though :-)

    What I don't get is the line above the chairs in the back. I think that's a different color of paint because I don't see where that shadow line would come from.
    The guy should also have highlights in his eyes so they are either visible in the larger photo or photoshopped out. Without them, his eyes look a bit dead, so I'd hope they didn't photoshop them out :-)

    Oops….forgot to include camera settings though that's not as important as the lighting IMHO.
    No real facial distortion or perspective distortion I see, so probably roughly 35mm on FF (50mm on APS-C). ISO400 because of the use of speedlights. Probably f/4 as well. He should be a lot sharper, so it was probably edited in post where the orangish cast was also added…

  84. Edward Weiland Photography March 9, 2010 at 7:11 am #


    Fantastic image! My guess..

    1) actual location
    2) 50mm lens because the athlete is not distorted f 11 as the entire background is in focus. Now looking at the image again there is a lot of compression between the athlete and the backboard. I am revising my guess to the 70-200mm at 150mm ish. It looks like he is at the half court area. I think that is the 3 point line near the middle right by the chairs.
    3) your angle makes me think you where laying on the gym floor. You may even have the lens hood resting on it
    4) i see the shadow on rim on the backboard pointing down and right. Based on the color of the background you used a background light from camera left.
    5) lighting the athlete is an overhead light source. The shadow on the floor and highlights on the subjects legs. My guess pretty much right overhead. 4' softbox and reasonable close to the subject to create the soft shadow effect you want.
    6) I am looking at the athletes face and I see a slight shadow on the left side (camera right) of his nose. I think you used a light with a snoot to create the light and shadow on his face.
    So thats my guess!


    Edward Weiland

  85. josh March 9, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    shot on location

    actual pose from subject

    large soft box above subject

    octa to slight camera left for fill on subject

    two bare heads for background, snooted to get spotlight- one under the basketball hoop and the other just above subjects feet on the wall

    one more diffused light for fill on the basketball hoop and railing

    camera settings – 1/100th, ISO 400, shot with a 85mm at f3.2 for a slight DOF but not to drastic

    post processing – area above subject that is the background has been darkened as well as a little bit of the floor near the yoga logo – contrast added

    great work – not your typical yoga location shot, but it works well showing that yoga can be done anywhere

  86. Allen Krughoff March 9, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Ohhh I'll add one too…starting with things others may have missed I hope. Didn't read 'em all but here goes…

    Quick version: two strobes in ceiling/running track floor in BG, two strobes way high (possibly on running track a floor above, behind camera) providing fill+raising ambient. One of those 2 nearly behind camera right and one behind but further off to the left. Lighting up his face on his right. PLUS one overhead strobe, small light source like a speedlight or gridded strobe.

    long version—

    If there aren't a couple of wireless-ly triggered strobes placed up in the ceiling in the background to light the walls, the gym has some pretty awesome/grunge lighting going on. The light coming down is pretty similar to a speedlight in falloff, etc – but might just be some can lights!

    I'm going to say a small light source for the overhead. Checkout how the light is not wrapping around the subject, especially on his left leg AND the shadow on the floor is pretty crisp. If it was some massive octashmank, softbox, etc anywhere close, the shadow would be retreating in size underneath him.

    Ah ha! Found something else. You've got that light line right above the chairs. That's coming from light clipping the floor (running track?) behind the backboard (above chairs).
    AND seeing as I think it may be a running track…it'd be easy to get a couple assistants or stands/clips with lights up there. Some light source to produce the shadow of the rim on the wall below/behind it as well as the shadow of the round entryway, camera left, on the wall behind that. 2 lights – 2 shadows on that wall behind the round entryway.

    I would say the same light hitting the back wall and making those silhouettes of the rim, round entry, line above the chairs…is the same light that's providing fill on the yogi's face – both sides. Otherwise that'd be pretty dark with just overhead light. Oh, and it's lighting up the backboard too.

    No composites or fancy photoshop here, being from Boulder, CO we've got a solid yoga following and I've seen some stretchy types do that a few times:)

    Camera stuff? Wide angle somethin' somethin' close the floor, wireless triggers for those strobes/speedlights.

    btw – I like that guy's post the metaphysical deconstruct, hilarious.

  87. The Bimbo´s Place March 9, 2010 at 7:29 am #






  88. Sterling March 9, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    Am I allowed 2 kicks at the can? My first guess assumes that it is mostly done in-camera because you seem to prefer that:

    One soft light source camera left and from a little above his head to give the Rembrandt lighting pattern on his face.

    Another, larger soft source from above and a little behind the model, camera left. This one with a little hotter setting.

    Two speedlights in the rafters to light the walls, one below the hoop and the other to the right side of the frame.

    My second guess is the 'if he photoshopped this' guess:

    Photoshop composite: basketball hoop and boards around it, the model's legs

  89. zackgross March 9, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    I'm sure everyone has mentioned just about every posable situation but i think the lighting is as such. MInd you this is a student application (3rd year student at the Tyler School of art, look out fashion photo word)

    Lighting goes as such

    fill light-
    an umbrella for fill high and left, you can see its shadow in the back entrance to the gym

    there is also another light above the camera thats turned up higher than the other fill light. this shadow is also evident in the entrance. this same light illuminates the basketball hoop and back board.

    also there are two SB800's to emulate the lights that would be below the indoor gym

    lights on the model.

    i think the model is done in composite. the light on his face does not match the light on his body.

    the first shot includes his upper body

    there is a 20 grid on his face. coming from the stands compressed height and aimed down at the face, this light is about a foot and a half behind his shoulder and out of frame to the left.

    there is a boomed reflector dish above him and about 3.5 feet behind him. this gives the highlight on his shoulders and its close to him makes the shadow softer.

    the second shot with the model has similar lighting:

    one reflector dish about 2 feet behind him this time and a reflector sending light back into his legs.

    In post production Scott stitched the two shots of the model together, cut off a little bit of the highlight on the model's left tricep. He pushed the sharpening and clarity to get the Jarvis look and pushed the blacks a little bit deeper. Also he made the hard wood's color come out a little bit.

    if i'm right I'll take the book but I would realy love to come and assist on a couple shoots. I've been assisting for a few years already but typically I'm the only assistant. I've been on a couple big budget shoots and they're really something amazing to see. I really love what iI'm doing and want to be one of the best.

  90. Venura Herath March 9, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Left one light box (most probably Strip )
    Right another softbox slightly angled (~ 30 degrees)
    Basket is lighted via either zoomed flash or one with a snoot (angles and it should be located on the upper floor(may be roof) and pointing downwards
    Chairs show some light source too. but it can be ceiling/ gym lighting.
    Lens let me guess 12- 24 Nikkor @f/6 1/60 sec :)
    Camera D3X


    (Pls Don't say its composite :D )

  91. Yossi Mandel March 9, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Complete amateur here (and only that by virtue of working a B&H; Photo), but I appreciate the glimpse you offer into the world of photography so much that I'll take a stab at it and participate.

    Shot on location. The amount of attention paid to lighting the back wall speaks to that, and the reflections and shadow on the gym floor.

    You wanted that particular look on the athlete/model, intense, looking into the camera, but not overworked. I would assume that would need a fast shot of 1/100 – 1/200 while he holds that pose.

    The camera is off the floor enough to allow the floor at the bottom of the image to be slightly out of focus, the floor from there until the athlete is in focus, the athlete is slightly out of focus and the focus degrades and the light softens from the athlete out and up. Not sure how to do that – f/4-5.6 with camera close and angled down or straight? Higher f/stop with camera further away and angled slightly up? Guess would be the latter.

    Think there's reflection of some fluorescent lighting on the floor, the way gym floors tend to reflect the lights, so some of the gym lights may have been on over the athlete, but not by the hoop.

    The lighting seems to be high up and behind the athlete, as the shadows are almost completely underneath the athlete, and the light doesn't hit the hair as much as the legs. The light also falls very harshly on the right hand (at image left). It's hard to tell if the athlete looks so gritty, and the floor so detailed, from post touchup or the lighting. If from lighting, then it would be with no softbox or other diffusion, or maybe one softbox for the general lighting and then harsh targeted lights for the floor in front of the athlete and the front of the athlete. It looks like there might be many ways to get this look. Ony thing that seems sure is that the lighting can't be low facing the athlete or the shadow would disappear. One guess: Soft strong light high positioned above and behind, another soft light slightly forward and right of athlete lower down to light the floor, a third targeted light for the right hand and right side of face (image left).

    In the background, there seems to be one light off-camera to the right casting one area of light, one under the hoop casting another downwards, and a third casting light above the hoop evenly, so diffused somehow.

    There's a reflection of two fingers of the right hand in the gym floor, but cut off, slight possibility that's natural from the curve of the fingers but more probably touched up in post.

  92. dhani accioly borges March 9, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    This is a location shot.
    One octabank directly above a tad bit overexposed (slightly blown out skin) which allowed the light to reflect from the floor and create a nice fill, (note slight color cast on the skin) with a correct exposure.
    Two flashes on the balcony behind the hoop, one for each opening we can see (opposing shadows below the hoop) one stop below the main light on the YOGI.
    One hard light (reflector) camera left above and behind at two stops below the main (shadow of the hoop is hard).
    In terms of post, looks like a slight vignette was used and that the area of the hoop and above was burned in a bit.
    I am guessing a D3S using an ISO at around 800 (slight texture and grain that you don´t get at low ISO´s) using a 24-70mm F2,8 at around 70mm using f5,6.

  93. Hieu Nguyen March 9, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    My Guess is You used the Light from the gym,you kind of got the warm effect from the reflection of the wooden floors,your camera settings my guess was…

    Shutter 1/125

    F/ 5.6

    ISO 400

    used a 24-70 at 30-40mm or at 24mm and during post process you cropped it

    you also turned off some of the surrounding lights to make it look a little more dramatic wait wait also looks like you put some speedlites in the back by the chairs and Hoop???..My guess

  94. Nikos March 9, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Here's my wild ass guess:

    Light 1: Softbox hanging around 8' over the model

    Light 2: Up at around 15' pointing down slightly on the basket from the left hitting the wall and leaving a shadow of the hoop… Snooted/Grided. It looks like there's a 2nd level going around there so maybe up on that?

    Light 3: A snooted/grided light low camera left aimed higher to hit the model's back, head and legs and not run along the floor

    Light 4: Bare strobe in far back right corner to kill the shadows. Creates that reflection on the floor in bottom right?

    Camera: D3
    Lens: 70-200 2.8
    Settings: 85mm 1/125 f8

  95. fldru March 9, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    The lights appear to be positioned;
    Main light overhead and just to the rear of model.
    Diffused lighting to the right of model.
    At least two lights highlight the goal area.
    And one diffused light source from the left front of the model.
    The camera angle appears to be just above horizontal to the model.

    The lens appears to be within twelve feet of the model.
    The camera and it's settings are beyond my limits as is most of the photo.

  96. Floyd March 9, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    The lights appear to be positioned;
    Main light overhead and just to the rear of model.
    Diffused lighting to the right of model.
    At least two lights highlight the goal area.
    And one diffused light source from the left front of the model.
    The camera angle appears to be just above horizontal to the model.

    The lens appears to be within twelve feet of the model.
    The camera and it's settings are beyond my limits as is most of the photo.

  97. Jai Jacob March 9, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    I think the murder was done by chase with the candle stick in the library.. (oh wait.. thats clue. lol) jk.. Sounds like everyone figured this out. Kinda the similar lighting situation as that free for all shoot chase did of the skateboarders. Cool blog entry. Cant wait to see more:

  98. fioritofoto March 9, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    I haven't read any other comments deliberately to see how I do on my own (likely not well!).
    Camera gear = D3X with lens at ~30mm (24-70mm?). Shot while lying on gym floor.
    Settings = f8, 1/200, iso 320 (to keep things interesting)
    Location = not a studio shot, old gymnasium
    Lighting =
    -2 speedlites under the second-level floor lighting the rear wall.
    -large softbox above, and slightly to camera left of "RAT," shooting/aimed down onto him (soft shadows on floor and falloff on model)
    -large light, possibly a softbox with "loose" grid, shooting back from a distance again on camera left(maybe halfway between camera and back wall) onto the backboard and white pickets surrounding it. I believe it's on cam-left because of the semi-circle shadow on the back wall above the staircase, cast by the arched doorway.
    -one more small light source on camera right for fill on model

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Hopefully it's not completely out to lunch.

