Deconstruct This Photo 3.0

chase jarvis soccer portfolio

You know I love to deconstruct a photo. And I know from your previous feedback that you love it to, so let’s dig into another one.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. It’s always been one of the most helpful technical exercises throughout my career to try to dissect the images of others, and so here I am encouraging you to take your shot at this image today. (If you want to check out some previous versions of this exercise, check here and here.)

So now tell me–yes YOU–how in the hell was this shot made? Overexposed mess? Studio shot? Test shot? A masterpiece? How’s it lit? The circumstances? The camera settings? Tricks? This one is a bit more abstract than previous shots, so I’m dying to have you pick it apart. Especially the purists.

I’ll reveal the details in a followup post. The person who gets the closest gets a signed book and a shout out and whatever else I can muster. Don’t be shy. Love to hear your thoughts.

147 Responses to Deconstruct This Photo 3.0

  1. Aaron Lindberg May 5, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    2 studio lights, uncovered/no diffusion, both lights are set up high pointing down with a high contrast tweak in post?

  2. Freddy Oropeza May 5, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    This is one is really hard to tell, so thebnest I can do, it’s try and figure out how I would do it.
    I’m going to go with some direct sunlight, possibly from the left of frame, balancing that light with a strobe from the opposite side, and above the player, maybe a bit closer to camera, pointing more towards the player.
    I’m not sure that I would over expose in camera, I would rather have the info in the pixels and do it in post, which is where I would add wall, over exposure, and final gritty look to it.

  3. Griffin Lotz May 5, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Shot over the flash sync to get that darker bar at the top (actually not blown out bar at the top) You must have used some sort of strobe/flash in front of him to get the blown out wall and shirt. But there was another light, maybe the sun or something that was stationary(not strobed) to get the highlight on the right side of the ball and the texture in the wall.

  4. shaun May 5, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    looks like truck high beams on each side and tweaked to hell contrast :)

  5. Doug Robertson May 5, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    I’m likely wrong. But I’m thinking it’s the sun coming from camera right. In post I think it’s been warmed up a tad and something done to mess with contrast and such pixel trickery

    The over/under exposed bits don’t bug me, but the fact that I can’t see much of his face and only two fingers drives me bananas. lol – it’s funny how we react to pictures.

    Looking forward to learning the truth. Thanks for sharing Chase!!

  6. Richard Keech May 5, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    I think two unmodified studios lights from high up camera left and right
    with the one on the camera left pointed lower to only hit the shirt and back ground but not the ball
    heavy post processing to increase contrast

  7. Daf May 5, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Ignoring the possibility of composite….

    Ball is lit from the right.
    Guy (+probably wall) is lit from the left + lightsource between the wall and guy. Slightly above so shadow falls on his collar bone

    The light on the ball is just on the ball – not on the back of the guys head – so unless there’s heavy PS action it’s been snooted or similar.

    Light on the wall has very significant fall-off so a tight angle grid.

    As there’s not a lot of motion blur I’d guess that it’s either :
    -natural daylight with very tight reflectors/flags/etc rather than snoots.
    -Heavy duty studio lights that us mere mortals could only dream of affording ;)

    • Daf May 5, 2010 at 8:44 am #

      Oh and a fill light or ambient light to expose the wall + parts of the guy not blown-out.

  8. David Peacock May 5, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    The first thing I’ll say is that the background looks composited to me. The ball and the guy also look like two separate shots, based on the fact that the light hits the ball hard from the right, but not the top of the guy’s head.

    I think there’s been some pretty intense dodging going on around the guy’s chest and hand, with burning around his neck. Light on the guy was probably a low-powered softbox providing a little fill, with bare strobe from the right. The ball was shot similarly.

    The background was again intensely dodged to partially blow out the image.

    I’m really curious about the answer to this, as I think this is a huge amount of post processing and as such, difficult to deconstruct with any authority.

  9. Anonymous May 5, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    What everyone said above, esp Daf, but with one exception. Taken with iPhone camera and fiddled settings, Chase.

  10. Karthik May 5, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Oh! that’s very hard to tell. I think i am wrong anyway here is my guess.

    two lights. one from bottom left point up to his face. another one from top right pointing at back of his head. Shot above the sync speed.

  11. Griffin Lotz May 5, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    follow up to mine…
    by shooting over the flash sync, you get the blown out wall, and side of face, but as can be seen none of the light from the flash hits anything in the top of the frame which is exposed to the ambient because the shutter blocks the flash. Nikon’s shutter must come down from the top, I’m pretty sure Canon goes bottom up.

  12. Gregory Tran May 5, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    It’s always hard to tell if fill is coming from lighting or from ambient… so i’m just gonna work with the assumption that it’s mostly lighting…

    2 lights camera left

    the higher one is at a low angle to the wall… you can tell because of the shadows that define the texture of the wall on that side… the modifier doesnt much matter… maybe just a reflector… medium distance away bc you can see the light gets slightly darker on the right side, but not so close that the falloff is very quick

    the second one is very overexposed at least a couple stops, and while still at a low angle to the wall, less so than the other. it is definitely gridded… only way to get such a sharp falloff