  99. Brian March 9, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Strip light above with a front fill slight camera left, composited with a separate exposure for the gym itself. accent lights near the hoop, some dodging, burning and warm color tone for effect.

  100. Kurtis March 9, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Light #1 (Rim Light) Likely on a boom with a large octabox roughly above the model just a little in front of him, just out of frame.

    Light #2 (Fill Light) Then there is a light probably with bare reflector behind the camera up high on that second floor to provide fill light for the scene and the background (you can see a shadow cast from the lip of that 2nd floor).

    Environmental (Ambient Light) The lights on the back wall look like they're part of the gym's natural lighting.

    Processing: Doesn't look like this one left Aperture to me, except maybe for standard blemish retouching, etc. and the usual toning adjustments and style tweaks you [well, Scott, technically] would apply.

    This doesn't appear to me to be a composite, though there's no reason at all it couldn't easily be two separate shots. The lighter area around the model from the rim light octabox could easily be photoshopped if you wanted to.

  101. Jimmy Klick March 9, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    i think it was on Location, and the light comes form above

  102. Mike Wilson March 9, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    I love this, though I'm a newb, so I'm not sure I'll get the modifier right.

    One light on the guy from directly above. Probably through a diffusion screen or a large softbox (the light on him seems awfully hot, but the shadow is really soft, which is throwing me off). It looks like you're bouncing some light in to the right as well, sculpting the left (our left) side of his face and casting that shadow from his shoulder onto his thigh.

    For the background, you've got a small speedlight (probably bare) hidden in the rafters under the basket and a second one to camera right in the rafters.

    There also appears to be a light slightly to camera right above and in front of the basket, casting that shadow into the rafters behind it to the left.

    That's my best guess!

  103. Jeff March 9, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    My theory….

    Three lights on background.

    First light just off camera….right side probably bare. level with net pointed toward hoop.

    Second light opposite side same set up about a stop or so darker.

    third light higher from left snooted pointing toward hoop.

    4th light large softbox or octobox above and a few feet in front of subject.

    I believe this was a composite shot. First shot with subject and a reflector or foamcore flat on ground a few feet in front of subject to provide fill. The second shot without subject or reflector used to remove reflector from final image

    I would guess both exposures shot around f8 at 50mm balanced for a little ambient light.

  104. Mike Wilson March 9, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Er… that would be bouncing light in from the left to the left side of his face. That's me! SMRT!

  105. Jeremiah March 9, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    You are 6 feet away, with a 28mm 1:4 on a D3. You have a 20ft circular softbox above, a 12ft sofbox lighting the backboard. a light behind the backboard, and to the very right of the back wall. It was cold, and dark (outside) and you were ready to get a glass of bourbon and water so, in a last ditch effort to get crunk… you ask the guy, "Can you stand on your hands while looking at the camera, and touch the wall with your feet at the same time?" To which he replied… "Yes."

  106. MS March 9, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    On location, in a gym, at the center of court.

    You didn't kill the ambient light, just added some strobes.
    One capture.

    Top, above the subject one big softbox without any filters just behind model.
    Left back, softbox without filters just behind model (the one that makes hair shine)
    Left front, warmed with CTO filter on the right cheek (creates the shadow on left side of his face)
    Two wireless strobes, one on the basker adn one on the background right

    Shot at about 30-50mm around f/5.6.

    Am I close ?

  107. Andrew Tomasino March 9, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Okay, first time playing this game …

    Two lights in the background. One located below the b-ball hoop, the second to camera right at the same height in the rafters. The light on the "yoga man" is very directional and hot, and lines the horizontal position of the body. I'd say you shot him with a strip light gelled to match the room temp, rear curtain sync to allow the ambiance of the room light fill around him. I'm thinking maybe a floor flick, or some kind of flash off to camera left, to shine on the "yoga mans" face.

    As far as camera, lens, gel etc.

    I say, somewhere in the realm of 55-70mm (using the 24-70) aperture is 5.6. Going along with my rear curtain sync idea … I'm saying it's a slower shutter, but not too slow … I say a 60th of second to soak in a portion of the ambient light. I know you use the D3s and D3x so it's one of the two. I'm thinking the D3s so you can shoot fast while "yoga man" is in his position. Cut's of CTO on the lights to balance the color in the room. Okay, that's all I've got … time for a nap.

  108. Gu March 9, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Lighting: large light source from directly above, it could be a bounced light or simply available light from the ceiling. The floor simply bounces light back onto subject's face and fill in shadow details.

    If the grain come from the camera, I'm leaning towards available light.

    Definitely not a comp, otherwise I'd like to know the retoucher please.

    The focal length should be between 50 to 85mm, given the perspective of the subject and vertical background lines.

    As for depth of field, it would be f8 and smaller, possibly f11, or even f13.

  109. OH SNAP! March 9, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    It looks like a great old gym that you might have some good available lighting. Did you add the down lights in the background or were they there naturally? There is obviously a slightly stronger source from the left but it looks like mostly natural lighting from a low angle and a bigger depth of field, perhaps f8 or f16. Post production gave it a little more 'old school' feel too it.
    It wouldn't surprise me if you took it with your iphone :)

  110. Anonymous March 9, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Considering when the shot was taken.


    Profoto heads.
    Hasselblad H2d or Nikon D3.
    80mm on the hasselblad or
    24-70mm on the Nikon.
    Chimera softbox
    Couple of C-stands
    A Mac with aperture 2 shooting

    Nikon D3 or D3s
    Broncolor lighting
    Broncolor softbox
    A Mac with aperture 2 shooting

    Iso 800
    Aperture F.8 because of the amazing depth of field.
    Shutter : 1/250, action.
    Light trough a softbox above.

    Mathias Vinje
    (0047) 40604694

  111. Jonny March 9, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Definitely a big octa, or similarly large softbox a few feet above talent aimed down, looks like a couple speedlights superclamped around under the hoop and such.

    I'm guessing somewhere between F4 or F5.6 due to the somewhat limited depth of field, and this being a medium-wide shot. I'd also guess 1/125 or faster to limit micro movements of the athlete.

    I want to say that any strobes are gelled 1/2 or 3/4 CTO to allow the ambient to be used a bit, as the ambient has a very warm look to it.

    Thats my guess :) Great shot.

  112. Ty March 9, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    On location. You're almost if not on the floor shooting two shoots. 24-70mm f/8, f/11. First shot, beauty dish or soft box(key) camera right up high, second flash camera left (fill) for the soft rembrandt and gives the refection on the floor of hand. Throw in reflector camera right bounce off of fill light for catch light in right eye. Second shot, no subject, flash pops or just gym lights for background composite. Thats how I would shot it. Simply fast and over. Thanks Chase!


  113. leoz March 9, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Shot on location with a 24-70 f/2.8-3.5

    Softbox used and a speed light tucked in between his legs.

  114. FizzBucket March 9, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    - D3 with 24-70 at 24mm, f5.6
    - Octa on boom right over subject
    - reflector on right for fill
    - camera on sandbag

  115. ThatcherDorn March 9, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Lighting: camera left, large soft box to fill background.
    Camera left, fill with speed light. Above model, large soft box for key light. Shot on location. Camara settings: 24mm lens at f/7.1 1/125 & ISO 100
    Photoshop: Pop the curves and burn the floor a bit.

  116. James Stoneley March 9, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Hi Chase,

    I'm glad to see another one of your reverse engineering challenges.

    My money is on it all being achieved in camera, so no compositing. You seem to have a knack for finding talented talent so I bet this guy really can bend himself like that.

    I think you used a large softbox or octabox above him and quite close, suspended on a boom. Then I think you used a little fill from the left hand side, maybe a small softbox set about 2/3 stops below the key light.

    It looks like it's about a 35mm lens you're using and I think the rest of the light is ambient, provided by the spotlights that they had in the sports hall where you shot it.

    I'm sure I'm probably miles off but if it is a composite, it's a very good one!

    I look forward to reading the answer.

    James (Birmingham,UK)

  117. James Stoneley March 9, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    Hi Chase,

    I'm glad to see another one of your reverse engineering challenges.

    My money is on it all being achieved in camera, so no compositing. You seem to have a knack for finding talented talent so I bet this guy really can bend himself like that.

    I think you used a large softbox or octabox above him and quite close, suspended on a boom. Then I think you used a little fill from the left hand side, maybe a small softbox set about 2/3 stops below the key light.

    It looks like it's about a 35mm lens you're using and I think the rest of the light is ambient, provided by the spotlights that they had in the sports hall where you shot it.

    I'm sure I'm probably miles off but if it is a composite, it's a very good one!

    I look forward to reading the answer.

    James (Birmingham,UK)

  118. Anonymous March 9, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    On location. Either available ceiling light or a large tent/sheet using the floor for fill, maybe a reflector to his front. He's not tack sharp, so either it's a camera thing or your shutter speed gave him just enough movement. Short telephoto lens, 100mm or so. Can't tell if you photo-shopped out any leg support or if he needed it — the position is possible. f/11 or so. If you tented, it looks like you might have needed to light the backboard from above.

    –Sean Noblett (Facebook)

  119. tlifephoto March 9, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    I think it's a composition.
    The legs look strange to me;; Just a hunch, but damn if he could really do that0-0! So, I zoomed in and notice that his legs, and the part under his belly seems to be taken from somewhere else. My guess is that, he was actually lying down on four, or doing a push-up. And that you guys gave him a new pair of legs ;)

    The reflection of his right hand seems odd too.So, I did the same thing. I zoomed in and saw that the pixels around the reflection seems to be taken from somewhere else too.

    For the lighting, I guess one from above the guy, one aiming down for the basket, one hitting the chairs from the right and another hitting the stair from the left. I can't say what kind of lights did u used >-< ;

    Oh and you shot this from a gym. Cheers.

  120. CHRISTOPHER COLLIE March 9, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Shot on location, d3, 24-70 f2.8 nikkor @ f4 and 24mm, large softbox set above subject, small in front to fill face, 2 sb's located to the left and right of the hoop to light the wall pointed 45 degree angle at center wall.
    Am I close?!

  121. John March 9, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Shot on location. Not a composite.

    Lighting the model:
    Two light sources: 1) Large softbox overhead and slightly behind, which causes the soft shadows and they are a little forward. 2) A fill light from camera left and slightly below (likely from a bounce card, knowing you like to keep things simple)

    At least two lights 1) Behind the basket and 2) To camera right which I'm guessing you can trace back via the reflection on the floor on the right hand side slightly below the "gym yoga rat text."

    The only thing that I'm not sure on is the lighting of the alcove for the stairs in the back left. From the shadow it looks like there is one more light (or possibly from an ambient light source) relative far away and camera left because of the hard shadow from the curve of the frame.

    It seems like a pretty narrow field of view so I'm guessing shot at some where in the 50 to 100mm range. Pretty good DOF so probably shot in the f5.6 to f11 range.

  122. Jonathan Tramontana March 9, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Large soft source directly above subject, but somehow controlled to allow a fall-off shadow halfway between subject and wall. I’m going to say an octa since the shadow looks circular.

    Low-level fill flash on the face and forearms. Normally, I’d say ring flash, but that would light up the foreground (unless the trickery here was a composited shot to edit out ring flash lightened foreground). So, I’m going to say a zoomed, probably snooted hot-shoe flash for fill, straight on.

    There is a shadow cast from the archway on the left, which says there was a harder light coming from top-right to light up the background.

    There is a light directly behind the basket for the little pop of light there on the wall.

    There is a light towards the right of the balcony lighting up the upper mid part of the image and casting the shadow under the balcony.

    There appears to be a shadow line above the chairs, which also says that there had to be a very high top-light, probably natural, lighting up the white basket area.

    Lens was a wide angle. Gritty higher ISO. Aperture around 5.6 or so. Shutter speed was low to get some natural top light and overall fill. Slight vignette.

  123. brett maxwell March 9, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    natural light, straight out of camera


  124. LouJanelle March 9, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    One large reflector umbrella high above the camera position used to light the backboard, background, and the subject’s legs. You can see the reflection in the metal chairs at the back of the gym.

    There is a second light (small umbrella), camera left and at a relatively low position, that is used to light the subject’s face and right hand.

    There is a third light (shoot-thru umbrella) at camera right that is being used for fill.

    There is a fourth light (shoot-thru umbrella) way off to the right that is used to simulate window light.

    All of the lighting is controlled by flash. The camera’s synch speed was set to at least 1/200 th of second. The aperture was set to at least f8.

    Lou Janelle (Akron, Ohio)

  125. Serge Kakorin March 9, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Composite shot. Judging by the gym's lights shadow pattern must be different. Key light high up slightly to the left and fill almost on the camera axis slightly to the high left. Not soft boxes, most likely umbrellas or continuous lights. 1/125s at f/8. 50mm lens.

  126. Nathan Smith March 9, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    1 Large softbox/silk straight above and fairly close (6-7ft above) subject. Light skipping off floor for fill on subject.
    1 strobe high camera left feathering basketball goal.
    1 SB-800/900 under walkway directly behind basketball goal firing towards wall to fill in shadows.
    1 sb-800/900 camera left and behind, snooted, low power, for fill on subjects face.
    Nikon D3 to shoot and Pocket wizards to trigger the lights.
    File management in Aperture and touch up in Photoshop

  127. Darren March 9, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Why does everyone think this was done with some massive set up of lights? I feel like it "could" have been done with nothing but a single reflector camera left and a slower shutter speed. He's in yoga so holding that pose was probably not a problem for a slower SS. The floor would have allowed for a nice warm fill under his body from the other gym lights. It looks like the saturation was brought up a tad in post…

  128. Gary C. March 9, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Location: real.. nothing unbelievable about a gym
    Pose: real..
    Key light: ONE gym (ambient) light (ambient) pose done directly below that light (aka available light)
    Fill: I think there might be enough reflection off the floor to do much of the fill. But i am thinking camera left aimed at the backboard with just a little feathered to the subjects right face

    So one light photo – mainly for the backboard and fill the other is gym ambient (with the other lights in gym turned off…
    Post: some warming esp if it was metalhalide lighting in gym and perhaps some brightening of the backboard.

  129. Frozen Forever Photography March 9, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Model lighting:
    1) I believe you are using one strobe with a large reflector for the main light located right above the model 10’-15’ on a boom. This gives good fall off and rounded light for the floor.
    2) Your fill light is softer and is located to camera left. It is also higher off the floor than the camera.
    3) The rest of the fill light on camera right is from light bouncing off the floor.

    Background lighting:
    1) Looks like one strobe high in the air behind camera pointed at hoop. This makes the reflection and shadows on the chairs as well as the hoop.
    2) Looks like there is another strobe to camera left way in the back up high (its making the shadow for the rounded opening).
    3) Hard to tell it the two lights under the hoop area are strobes. I don’t think so because it looks like the third bulb is burnt out in the gym on the left side of the frame Although I do see a weird shadow from the center light that could be a cord from a PW.

    This looks like a real location shoot. You do keep things real The model is really doing that pose and you can see his leg resting on his arm. This guy has some skillz… I think the lens was something around a 50mm with about a 10’ DOF.

    Love the shot by the way. Hope I am close.

  130. mike March 9, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    1- used exiftool for the mac to see actual data but it was stripped out. :-(
    2- looking up about how long most gym wood floor slats are (3 feet) I gather he's about 5-8 feet away.
    3- using myPhotoDOF app for the iPhone set to a NIkon D3x and a 50mm lens at f5.6 focus at 6ft that gives you about 1.5 ft of DOF. (more or less)
    4- Lighting should be some ambient but primarily a diffused light of some sort right above the subject.
    5- viewpoint is low to the ground just below chin level of the subject I'd say.
    6- misc tweaks in aperture of course…

  131. cdelphine March 9, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    well, I have not the slightest clue but it is fun to see the wide variety of responses and I eagerly await the follow-up post.

  132. michalfanta March 9, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    I think: one big soft box 45 degree angle from the left, but slightly from above. One small light or just a speedlight for the face. No compositing – he made this pose himself. Camera in the height of his eyes. The usual post processing – contrast, colors, …

    Thank you for the oportunity to participate in something like this.


  133. Albert Manduca Jr. March 9, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Softbox from above and behind.

    Either a snooted or zoomed flash camera left pointed towards the subject. (Gobo'd so the light doesnt hit the floor)

    Im guessing the back wall was illuminated with flash because the color temp matches the light on the subject.

    Perhaps a small reflector camera right for some fill.

    28-35mm around f8.

  134. Stephen Hunton March 9, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    I'm no expert, but here goes nothing.

    one snooted flashlight aimed directly at the ceiling to bounce back down on yoga master, who's actually inside a Denny's and standing up leaning on a wall. BTW – it was probably a woman at first that you then used a man's face and feet in post.

    Then through HDR and the use of 12 disposable film cameras, you shot the gym floor and then added in the basketball goal and chairs from a few stock photo options you purchased at the digital film counter at Wal-Mart.

    I could be way off… this is totally a hunch. ;)

    seriously though… THIS Picture is rad. Love his pose. Love his expression and love the realness to it. It just feels like a gym where you go to get sweaty and not care what other people think. Great Great Great shot.

  135. Steini Fjall March 9, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    don´t know about the lightning but I think you are using PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED Manual Focus Lens

  136. Jacob March 9, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Here's my deconstruction with a different approach:

    Vanishing point behind the model, leading lines to vanishing point with intersecting model, a dash of pensiveness, epic lighting & vision combined with low perspective in front of model.

    All mixed in with a whole bunch of win.

    The camera doesn't matter. As long as it's the one that's with you ;)

  137. Erwin March 9, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I don't know any terminology.

    No special lighting, gym light from straight above half court, reflector to reflect some light on his face.

  138. Jerry March 9, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I'm not a real photographer and never worked with lighting before so I'm just guessing here.

    Light from top, diffused reflector at the left to highlight artist's face, artist doing actual pose in a gym, lights at the background to show the walls and basketball ring.

    Vignette around the image probably from the lens. So it may be a 50mm? Maybe at F/4.0.

  139. Trevor Meier March 9, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    There could always be tricks, but this could be done in one shot.

    It could be all available light. Some old gym's have large tungsten sources with a pretty nice falloff. But the pattern of the lighting (esp. the under-balcony lights) suggests otherwise.

    So if this is lit, I'd say there's two main source lights based on the shadows in the arch and the speculars on chairs. One of them is large, soft, directly overhead. Based on the shadow on the floor and under the balcony it's about level with the basketball rim. Because of the lack of spill above the balcony it's probably an Octo or similar enclosed soft source (vs. a silk). Second main source is above and to camera left, putting definition in the face.

    There are two light sources under the balcony, one directly under the hoop and the other camera right (see the specular in the 3rd chair and the reflection on the floor, bottom right).

    The floor is providing most of the fill, but I suspect there may be a small amount of additional front fill throwing a touch into his face, under the balcony and at the back board.

    For camera settings, if this is 35mm (I suspect it is) you'd be at the top end of your x-sync (1/250th?) to freeze any unsteadiness in the athlete. Convergence of the lines in the floor says about 40mm focal length to me, something like a f/5.6 for just a little falloff to the back wall. ISO to taste.

    This could also be medium format, in which case you could use a leaf shutter to get a much higher sync – useful for a shot like this – and more rectilinear wide-angle lenses. But I'm betting it's 35mm.

  140. Nate March 9, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Looks to me like it's an organic mass made up of 65% Oxygen, 18% Carbon, 10% Hydrogen, 3% Nitrogen, 1.5% Calcium, 1.2% Phosphorous, .2% Potassium, .2% Sulfur, .1% Chloride, .1% Sodium, .05% Magnesium, .05% Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, and Flouride performing a seemingly impossible act of strength on a vintage-looking gym floor. Said mass is concentrating a compelled stare at a non-distracting inanimate object behind an H3D Hasselblad imaging device. My guess is he's thinking about what's for dinner to take his mind off of the immense pain his fingers, forearms, and triceps are feeling.

    That said, there were probably some artificial photons flying about but the Uncertainty Principle states that I could never explain their location and who am I to question a bunch of astonishingly intelligent bearded physicists.

    THAT said, I'm sorry for wasting about 19 seconds of your life.

  141. Mark Gambol March 9, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    Not composited
    Camera on floor or a few inches above it, tilted slightly upward. 6-8 feet away.

    35mm lens around 5.6

    Large light from camera left and up high. Maybe from the track/seats going around the gym. no softbox but diffusion on the flash
    fill light from camera right, probably a low powered flash or white card.
    Flash hitting the backboard area and under the basket as well. also filling the stairwell.

  142. Liz March 9, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    I reckon one shot, not composite. Large light from directly above (I like the idea of a roof light, cos that would light the rear wall too). Softbox or simlar low camera left to light face.

    Great shot! How long did your yoga dude have to hold that pose for? Beautiful. (It's called dwi pada koundinyasana if anyone's interested)

  143. Drew Sellers March 9, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    …lighting–ha. What I want to know: how much did the life-sized custom-dressed asian "Stretch Armstrong" mannequin co$t….because NO real person could/would contort himself and HOLD that position for a shoot. (mad respect!…moto "tag" subject appropriate.)

    softbox overhead
    beauty dish low, camera left
    (chairs in the back show the strobes)–on location
    maybe a little "bounce" from the right.
    maybe a stop above ambient

  144. Crystal March 9, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    It's hard to say. If it was me, I would have used the gyms lighting, and a reflector, which I'm guessing you did, to the left. But then, I'm not a flash photographer, and I don't know your preference. I'm not even going to try to guess the camera settings or equipment used, because I never shoot with settings that anyone else would. It's a tough call, and 142 people already tried ahead of me. But then, it probably would have been easier to gauge what was done, before post. But, I'm not a pro either, so what do I know? :)

  145. Derrick Gbison March 9, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Looks to me like a larger softbox over head and a Gridded spot either directly below the softbox or slightly behind. Two front fill cards maybe bouncing light from floor level at the photographer, angled back to 45.

  146. Glyn Dewis March 9, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Ok I'm gonna throw in my 'two cents' worth…

    Taken using only the ceiling lights in the room at f/5.6 using + compensation on the camera and a decent iso on the D3s :o)

    Thought I'd go this was as the majority are going with soft boxes and such like.

    If I'm waaaayyy off … this message will self destruct :o)


  147. ashcroft March 9, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    My best guess would be on location,

    a)two background lights, smallish, perhaps speedlights,

    b) one large overhead soft source for the key

    c) another soft light from front camera left for some fill on his face

    d)camera is probably set at around 400 iso with a relatively small aperture to carry focus from face to knees maybe an f8-11. and a relatively long shutter to allow some of the natural ambient to burn in say around 1/30th

    e)lens perhaps 28mm

    f) post work would include some curves , dodging and burning and i think i detect a high pass filter or another embossy type sharpening effect.

    one dude with really good core strength!

  148. léo March 9, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I think it look like something like this.

    yes I know i'm a well drawer.

  149. JGL March 9, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    I think you just used the light in the gym all turned off but one,the shadows seem to indicate this. and possibly a reflector to camera left but floor seems reflective enough to provide fill to face it seems a little on the gold side. 35mm at floor level. photo just cropped and levels adjusted.

  150. Paul P March 9, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    I think this is a composite of two photos: subject (shot on a white background) and some sort of college athletic centre (shot separately). The reflection on subject's right hand seems too artificial to suggest it was all shot on location.

    Subject: 50mm, f/6.3, lit by a softbox on top to create gentle shadow and light up his legs, shoulders and hair, weak floor level strobe at camera left and at 45 degrees to subject to highlight subject's right side of face and perhaps an even weaker fill light for subject's left side of face. The subject had some assistance in the pose because he doesn't look tense enough to make it real, and it would be exhausting to do that for however long the shoot lasted – maybe legs had some support.

    Background: 35mm, f/8 because of the relative depth of field considering the transition to sharpness in the floor and overall background sharpness. 3 softboxes illuminating the floor – 1 in front of subject, on camera right (can see a floor reflection) and 2 behind subject on either side, around the back end of the logo. There is also a strobe underneath the hoop and another to the right (camera right) of the hoop, above the chairs.

    Background was photoshopped a bit to darken areas above the backboard

  151. Eric Younger March 9, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    I'd bet it's shot in the gym.

    Ambient -2 stops.
    Big softbox on boom over him at +1stop
    Gold reflector to camera left bouncing the light from top but so that it it's correctly exposed. 0stop.

    and a softbox to camera right at -1 stop for fill.

    And i think it's shot with a tele lense, could also be a medium format so that the sync speed would be higher.

    But hey, im just an apprentice ^^ :P

  152. Steve Gray March 9, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Looks like a composite to me. The gym environment was shot separately in ambient light, in a subtle HDR style.

    The gym rat was shot elsewhere, possibly on a mat, and then added to the gym environment in post.

    The lighting for the gym rat part or the shot was some sort of big source directly overhead, like a large softbox. I suspect that the guy was on a white mat, because there is decent enough bounce fill on his underside. His eyes show no catchlight, though, so I'm thinking that the reflections in his eyes were removed.

  153. J.Garrison Photography March 9, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I didn't read the other comments and I'm just gonna take a guess.

    Judging from the reflections in the chair I'm going to guess there is a feathered grid on camera left, possibly a speed light, adding an accent to the right side of his face, with a larger light camera right for fill.

    The third chair has a reflection which may be catching a smaller light throwing an accent against the back wall or it may be a second reflection from the light on camera left.

    The image doesn't look ambient balanced because of the dark areas(unless you have the above area dark) so Id guess there is an accent light above and behind the hoop, possibly another speedlight.

    Assuming your not ambient balanced, then I'd go with hard light from directly above creating the shadow below him. If your ambient balanced then you would probably get the same effect.

  154. René March 9, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Fun. :)

    Hard to say what's ambient and what's not.

    Real pose, real location.

    Rectangular softbox from top, centered a bit behind the model. Small softbox camera left, about 45 degrees, about models eye-height or a bit higher.
    Fill above camera.
    Background: Spot "below" the basket illuminating the (beams and) back wall there. This spot has been cloned out.
    Light left high, illuminating staircase in the back and one on the other side hitting the wall behind his feet.
    "Base" lighting might be ambient. Otherwise these last two are also lighting the top half of the image.
    Camera about his eye level. Slightly wide lens. Aperture not wide open.

  155. Robert March 9, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I believe this 'gym' is actually a tiny mockup that goes on a table and the guy is a small epoxy model cleverly painted and touched up in post to look more real. It's lit from about with a small HMI and there are gelled lightbulbs fitted into the model in the background: one beneath the b-ball hoop and one to the right.

    At least no one else has made this guess!

  156. Anastasios March 9, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    While I am new to photography (in terms of shooting and lighting scenes myself) I have some experience in the field of retouching. Most projects that I get are usually a combination of photographs taken of a scene, each one lit and shot, to best enhance some feature of the scene. So for this composition, I would say that there is more than one photo has been taken to come up with this creation. One to bring out as much detail in the floor. Another for the back wall, another for the hoop, and a series of shots of the gymnast/athlete ( some for the face, upper torso and legs). Then with the guidance of an art director I would sit down and recompose all the elements, enhancing and enriching colours, highlights, shadows, details, contrast, blurring (creating some depth of field) lighting and darkening of the image where necessary to bring attention to key elements in the composition. Of course with out a set of good original photographs the ability for a retoucher to execute the composition becomes severely compromised both from a time and quality perspective. That is what sets apart seasoned/professional photographers from everyone else with a camera. Not sure if i answered your question properly, but it is perhaps another perspective on what is a very nice piece of work

  157. Bill Pruitt March 9, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Nikon D3s with a 14-24mm at about F16 shot on location. Two softboxes: one firing down over the backboard and rim, the other firing down over the talent. Contrast tweaked in Aperture.

  158. GT March 9, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    my guess –

    one of those big octa softboxes that pros use directly above… far enough away so it casts a medium hard shadow but not so far that it's completely defined…

    some kind of reflector camera right to get the light on the right side of his face…

    i assume it's a real guy doing a real pose…

    i feel like theres a strobe high up top left also lighting the back wall… you can see the directional shadow from the hoop and from the arched doorway on the left… imo wouldn't make sense for that to be the ambient lights only bc i don't think the light would be directional like that… cuz they'd have a light on each side… i guess technically you could just turn the lights off on the right half of the gym but i think it's a strobe…

    could also have 2 strobes mounted under the lip on the back wall but those are probably ambient… look like likely places for a real light to be…

    i'd say it is definitely not a tele lens from the way the floorboards look… maybe a 35/50mm type…

  159. Doug March 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Here goes my take:

    Shot on location.

    Camera: D3s (you'd want high speed to maximize frames while he held that position)

    Lens: 24-70, around 40mm or so. Max sync at F/8 (that rim isn't tack sharp)

    Lighting: Scoro packs (again to get as many frames as possible while he held the pose) A octa box on a boom overhead, slightly behind and angled back toward camera (look @ circle of light, circle of light = circular light.

    A couple of bare heads overhead (of camera) to get those hightlights on the floor. Also, bare head in right back corner.

    Another tight (10-20 degree) gridded hairlight for the model.

    Bare bulbs behind model, suspended from ceiling to give look of gym.

    No reflector, fill on face is bounce off of semi-glossy floor.

    Post: Aperture and Photoshop. Desaturation, retouching, edge burning.

    Oh, and as someone else mentioned, a stylist on set for the hair.

  160. Benjamin March 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    -He’s definitely holding the pose, notice the wrinkles on his knee where it’s setting on his elbow.

    -Light #1: from over the subject, just above the level of the door opening in back wall, causing the hard shadow seen through the doorway. The light on the subject is fairly hard from the top, as seen in his shadow on the floor. It’s like a spotlight shining down on him.

    -Light #2: from slightly overhead, slightly camera left (based on the highlight on the right cheek, and left forearm), perhaps a beauty dish (based on the slightly hard shadow thrown just to the right of his nose)

    -Light #3: from below and behind the basket, hanging on the back side of that beam, with maybe a small (stofen) diffuser, pointed directly onto that back wall.

    -Light #4: just out of frame camera left, close to back wall (maybe reflective umbrella based on lack of light into the back left corner, but small touch of light onto door opening). This lights the stairs, and causes the shadow of the doorway angling across the opening.

    Light #5: just out of frame camera right, close to back wall, lighting the wall, pointing toward the left (again, reflective umbrella, up high under balcony causing downward shadow from beam just to it’s left). You can see a reflecting highlight from this lightsource in the floor, camera right, in the foreground.

    Light #6: coming from behind camera, up higher than the beam under the hoop, causing the beam to cast a horizontal shadow on the wall, as well as the shadow that follows the door opening. You can also see a big highlight in the leftmost seat back. I’m going to guess that this is a large set of windows above the hoop on the other end of the gym.

    I think that’s all, but Zack could’ve done it all with one light.

    Could've been done in studio, but I'll go with location, fairly wide lens (35mm) from the line distortion on the floor, aperture 5.6 to get the rear wall somewhat sharp.

  161. paigehermreckphoto March 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I am learning to disects photos in college currently, so this is a challenege because I feel you did something tricky because it wouldnt be as easy as it seems. BUT, I think….

    it was shot on location, with a 24-70 at about 50mm. f2.8-3.5

    a a large or medium sized softbox from above for the shadow casting underneath him

    a low power softbox behind him, to fill in the the bath light more

    and a flash from the front left, to fill in details in his body?

    in post production, a large amount of clarity or vibrance was added.

    the pose was real.

    and ofcourse, its shot from groundish level, maybe a few feet from the ground?

    hope thats close!!!

    I love your work chase!

  162. Dan Baker March 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Lit from above with a large soft lightsource, light low camera left lighting the face and giving reflection to the right hand. Rest Ambiant..

  163. Dale March 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Concept: One possible purpose of the image is to demonstrate what is possible to achieve through Yoga, & to challenge a potential stereotype of who does Yoga. You have an obviously talented athlete, presumably a practitioner of Yoga, who is amazing. The location chosen for the shot draws the reader in and, with the clever ad text, sets the viewer up for the visual challenge to the stereotype.

    Location: More than likely this was shot on-location, especially since Chase tends to prefer this manner of shooting (from what I can tell from his body of work). I love the strong earth tones in the location (walls, chairs, backboard, floor) & the worn logo on the floor. This might be a local high-school or community center gym. Possibly, the gym of a convent, commune, or another set-apart community (it is, after all, quite spartan relative to LA Fitness).

    Lighting: This one is a challenge, as there are two different lighting planes:
    (1) Foreground – there is quite a bit of diffused light on the floor around the talent, not just near him, but quite a large area (see his shadow: more or less directly underneath him, smaller than him, soft-edged). There is sufficient light on his face that you can clearly make out his facial features, with slightly more shadow on the camera-right side than on camera-left. Ditto his arms & chest. Maybe a very large singular light source (6-8’ octa?) or banks of smaller, diffused sources (4 rectangular softboxes) overhead, slightly behind & camera left of the talent. To bring up the light on his face, either a reflector or another very faint light directed at his face/body from his eye-line level (see the nose shadow).
    (2) the background area – there are a couple of light sources under the overhang. Chase probably didn’t leave these to chance, they might be smaller strobe sources placed to mimic-but-improve the existing light (motivated light). There’s an arch-shaped shadow in the rear alcove. There is also a shadow from the rim of the basketball goal just below & to camera-right of the rim. Maybe an additional, slightly harder light (low-powered) added to bathe the rear wall and backboard/fence in more light, bringing it up & allowing more texture/detail to be obtained.

    Technical Specs: Shot from near-floor-level (6-10” above the floor?) to show the talent’s elevation, probably with a wide-to-mid focal length (35-45?). The wider focal length accents the converging lines (all converging on the talent), but focal length is not so short as to distort either the main subject or the upper elements. F-stop was small, to keep both the talent & background in focus (f/11-16?); but still allow some foreground blurring.

    Post Processing: Seems that minimal cropping/retouching was done, except the following: adjustment of the white balance & saturation (to make it slightly cooler & to de-saturate the colors, to add emphasis to the overall brown-ish tone of the image). There is one line on the talent’s upper thigh, though, that gives me pause…it seems to be indicative of something (spot levels adjustment?), but I can’t quite figure it out.

    Direction: I can’t imagine what one might say to this guy…maybe some info about the overall direction/goal of the ad; maybe something like, “we’re looking for some really awesome position that really demonstrates what you can do when you’re serious about Yoga…Oh, & it would be cool if you seemed to levitate off the ground…that would be wicked!” The talent does seem quite serious about the task at hand, & the photog/AD/CD could have had some hand in that (“Hey, just because you CAN smile while you’re doing this awesome position doesn’t mean we want you to…please, put the serious face back on!”). I do love how the horizontal lines of his body (accentuated by the 2nd floor horizon, and the wall/floor joint just below his waist/thigh) contrast with the vertical lines found throughout the rest of the image.


  164. Chris Beckman March 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Shot with Nikon 24-70 f2.8-3.5.
    I’m thinking around f/8 at 125, maybe f/11 at about 35mm
    On Location (but part of me wants to say the background was brought in seperate.

    Large Softbox or Octabox about 4 to 6 feet above model on a boom.
    Smaller light source perhaps used with a grid spot pointed at right side of models face left side of camera perhaps two stops lower than above octabox.

    Another light under and behind backboard.

    Used Aperture 3 to burn in left side of face and underneath the model perhaps dodged the black walkway in background.

  165. Gabriel March 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    The photo is shot on location, at a gym. It appears to be a multi-use facility from lots of the details. The upper railing looks like a place where one might run around to do laps.

    I'd say the light on the walls in the back is ambient.

    There's a soft box camera left, low, perhaps 2-3 ft above the ground aimed at the man's face. It's probably 4 ft away from him, outside the camera's field of view. It's probably a smallish softbox, maybe 2 sq ft of area. And it's probably gelled with a 1/4 CTO. Or it's a gold reflector.

    Above him, I'd say 5 ft, is a moderately large softbox. It's probably 3×4 ft in area. It's a little bit behind him so that the light doesn't wrap around his shoulders.

    There is a strobe on the upper level aiming towards the camera. It's probably low power, and there to catch highlights.

    I'd say the scene is shot at f/8.

  166. dlcarter March 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Large softbox camera left, slightly forward (potentially octa to maintain round shape of light); floor is providing fill light with bounce; you can see a bit of the warm color in his skin tones on the underside.

    Strobe from balcony camera left–around 30-45 degree angle towards backboard; creates the shadow of the rim and backboard on the wall, angling toward the right.

    Strobe from balcony on camera right to separate his feet from the background. 30-45 degrees angled towards the back wall; creates the shadow on the back wall that slants towards the center.

    The rest is ambient; produces the orange/yellow tint on balcony so we visually perceive it to be a regular gym that we all know.

    Shot with Nikon D3 at a low angle with 24-70mm. Simple, not overly complicated lighting…holds to the classic and genuine Chase Jarvis style.

  167. Raquel March 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Shot on location. Soft edge accent from 3/4 rear above the model. Key on camera left side directly at level of model's head. Fill on camera right. Hair light. Light on hoop to create shadow on the wall, and light behind board to create light spot on wall under hoop. Overhead light to light the circle within the model's space, with some fill to the other places. Light on the wall camera right to give some highlight to the wall. Little bit of fill in the stairway.

  168. Joel Smith March 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Natural light from the top and a single flash maybe bounced into a brella, or through a soft box to camera left.

    Joel Smith

  169. Victor March 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Brilliant! I love contests, so here I go:

    There are two photos, one for the guy and one for the background.
    The guy has one big softbox over him or even a hard light, and there's another below him, just to the face.
    Lots of strobes for the background.
    The shadow is "false"!!
    Retouch, of course (MacBook)
    High definition, so there's a 24mm and high speed (1/500) courtesy of Nikon. Between f5.6 and f8.
    And lots and lots of imagination…
    A perfect shot.

  170. Victor March 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Please, let me say one more thing:
    I think it's a funny game reading all comments. Thanks to all. And it's a perfect excuse to learn more and more and more…

  171. Jason Herrick March 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Cool shot, as always.

    MY guess? Shoot through umbrella above, strait down. It's not THAT soft. One light also popping the backboard.

    Shot on location, with Hasselblad for depth of field, and for wall size enlargemnets for their stores.

    Most of the exposure is ambient, with the two lights listed above adding a bit of punch. This yogi could hold the pose for a day, so I'm thinking f11 with a 1/30 shutter.

    Little bit of contrast boost, clarity punch, and viniette in Aperture, and boda bing.

    Love the blog man. You guys rock!!

  172. Klukowski March 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Location? Inside an (old) gym. Windows were covered up or the background was darkened in post a little. Centre lights turned on. I would have to say a big softbox above the model's head and slightly to the left with additional lighting for the backboard and right of the backboard.
    Model is doing his thing for real.

  173. Jared Froiland March 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Overhead available light, w/ a studio reflector or white card on camera left. Camera ISO set to 400 or 640 at the most to gain proper exposure. This guy looks pretty strong and light, so I'm guessing he could freeze that pose. Allowing the fotographer to drag in some light with a slower shutter. Shorter depth of field to fill in more available light. Ehhh.. Just a guess.

  174. Torsten March 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    The shot looks pretty cool, what did you do to his fingers, thumbs and toes though? Thumbs especially? The shadow is ps trickery as is the mirroring of his hand on the floor. pretty huge soft light from above the guy, something to bounce back into his face or another light as a fill for his face. So there is the shot of the guy (studio) plus the shot of the location which seems to be lit by a light from camera left (shadow by the from arch by the stairs and shadow of the chairs), plus bounce from the ceiling (shadow from the basketball ring.

  175. Bruno Nacarato March 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi there Chase.

    This is one picture, i guess.

    Lightning the guy you have:
    - a 1,75m (65 inch)softbox 45º up and behind him;
    - a stripped small softbox 45º from the guys face to the left of the camera, maybe a little above his head (maybe a 1/4 cot here);
    - to fill there is a bare flash on axis and above camera, just a little higher than subjects head;

    Lightning the location you have:
    - one bare under de hoop;
    - another one on the right side of the balcony.
    - one light way up there a little to the left to bring the backboard and the white fences to life, and fill the wall and the stairs too.

    The circumstances:
    - this guy is a teacher in this high-school and he managed to get you one hour of free gym between classes and the basketball practice.

    Camera and stuff:
    - Nikon D3x
    - 35mm f/2D
    - Settings: ISO125, shutter 1/250, aperture f/16

    - there was someone who was juste outside the frame on camera left to help this guy tho reach this position and help him to get down after a series of 3 or 4 pics in a row.

    Thanks a lot for this challenge.

  176. J V March 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    On location. Jr. high school gym that a hot luluLemon mom who has a crush on you helped set up.

    lighting: Ambient light from the gym overhead lights.

    Soft box overhead, but slightly behind, subject. low-powered fill flash (snooted) from camera left at an angle to subject (at subject level).

    Flash aimed at hoop from camera left.

    Ambient light from a couple gym lights under hoop/balcony (one center one camera right).

    your nikon
    low iso
    wide angle 35mm – f/8

    trick – separate shots for the subject and background combined via layers to avoid cloning issues. trick 2: getting the shot before the athlete calls it quits. trick 3: luluLemon mom.

  177. Peter ph March 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Ok, here is a second try:

    At least 2 shots, location is real or composed, the talent shot was taken in the studio – he is sitting! and leaning against the wall or something else, white background, you shot from above, the rest was made in post by Scott :-)

  178. Anonymous March 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    It's a composite of two different people. One for the torso, and another for the legs.

  179. James March 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Hey Chase + everyone at the studio,

    Lighting for the subject:

    High key light to our right,
    Lower key light, to our left for fill
    Likely both softboxes, using a "sandwich" technique that I have heard you use pretty frequently/

    Lighting for the background:

    Small light from under hoop, facing down, similar light to the far right side, also evidenced in the reflection in the shiny metal of the chairs. Hoop/backboard white assembly is lit artificially, lighting is off for a basketball court and appears to be lit from the floor.


    Background elements composited in behind subject in editing — chair legs are off slightly on floor and the hoop is too high, about 5 feet off in fact, using the chair height as a constant. Also: close forward floor is blurry but background, much father away, is not. Blur in front likely result of compositing the background in.


    For the camera you didn't really need speed, so I guess you went with the D3x for high resolution instead. Zoom lens as there is very minor but still present distortion curvature in the background horizon.


    Slight vignette (gamma)
    General exposure correction, slightly warmer white balance, and make it a bit contrasty


    Its hard to define what "tricks" were used, if any, as, if you're experienced enough, the line is blurred as you use them so often. I would only say that you probably duplicated the background and edited it to fade out, then mirrored it to let the background lines extend onto the floor as reflection.

    Nice work, love your stuff, and I can't wait to see more!

  180. Orash March 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    this is my very first post on the blog even if i'm following for quite sometimes.

    I'm sorry if it has already being said but I couldn't menage to read the millions of comments that this post has, by the way congratulation to finding the time to reed them all, it's admirable.

    Anyway, here is what i think about the shot:
    Two exposure, high speed strobes for the talent to freeze the pose without ghosting effect at the highest sinc possible to cut the ambient light in the gym.

    Second exposure same main light set up as before with longer exposure to get a nice ambient/natural light but mantaining the main highlights so it doesn't look unnatural.

    Tha camera was in a fixed position to have a perfect overlay of the two exposure then it's a fairly simple composite of the two exposure to do.
    this is how I would do it and I think it's done in this way because you can clearly see the reflection of the chairs in the BG but the talent it only has the hands reflecting and the reflection under the basket looks cut out, also the shadow underneath him has a difference of density that makes me think of a double exposure comped together.

    The light for the talent is from above and the gym floor act like a filling bounce, maybe an additional light snooted on the face if wasn't possible to get it done all with one light.

    I hope I got it closed enough :-)

    I want to congratulate again with you, both for your work and for your sharing attitude, I'm learning heaps looking at your blog and site.

  181. John-Mark March 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Lighting: Two lights overhead pointed towards the basket & the background, One soft box over Yoga dude with another soft box to his right. (left of the camera) 4 total.
    Camera: Hasselbland
    Settings: Lens 35mm
    Aperture at f/5.6
    ISO 1600
    Shutter 225
    Shot on a tripod that gets super low to the ground.
    Edited in photoshop.

    I was going to say that the talents body was composited in two shots, #1 arms & head, #2. legs & feet but it looks like his leg is resting on his knee causing the area just below his knee to winkle. Almost had me fooled but I guess it's just a sick move this guy is pulling off.

    None the less you've inspired me to spend more time looking deeper into a photograph, trying to figure out how it was created rather then just looking skin deep. Success!

  182. Josh March 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    The man

    Real pose

    On location

    Ambient light under-exposed perhaps two stops

    Lens could be anything that allowed you to go to 50-70mm range on a 35mm camera, which is the length I think the image was shot at. But, I think the image has been cropped to create the ‘perfect’ leading lines of the floor boards, frame the rail above the hoop and ‘fatten’ the image. It doesn’t seem to be the standard aspect ratio anyway.

    Aperture, probably F4-5.6

    Camera could be anything that can have a 50-70mm range lens attached. Probably a d3x but I reckon it’d be pretty cool if you shot this on a LX3/G10 or something, just for kicks!

    Softbox (not a massive one though as the light is quite directional and has an edge to it) above the subject pointing straight down onto subject (just out of frame so maybe 6-7 feet up?)

    Softbox (half or one whole stop down from top softbox) at camera left and slightly higher then subjects face aimed towards his face, seems to be creating a ‘butterfly’ light effect on his face. His nose is picking up quite a lot of light from this as the bridge is quite hot. Think the right hand may be picking up some light from this too as it is slightly more blown than other horizontal surfaces such as the legs, which are only getting light from the top softbox.

    The background

    Light up under the rafters/beams behind the hoop pointing towards the back wall and slightly downwards.

    Another light to the far right up under the rafters/beams again aimed towards the back wall and slightly down. Think the light is out of frame perhaps, or really snuck up under that bigger beam somewhere.

    Here’s where it gets really tricky.

    There is a lower shadow line above the chairs on the right than on the left. The one on the left runs through the models head, the one on the right is much lower. It is also strange that the light level looking through the gap in the guys legs is again slightly different to the surrounding background.

    I reckon this could be an effect of the curve of the upper level on the shadow the light casts. I’ll go with a light far right and very high aimed at the chairs through a BIG softbox. Could even be at the balcony level or even hung on a boom arm off the balcony (if it goes the whole way around) out in to the air.

    Post production

    Composite or one shot? Could be either really but I reckon it’s a composite, both shot on location and put together in Post. Why try and get it all right in one go if you don’t have to?

    Other PP – vignetting, colour correction, cropping, straightening etc.

  183. Ian Mitchell March 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I think its a very simple image, shot with completely ambient light, no strobes and not composited from several shots. I think it seems a little grainy suggesting the ISO is up a bit higher to allow for the lens to be stopped down to about f5.6 to maybe f8 to get a the depth of field.

  184. CallumW March 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Large softbox above the subject
    Smaller harder source on the floor camera left

    Optional strobe fired into the ceiling for ambient fill … or maybe it's just ambient.

    I recon :o)

  185. 390 March 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    shot on location, large soft box above and a fill light on lower left (as i look at it) side of face. camera at f8.0. the guys works at Circus Du Solei!

  186. Philip Oliver March 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    I'm going with my gut –
    Single image, shot on location, using the over-head lights in the gym. No tricks. Talented Yoga teacher. Camera is hand held (lying down), or possibly just placed on the gym floor a few feet from the subject? ISO 800+ and f/5.6-ish. Possible color temperature change/photoshop to taste for post-production.

  187. bizior March 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    huge octa above the subject slightly front, one more light for background pointed at the b-ball, from high above (balcony or smthing)… kinda sb800 at 24zoom.
    ~5.6-7.1 @35mm FF camera ?


  188. Claire March 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Background wall:
    I think you rigged a strip of duvetyne about 1-1.5 feet high across the width of the image, level, just below the hoop's backboard.

    A light (2K fresnel?) behind the basketball hoop (and the duvetyne) lights the wall but is barndoored/blackwrapped from hitting the floor. Hotspot hits just below net shadow on wall. Its fall illuminates part of the arch to the left.

    Another light (2K fresnel?) on right of frame, hung behind duvetyne, pointing down, barndoored/blackwrapped from hitting floor. Hotspot is just to right of yogi's top foot.

    A large light (5K?) on a crank stand (or perhaps rigged to a scissor lift) is cranked way up to light the backboard and railing surrounding it. It's a bit left of center (and camera) and higher than the hoop as indicated by the shadow of the hoop & the duvetyne on the back wall. It is flagged to block light from hitting below the duvetyne.

    A large light with diffusion rigged overhead but slightly to camera left & slightly forward of yogi which accounts for light on his screen left hand but mostly shadowed screen right hand. Light is angled just a smidge from vertical so it hits his face. Bounce from shiny floor provides fill for body.

    Shot from eye level with yogi but centered up with basketball hoop. 100 mm lens compresses the distance. I think you shot from further back than is pictured to improve your depth of field, and then cropped the image.

    I've explained it as though it's occurring on location, but I'm not certain it's not a composite because the floorboard lines extend all the way to the wall pretty sharply underneath the yogi, but to the left and right of him the floorboards look blurred. Also the reflection of the vertical dark thing in the left alcove seems to extend way too far forward on the floor and the legs of the chairs all appear to be on the same plane.

    Thanks, Chase, this was a good mental workout. I look forward to hearing how you actually did it!

  189. Josh March 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Cool shot! I think the model is actually doing the pose on location. Maybe a 4' softbox overhead or actual skylight. Soft Kirk light on the model's face snooted or flagged from screen left and slightly overhead.

    Minimized ambient light for drama so either house lights underexposed with a 1/125, 1/200 exposure or controlled strobe environment lights. Possible fluorescents under the ledge behind the basket countering some of the orange bounce from the rest of the room.

    I'm thinking 40mm equivalent range shot around f/8 for the wide depth of field. ISO 640 or so.

    Post production slight desaturation except orange. Lowered the blacks a bit. Slight vignetting bottom frame foreground and top frame basket.

    Fascinating composition with the top half of frame "flat space" in which most of the guys body resides. And yet the frame is split perfectly across the middle with the guys hands planted firmly in "deep space" in the bottom half. Also a nice visual conflict with his eyes framed just left of the vanishing point. Sick!

  190. Jared March 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    I agree with most everybody else on the technical and lighting aspects. I would just add that you used the lines on the Gym floor to guide the eye to the subject. The staircase in the back as well as the row of chairs serve this purpose also.

  191. Kurtis March 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I think you just shot it. Got low to the floor with the camera and exposed for the ambient and went for it. Beautiful shot by the way.

  192. Jimbob March 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    His feet are directly above 4 chairs, an even number representing balance.

  193. Jimbob March 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    His feet are directly above 4 chairs, an even number representing balance.

  194. THE BATMAN March 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    O'Naturale as per the message of the photographed "rat". Maybe 35mm. Gym lighting, posing, etc., per real life conditions.

  195. March 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Shot on location at a real-life gym
    Not composited
    1. One bare light (Broncolor Unilite head) is set up due left and at the same height as the ceiling. That light is pointing directly at the basket.
    2. A light with only a circular reflector is placed directly above the yogi at a distance halfway to the ceiling (pointing directly downward)
    3. A medium softbox to the left of Chase is pointing at the model and used delicately to fill evenly.
    4. The newer black pocketwizards to sync (Where are the old school faded blue pocketwizards anyway?)
    Circumstances: That Yogi got stuck in a human pretzel "Zohan" style and you shot him on the way out. Or he's just posing like only a really good Yogi could :-)
    Dartanyon didn't have to deal with 1TB of photos shot.
    Norton didn't have to work extra hard. Neither did Scott.
    Camera Settings: f4.0, 1/200, ISO 100, shot at 40mm on a Nikon D3x, Daylight balanced

    Sesame Bagels with cream cheese for breakfast…and a pear.

  196. Liquid Fla March 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Simple f/2.8, softbox far above and a reflector in front and right of him, 1/250 shutter, a bunch of people, location. I don't know I'm just having fun.

  197. Phong March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    on site.
    Camera settings: ISO 200-400, f11 at 160

    Light settings: two softboxs, left and right facing each other with the subject in between.

    The photo seem to be at the subject eyes level. So you have to be on laying on the ground.

  198. David Redding March 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    I'm thinking 2 lights.

    -1 Softbox high up judging by the circle of light it is casting on the floor

    -1 Softbox camera left and low for fill on his face

    I think the background lights are actually already there and you dragged the shutter to expose for the background

    This was shot on location (lots of yoga classes use local gyms)

    He is actually doing the pose judging from the wrinkles where the bottom knee is resting on his elbow.

    Lastly going out on a limb…But I think you shot this with a long lens to compress the FoV because I think he actually is in center court

  199. frescova March 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    one strong/balanced dude + one light from above – maybe one from the left.. lens wide open cause I'm sure he only held that pose for a micro second ;-)

  200. John March 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Here's what I'm going with:

    1. Large soft box above and slightly behind subject.

    2. The floor is giving some nice warm fill but it looks like a bounce card was used to create the Rembrandt on his face.

    3. The strobe was color balanced to match the gym's lights which are filling in the background.

    4. Hasselblad w/ slightly wider than standard lens.

    5. Broncolor strobe pack and head

    Cool idea, thanks for posting the shot.

  201. tim March 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    How about: the model was shot against a green screen with the help of some thin green support wires, then composited onto that cool looking retro gym?

  202. Jan Klier March 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Shot on location, no composite (finger reflection is very consistent). The pose looks authentic for an experienced athlete (see skin folds on knee).

    One large silk above as key (the shadow below subject is relatively small, so light source above had generally bigger than the subject). They key is pretty high, since I think it also makes the shadow of the baseball hoop.

    One kicker camera left, slightly above camera for fill in face (see nose shadow).

    Two background lights behind the black railing, one in the center and one on the right.

    Camera probably at around f/8 or f/11. There is some shallow DoF in the foreground, but the background isn't too blurred.

  203. Chris Bishow Photography March 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    My guess:
    Comp. Yoga guy shot in studio for sure. I think you need to sweep, 'cause his feet are kind of dirty. Lit from directly above. It looks like you used something as a reflector on the ground to fill the shadows and to warm up the reflections to match the wood floor. The trickery is getting the shadow to look right in post, nice job.
    Hassie, 80mm, f/13ish

  204. time2believe March 9, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    Model is doing a pose with right knee propped up on the left elbow. (Duh!)
    You've got one strobe with a grid 20 feet above the subject. I see a reflection of a light stand on the right. There's a softbox to the left of the camera and a reflector on the right. You've got several incandescent lights dialed down to produce a slightly off-white tone for the background.
    You're using your trusty Nikon D3 with a 105mm lens with a polarizing filter to minimize reflections on the floor. The aperture is set at f/10 with the shutter speed set at 1/125 and your ISO is to 600.

  205. James Cheng March 9, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Shot on location with one wicked sick yoga junkie.

    Broncolor Scoro boomed overhead in balloon lamp.

    2 SB-900's gaffered under the rafters to lift the shadows under the hoop, and the right side.

    Octabank camera left to provide fill on the subject.

    Camera-wise I'd say this was shot on the hassie with a 50mm lens.

    trick wise, I bet you shot this upside down while doing a neck bridge =p, ok not really, you were probably just lying down =)

  206. Chua AL March 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Flash with softbox from top of model, another flash (turned down) with softbox coming from left of photog. Placed another flash unit behind the hoop and above chairs to light up wall.

    How'd I do?

  207. Slimist March 9, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    50mm ish, yoga dude in studio with wood floor. backdrop added via photoshop. one spot light above with crane-ish thingy. reflection added to his right hand under real, maybe he was in a puddle of some sort. f8-10 shutter 1/70 tripod. iso 100. burned corners.

  208. Slimist March 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    35ishmm-1/100 iso-tripod. studio with wood floor. one spotlight on crane above yoga dude. backdrop added via photoshop. f8-10. reflection under right hand of yoga dude added, or maybe he was in a puddle. burned corners slight vignette.

  209. Sam March 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Hey Chase, nice image man.

    Here's my guess:

    Shot on location.
    One octabox for fill to the left of camera and directly overhead on a boom above subject.

    2 small poppers below the hoop and to the right…

    I think the rest is ambient, maybe at 1/15th or 1/8th?

    Possible background plate shot afterwards to strip in subject for sharpness?


    Thanks dude.

  210. deconstructor March 10, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    - KEY LIGHT:
    top softbox

    - background light:
    either sb800 or some other flash unit somewhere behind/below the basket – deleted in post

    - fill light:

    -shot on location

    - can't tell the camera having low res preview – guessing it's nikon d3x
    - looks like 28mm lens on 35mm body, or wider, probably cropped
    - aperture f/16
    - iso 800

    removal of flash units, maybe somehow duplicating the balustrade to make it more symmetrical, extending the floor in the front? or lens blur filter.
    the guy looks like his legs look like they were composited in from another photo.

  211. Harry Cruz March 10, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    1 octabank on a boom stand above the subject about 4-5 feet up.
    2. 1 grid spot to fill the face of the subject.
    3. ISO 400
    4. photographer shoot very low eye level of the subject

    great shot nonetheless!

  212. ithinkiwon March 10, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    i think someone deleted my post.. Means i won? :)
    the guy is composited from 2 shots, background light source (perhaps sb800 with diffusor) below the 'basket'/hoop has been removed, lens blur filter applied in the front of the floor.
    Top huge softbox directly lighting the talent, left-top fill light, another softbox used for ambient fill (bounced from the celling)
    shot on d3x, f/11/16, iso 800

  213. Anonymous March 10, 2010 at 4:02 am #

    okay, heres how i think it was shot. 400mm zoom, f22, 30 second exposure. which made la white blur and everything was ps'd in after.

  214. elvislite March 10, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    Aperture priority; F11
    ISO 100
    Lit from (his) right 30degrees and above to create shadow

  215. Ken Tucker March 10, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    I would say for the environment th e image is shot with minimal available light in the gym (so on location). Possible emergency lighting that stays on when the main iights are out. I think that could explain the recessed style lighting in the back along the edge.

    There is still additional overhead lighting in the gym that is creating a hoop shadow and backboard shadow. That could be the same overhead light that is lighting the majority of the floor.

    The subject has a large softbox above him (probably a bit in front of him and tilted back to feather a bit of light in the face and not give any highlights in the eyes) and low and a few stops brighter than the ambient on the subject hence the hotter areas on the skin. Also some sort of reflector (guessing white) was used on the right of subject and abvious the floor acting as a bit of a reflector as part of the subject's skin takes on that tone.

    I am guessing 35-50mm used depending on the camera not accounting for a tone of photoshop ( I do realize there was some D&B;, curves and/or levels and possibly some additional noise depending on the camera). The light is a combo of tungsten and flash.

  216. Mark Lowe March 10, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    You arrived at the gym carpark with your SUV full of photo kit. While reverse parking, you accidently ran over the model by mistake – but fortunately, he ended up in a great 'action yoga' position. You couldn't unbend him, or get him through the door, but using a nearby crane, you lowered him through a skylight into position. The skylight provided topdown lighting (just right) and Photoshop removed the cable holding him in place. Shot with your iPhone as your D3s & lighting rig were all stolen while you were rigging up the crane…

    The model's fee went to extensive physio sessions, but he's now OK, and thinking of taking up yoga full time….

    ; – )

  217. Chris Hood March 10, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    I don't know about you Chase, but I like to keep things relatively simple.

    I think that the location and subject are both shot together. The subject is having his legs suspended by some kind of material rig, something easy to extract in post. Ie. black, white or transparent.
    The gym lights are on, with the exception of the far left light being turned off to give more focus to the subject.
    There is a large softbox above, slightly infront and to the left of the subject.
    If I had to comment on the techy stuff, I'd say the Nikon 12-24mm F4lens on around 24mm at f7-8 on about 1/125sec regarding the depth and amount of motion from the subject and ISO 400 to let in some more of that ambient light. Shot on a tripod at 4-6inches above the ground to get the composition just right. Using the Nikon D3 at a guess :) Image has been cropped in post and like I said before, all the wires etc. removed. Colour's corrected and logo's added.

    Ok, thats about enough from me. Cheers. :)

  218. HurricaneG March 10, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    I think these are two separate shots and blended together in photoshop,even though its really hard to tell since the work that has been done to this is really awesome…
    The place was shot without flashes or anything, using 35mm @3.5-5.0, ISO from 800-1600
    the Yoga guy was shot using two strobes, one on the right above the guys legs and the other one on the left above the shoulder…i think u used a 24-70 on this shot @ f8-11, ISO 100…
    that's all i can say right now since i cant zoom in on the shot and take a better look lol…after all this is a great shot, I really enjoy your work…Just keep up the good work :D

  219. Dave March 10, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Flash above subject using a grid or snoot to get the clean soft circle of light and a bounce to get some light into the subjects face. One small flash on/near floor behind subject near back wall aiming up and right to light the wall and one small flash behind the black soffit aiming down and right to get the wall in a cross light. One more flash high camera left to get the backboard and hoop.

  220. Paul March 10, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    I think this one was on location.

    Lighting is a mix of lights from the gym ceiling and a large,soft source camera left. I can see 2 highlights in the gym floor on the right, likely the available gym lights. Also 2 hot spots on the wall near the hoop from gym lights as well. The added light is likely a Broncolor strobe through a large softbox placed camera left angled down at 45 degrees.

    I am guessing this was shot with a Nikon D3X with 24-70 at 24mm on a tripod with the legs angled to obtain its minimum height. First you shot the gym without the model to compose the Lululemon logo and to obtain a slightly underexposed setting. Next the model stood in to obtain the right aperture light power setting. After that was set, different poses were tried to get the right gaze and feeling in the image. Camera settings: ISO 400, f4, 1/80.

    Post processing – Increase contrast, black levels, clarity/high pass filter, and sharpening.

    Tricks used was a slight underexposure of the background, but otherwise just a well balanced photo that makes it difficult to distinguish between available light and strobe.

  221. Kelly Ng March 10, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    My guess is…
    1. This is a composite of three shots… first shot is of the gym without the model, another of the model doing a push up on the floor (front view) and a last shot where he is lying down on his side on the floor or a certain platform and he has his legs lifted like positioned/lifted like that shown in the picture.
    2. Location could be "on location" or green screen in studio
    3. Lighting, I would think one strobe from the left front, angled where it is just passing his face, a flash behind him to separate him from the background, maybe another flash pointed towards the floor to give it that luster
    4. Camera settings – guessing a 35mm or 50mm, at f4-f8, fast shutter speed
    5. Definitely lots of post processing tricks… first need to hide any body parts showing from shot #2… then connect his body from shot#3, a lot of dodging and burning, dodge the highlihts on the floor and areas of his face you want to focus on, burn background, parts of his body, etc. and there is definitely some use of texture layers to give it that edgy look
    This is what I would've tried to get a shot similar to this…

  222. Hank March 10, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I think there is a trick to it. I don't think that position is one anyone could hold. I think he was jumping into it, and the trick, such as it it, was to use a very quick shutter, 1/1000 say, to freeze him into place as he jumped. Lighting is a big softbox directly above and another big diffused light to his right (camera left), with a fill light on his face from the camera.

  223. Greg March 10, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    His shadow and reflection on the floor look post editing to me, therefore the scene is probably composite, 3 pcs, floor, talent, backwall. Lit from below and above left, yoga pose is for real, but maybe he's on one of Chase's magic plexi boxes to allow the lighting. Nice work however you did it!

  224. Bill March 10, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Crop is the clue to an iphone. Straight shot with maybe some aid to holding the iphone steady. All ambient light, actual pose, on location.

  225. Kenny B March 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Available light
    Hand held reflector camera left
    D3s – ISO 1600
    A couple of strobes on the back wall.
    35mm f/4

  226. brettmayphotography March 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    I believe this image is shot on location. First off the highlights on the athlete's legs and back indicate a main light above him. Most likely a beauty dish defused for the surreal look it gives. Second, there is no catch light in the eyes but the underbelly of the athlete is well exposed. So I suggest you've used two or more gold bounce cards to warm up the subject from the front. The gym itself is mostly ambient light with a few reflections. The Basket itself may have been lit with a soft box to give the photo more depth but very minimal. The lens used was most likely to be the nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 wide angle, due to the distortion of the railing above. Considering the movement of the athlete and the ambient light, this was shot at f5.6 @ 60sec, 200ISO on a mini-tripod (Magic arm). All for the convince. That would be my first plan of attack.

    Pretty Awesome Idea of a shoot…

  227. Chris Hood March 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi Chase, I'm quite a big advocate of keeping things simple. So here's what I think you did.

    The subject and the location were both shot together in the sports hall.

    The subject is being suspended via a counterweighted rig of some description by his ankles, allowing for easier composition.
    The subject is also being lit by a large softbox, which is above him, slightly infront and to the left.
    The location is being lit via the lighting already available, though the light in the far left has been turned off to help keep the focus on the subject.

    Tech wise, I'd say you were probably using the Nikon D3 with a 12-24mm f4 lens on about 20mm at f7-8, considering the depth, with a shutter of about 1/125th of a second to cancel out the small movements of the subject. ISO 400 would give you a good deal of ambient light as well, which the image looks to have.

    The camera would be placed on a tripod, low to the ground, around 6inches from the floor in a portrait position.

    During post you would have eliminated the supporting rig, cropped the image and adjusted the colours and add logos etc.

    Hope im on the money with this :)

    Would be great to get a signed copy of your book. Can't wait to get into the photographic industry now, education's beginning to take its toll :P

    Best of luck with your future endeavours :)


  228. Chris Hood March 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Chase, I'm quite a big advocate of keeping things simple. So here's what I think you did.

    The subject and the location were both shot together in the sports hall.

    The subject is being suspended via a counterweighted rig of some description by his ankles, allowing for easier composition.
    The location is being lit via the lighting already available, though the light in the far left has been turned off to help keep the focus on the subject.
    The subject is also being lit by a large softbox, which is above him, slightly infront and to the left, with a reflector on the right bounoncing some of that ambient light back onto his right side.

    Tech wise, I'd say you were probably using the Nikon D3 with a 12-24mm f4 lens on about 20mm at f7-8, considering the depth, with a shutter of about 1/125th of a second to cancel out the small movements of the subject. ISO 400 would give you a good deal of ambient light as well, which the image looks to have.

    The camera would be placed on a tripod, low to the ground, around 6inches from the floor in a portrait position.

    During post you would have eliminated the supporting rig, cropped the image and adjusted the colours and add logos etc.

    Hope im on the money with this :)

    Would be great to get a signed copy of your book. Can't wait to get into the photographic industry now, education's beginning to take its toll :P

    Best of luck with your future endeavours :)


  229. n1x0n March 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I'll skip comments on lighting, lens and such, since theres absolutely no way to tell the exact focal length or whether octabox or square softbox was used. It's all a wild guess from everyone's part. Apart from being blasted from above with some medium-soft light and being shot with lens close to normal focal length – it could be anything :-)

    Thing that can be told is that guy is composited into the interior shot.

    Few giveaways: nice bright fill on the lower part of the body, lack of reflections /look how nice chairs in the background are reflected/, shadow is a bit "dirty" /that's "multiply" layer mode side effects/, one hand has nice finger reflections – other has not… etc…

    My guess on the guy – white seamless in the studio. Gives nice fill on the lower part of the body and makes shadow impositions easier.

    Nice idea is to use big shiny white sheet of plastic – to help mimic accurate reflections in the "post".

    At least thats how i would've done it.

  230. Roger Botting March 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    This pose is a bitch to do, but I can do it. Lighting, probably ambient, or lighting to look ambient (bounce off ceiling) and a small strobe or reflector for foreground.
    The yogi would have to have some patience to do it, shoot fast I say!

  231. Doug March 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    I think there was a large light source directly above subject, perhaps large soft box or even a bedsheet reflecting light source from below.

    There was another light source from camera left and a bounce card at camera right.

    Cool picture!

  232. Jules March 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    I am not a yoga expert, this yoga pose is real. It's one of the variation of the 8-angle pose of the Arsana.

    There should be a top light (soft) and a side light from the left, near to the subject.

    Shot with wide-angle lens on location.

  233. Hunter W March 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    A large soft-box from above, with either a reflector or additional soft-box of to the viewers left. Also two fill lights. Could possibly be using strobes. It also seems you were using a relatively low shutter speed and not so impressive glass, like a 24-70 at f8.

  234. Jeffery March 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Here's my analysis.

    Excuse me if this has already been stated, don't have time to go through all those comments.

    Diffused light not directly above subject but above and slightly behind subject. Second diffused light used for subject at a modified loop position to the left of the camera.

    Looks like the specular highlights on the chairs and shadows on the back wall are showing two strobes, one on either side of the gym pointed roughly towards the hoop.

    Shot with a dSLR between 28mm and 35mm, between f/5.6 and f/8.

    Would be much easier to tell if it wasn't already post processed and wussy web sized. ;) Thats gotta be pretty darn close though.

  235. Peter Mahar March 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    It is a composite image. The first photo is of the athlete, where a medium soft box was used to illuminate him from above. Then a key light from below was used to help illuminate him from the bottom. His stance is all him, no cords or gismos for that. Now for the second shot. The gym, I am guessing, is all natural light, where you used a 24-70mm lens at floor level to take the shot. The clarity of the floor is a bit before the clear subject which is where you focused on. In post processing, you merged the two images, darkened the corners, then darkened and brought up the contrast of the floor. Other then that the rest is all real, perhaps a few minor touch ups here and there form blown out light, or distracting elements.

  236. Ning March 10, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    2 theories:
    First is just that there are existing lighting in the gym already that can account for environment lighting and the top lighting on the guy. You probably just filled him a little on camera left.

    I also see specular lightings on the chair backs indicating 2 small lightsource and 1 big light source. So maybe option 2 is more plausible.

    Option 2 is one big large lightsource on camera left & top from the guy. Some light hidden on the top of the racks behind the basketball, some light on the top right corner of the background.

    Looks something like f/8 @ maybe 35mm, high ISO. You metered pretty close to environment.

  237. Jonathan March 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    OK so I am going out on a limb and we'll see where it gets me.

    The Dude:
    Softbox directly overhead
    Umbrella the left 30 degrees

    The Gym:
    On Location
    gym light pointing at wall, on center behind large black I beam
    gym light ight to right of white beam on right pointing at wall
    Two umbrella, one far left and the other far right, up about 15-18 feet on light stans about 10 feet behind the guy at 45 degrees for fill light in room.
    Overhead gym lights on (casting shadow from overhang above chairs)

    Post Processing:
    The logo was composited into the gm floor
    Curves for added contrast
    Colors warmed
    Some dodging & burning around net
    Vignette added
    You may have added blur to the foreground

    The Camera:
    Nikon…doesn't matter which :)
    18 inchess off floor
    Shot at 30-45mm @f9 or f10, fast shutterspeed, between 100-500

    A guy that does yoga

  238. Edward March 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    All natural light. the fill is actually a skylight window. The kicker to viewers left is off your macbook while your assistant checks up on your blog. the camera is handheld, probably an f100 with a 50mm around f4. Shooting at a 30th of a second iso 400, but your too ninja to get camera shake. Negative is scanned, color corrected…your paycheck was in the mail 7 days later.

  239. Paige Parsons March 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    On location, the yogi doing the actual pose, called a "Side Crane Pose" in a gym with a skylight directly overhead. Window or possibly softbox very high on left (casting shadow in arch. There are two "found" florescent bulbs, one in the rafters under the hoop, on the the right, there should be a third on the left, but it's burnt out.

    Shot with a D3, and the wonderful 1:2.8 24-70 at 70mm. Since he's doing the yoga pose on the center line, it can't be a much wider angle or the hoop would look tiny. I'm also betting it's not wider because you wanted the killer sharpness of the 24-70. You've got a full half basketball court pluss a few feet more in focus, so I'm guessing f8. Given the fact that this is likely natural light, it's probably nor more than 1/125, ISO 1600. You've got the camera an inch or two above ground level. If it were any higher (such as at his eye level), his body would be blocking the horizon line of the wall. I'm also guessing that you cropped a bit off the bottom to get the golden ratio aspect of the image, to make the floor horizion almost centered, and to eliminate a bit of the floor.

    In post, I think you did some white balance correction, some clarity, adjust warmth, and darkened a bit above the net.

  240. David Imm March 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    You can tell the guy is holding that pose by the wrinkles on his leg were it meets is elbow (no movement).

    I see two reflections on the left chair, take into consideration the angle of the chair backs, maybe a large fill high and to the right. Mkey directly overhead on boom pointing straight down.
    Strip light at floor level to under light stomach and face.

    Lens… ehh… no way its 2.8, more like 11 or the BG would have been Totally out as far away as it is. Foreground blur added in post.

  241. M March 10, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    1) Flash in shoot through brolly about three meters above subject – there is a horizontal shadowline running along the back wall directly under the gallery which might indicate the height of the light, the spread to the back wall would speak against a soft box and for the umbrella.
    2) two bare flashes @ hoop and in the back right corners
    3) First guess for explaining the warm light on the gallery was reflection of the wooden floor, not available light. But in the arch bg. left there is a round shadow that might result from the rounded corner of the gallery and would speak for an (available) light on the ceiling to the far left. There might have been a smilar shadow in the right corner that was taken out by the flash.
    4) camera somewhere between 35 and 50mm, f 4.0

  242. Tom McKean March 11, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    It seems that you first shot the athlete straight on from the floor in the studio. Strobes were used to light the subject from above and to front side. Then the legs were shot and added behind the athlete. Then the combined subject was added to the gymnasium floor. The gym was lit with softboxes and umbrella lighting seperately.

  243. Scott Margetts March 11, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    Okey dokey, here's my pop…

    D3, SanDisk [of course], 24-70 @50mm, long exposure of around 1min at iso200.

    VAL walks around balcony to paint in the hoop and edge out the balcony with few pops from a strobe. Smidge of ambient provides the colour. End day.

    Day 2: arrives rent-a-flexi-bloke in studio. Feed red-bull and sit him on green screen with lots of light looking straight up. Hands on green wall. Provide applause / lunch as required and send home.

    Now add CS4 and bag of layers. Add shadow. Blend for few hours while drinking whiskey. Apply cool music. Lunch optional.

    Post when done. Wait for applause.

    Please send my prize to London :-)

  244. Wayne Lennon March 11, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    Natural light, shot on iPhone and edited in best camera?

    ….worth a punt!

  245. Brendan March 11, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Medium Lens – 25-75 cropped square
    2 shots blended in post
    Shot from floor level on tripod and remotely triggered so as not to move the camera

    first shot:
    - longer exposure and no model
    - higher aperture to keep DOF
    4 flashes
    -2 softboxes pointed towards the hoop for fill
    -2 small diffused flash units placed in the under-hang to light up the rear wall.
    One to the far right and the 2nd located behind the hoop

    Second shot
    – Shorter exposure and a shallower depth of field.
    2 flashes.
    -1 soft box above the model pointing down slightly angeled towards the camera
    -1 softbox camera left ground level filling his face. Far enough left so not to light
    the left side of his face

    Nice Photo!

  246. ---pauli March 11, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    camera and settings:
    nikon d3x, iso 800, 24-70mm @ 35mm f/5.6

    foreground lights:
    one big octa from above the subject(on min. power and rather close cos the depth of light). soft fill from behind the camera. also 1 softbox from camera left subjects level.

    background lights:
    one very high(prob. from the balcony) from camera left aimed to the center of the frame(making the shadow from the hoop).
    one from camera right about 3 meters high aimed to the right side of the frame.
    both backlights with some zoomable/tele reflectors.

    nice composition, but i'd have removed the hoop shadow and reduced the light from above the subject ;)

  247. ---pauli March 11, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    camera and settings:
    nikon d3x, iso 800, 24-70mm @ 35mm f/5.6

    foreground lights:
    one big octa from above the subject(on min. power and rather close cos the depth of light). soft fill from behind the camera. also 1 softbox from camera left subjects level.

    background lights:
    one very high(prob. from the balcony) from camera left aimed to the center of the frame(making the shadow from the hoop).
    one from camera right about 3 meters high aimed to the right side of the frame.
    both backlights with some zoomable/tele reflectors.

    nice composition, but i'd have removed the hoop shadow and reduced the light from above the subject ;)

  248. Miguel March 11, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    1.- 3 general lights
    -Big softbox (up to the left of the camera)
    -Big softbox (up to the right of the camera)
    -Light SB800/900 (low power to the bottom left (face))
    2.- light bouncing of the cealing
    3.- 24mm -70mm lense @ 24mm
    4.- f 2.8
    5.- ISO 200
    6.-On site
    7.- Photoshop darkening background

  249. Adam March 11, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    251 comments! What the…
    We do this a lot in my photography classes, sometimes we go a step further and try and recreate the photos to various degrees of success!
    Here goes:
    ambient light in the background. Strobe top, strobe left/front at model's eye level.
    Two exposures, then blended together in post.
    1: F8, 1/60, ISO 800 (expose model)
    2: F2.8, 1/60, ISO 1600 (expose background)
    Some dodging on background in post and desaturation.
    Tripod, D3, 24-70 2.8 @50mm

  250. Ami Sanyal March 11, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Dunno if there's any point to me chiming in, but here goes.

    1 softbox boomed above subject.
    1 softbox in front of subject low and to left

    Speedlights providing splashes of light on the background

    Shot with the camera very close to the gym floor

  251. tacoman March 11, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    D3 ISO 800 or higher f5.6 or f8
    70-200 floor level @ 80ish about twenty feet back.
    SB 800 sitting on the i-beam flange below/under the net set wide and stopped down with a diffuser.
    SB800 siting on beam flange on the right of the chairs with diffuser.
    broncolor in ceiling rafters directly overhead of model.
    small reflector camera left, just in front and about two feet off the floor aimed at models head.
    synced with pocket wizards

  252. Derik March 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Well the aperature is moderately wide open since there is quite a bit of in-focus ground in front of the model, perhaps f8 or so. Also, to increase the appearance of the pose's depth compression, I would put it at about 80mm. Camera is below the model's eye level, so maybe 10 inches off the ground and a moderately high ISO and slow shutter speed to try and capture at least a little bit of ambient light, maybe iso800 1/80 sec.

    The lights that I think are there are:
    1. Softbox above and slightly behind/right of the model's head 6ft above
    2. Socked beauty dish above and left of camera
    3&4. Bare flash 10ft hitting walls (arch shadow is hard and down and to the right)
    5. Bare flash above camera, positioned just higher and off-center left of basketball rim height, pointed slightly down (rim shadow is hard and pointed down/right)
    6. Speedlight pointed straight up to highlight rafters behind hoop

    That's just my guess. I love, love, LOVE the contrast of the yoga and the old basketball gym, posing eastern tradition on a traditional American backdrop. Very nice.

  253. Dave March 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Only lighting was gym lights ISO 6400. Aperture 3 for the tricks.

  254. EddFirm March 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Large octa above, Light for fill is from the reflective floor. There seems to be a bit of fill coming in from camera left (snooted?) on his face. I think you put two pics together here. I cant see how its humanly possible to get your legs in that position (unless he's very talented and well loved by the ladies!)
    I think its location shot with natural light on the backwall, hoops etc from a skylight or two.

    Im probably way out :)

  255. Tai March 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Location shot, composed.
    Lighting: One big softbox in the top right of the photo looking down, pretty close to the subject. A smaller softbox to the right, but much lower and has much less power to create some fill light. the top light comes from the ceiling lights in the gym.
    Equipment: Using a D3 pretty close to the ground with a focal length of approx 24mm or 35mm.
    Settings: f5.6, ISO about 800 and a fairly fast shutter speed of about 1/400 – 1/500 of a second.
    Tricks: Use motor driving to get a sequence of movement, then pick the best shot.

  256. jason March 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    1. The back wall was lit camera left from the balcony. another flash focused on the hoop and back board.
    One speedlight under of balcony behind the hoop, another speedlight from upper bacony camera right focus on wall behind feet, not goboed caused the direct refection on wood floor bottom right image.

    2. large soft box above model for fill/ rim. Another soft box above camer but slighly camera left was directed at his face and floor just in front of the model.

    3. full frame camera, lens set to around 50mm, ISO 200, f5.6-8, 1/125, white balance – flash.

    4. Post was minor temperature tweaks. A High Pass sharpen.

    5. And Boom off to the ad agency for the text/ logo at the bottom

  257. Kirk Lau March 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Here's my take..
    On location taken with his iphone! I am sure i seen this on the best camera live feed man!!! i knew it!
    real time post processing in the app directly!

    Seriously tho..
    my guess
    On location, Lit with a big white diffusing material strech acrossed the rail on the 2nd floor, cover almost the whole top except that part in the photo, black cloth block the spill from the reflection, one/few lights DIRECTLY above the guy through the diffusing material. this creates the main light.
    a few more accent light everywhere like below the rim.
    one more on the side shooting toward the stairway outside the frame from the left. with some kind of big diffuser, hence the cast shadow from left to right.

    reason i guess the way the main light is, the light seems to be directly above from the spectacular highlight on the guy even tho the floor is quite scratched, you should still see a softbox shape on the floor, unless it is REALLY BIG. that cover the whole ground. also there are fall off starting from about 2/3 of the floor from camera.. so i guess that's where the scrim stop and end with a black cloth to block the spill toward the background.

    one thing i still can't figure out is the spec highlight on the floor close to the right edge of the picture… the shape doesn't seem to be came from the 2nd floor edge… but i refuse to think it is a strip light added to simulate a florescent tube.

    i think there is some post too… like the vignette and other small detail stuff.

  258. Valeriy Veduta March 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    The gymnast and a floor is a studio shoot.
    No problem to make such floor in a studio and shoot a gymnast like that. Studio gives flexibility…
    And a background (chairs, basket etc) added in postproduction.
    One strobe on top (think just standard reflector or dish) and another one strobe to lit his face.

  259. Robert Gilbert March 12, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    If I think simple. I guess its one shot, no compo, ambient gym light only, high ISo. Since the gym is equally lit, except a bit of the far back. Like 75% of ceiling light are open.

    Impossible to light this big with a softbox. I think there's no flash.

    For camera settings it quite impossible without knowing a bit of info, but I guess the ceiling lights are sodium or mercury lights and the white balance on that.

  260. DLBerry March 12, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    I have looked at this photo over and over and read the input from other people and shooters. I believe this image is pretty straight forward but yet some areas that just don't make sense to me. I believe the model and your overall location/background are one image. The model is actually in the position that is seen from camera and the camera view is low level with you lying on the gym floor capturing the image from that level. Wide angle lens, boom overhead with one softbox to light the model, and white fill card from camera for fill/or the actual light bouncing back off the floor from the overhead have filled the model in. Overall lighting used for the gym was helped by the gym lights plus strobes added and bounced off the ceiling. What is perplexing to me is the background and in particular the hoop,and background associated with the hoop. The strong shadow that looks like it's from the hoop to me does not have a raw light to help that area out. It almost looks like possibly some post processing to bring out the area under the running track and the back wall. If there was a light on the hoop you would have some indication of that on the rim of the hoop as well as the net. Very difficult to control that without any spill over into other areas even if you used snoots, cinefoil, etc. Also if there was another light on the hoop the shadow underneath would never appear in that area. Yes I know I am questioning myself but to be honest I am not 100% sure. Can't wait to find out to see how far off base I might actually be. Great shot and love the challenge!

  261. Shawn Chamberlin March 12, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    ok, to start off, you're a nikon guy, so i'm assuming you're shooting a D3 or D3x, thats a given. the lens was a 24-70, shot at around f/5.6, you need a little shallower because the face is in focus, then falls off. you also need the shallower D.O.F. to get the ambient light from the gym. you dragged the shutter speed a little to help with this, nothing too crazy because you don't want the model moving around. anywhere from 1/60th to 1/200th.

    lighting wise, i think you had a nice sized softbox directly above the move, you can tell from the highlights on top of figure. looks like you also threw in a fill on his face, theres a shadow on his left side, but lighter on his right, not from the original softbox. so fill is gridded, probably camera left, dialed down, its not as strong as overhead light. you can see a reflection of the grid in the backrest of one of the chairs.

    you could've throw some accent lights in the back, one mounted behind backboard of net, other to the right of frame. you can tell from the hard shadows.

    thats my two cents.

  262. Tim March 12, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    I see 3 photos.

    Background, Floor, Model

    Large softbox shooting up into the hoop area and spilling onto the wall and rafters as well.
    A flash in the rafters behind the hoop shooting onto the wall
    A flash camera right next to terrace shooting down and across onto the wall.

    Large softbox shooting straight down onto the floor for warm soft wash of light.

    Large softbox above and slightly behind model, probably pretty close. The softbox appears to be centered over the models left shoulder and thighs.

    Another soft lightsource for the face camera left.

    Looking at the highlights on the forearms it looks like there was a white bounce surface just to the left of the camera.


    Background shot and floor shot blended.

    Model shot on top of that. There are some odd dark spots on the top foot that make me think that the top foot is from a different photo.

    Why I believe the model is shot separate from the floor:

    The highlights on the model are very hot but the floor is very evenly lighted. The warm bounce back into the model is strong, too strong I think for the apparent lighting on the floor.

    Also the reflections of the model fall off very fast but reflections in the background of the stairs and chairs do not.

  263. zikpuppy March 12, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Here we go,

    Looks like your on location at my old high school gym.

    Looks like one large diffused source above the model. Light number two seems to be a kicker low and to camera left reflecting a bit on the chairs in the back. Number three could be a small softbox a tiny bit above and to camera right also reflected in the chairs.

    Background seems to be all ambient, but the basketball goal is throwing me a little. Usually gymnasium lights would produce multiple shadows and I only see one. Strange.

    The archway shadow in the back also looks a little odd. Almost like it's a slightly different shape than the door, and seems to continue onto the wall to the right of the door. Could the be made with a flash and shaped flag?

    The reflection closest to the camera right appears to be flagged. Can't tell if that is a scratch on the floor or a light stand.

    The lens looks like about a 70mm f4-ish setup back about 10-15ft a little under the models eye level.

    Thanks for the lesson,

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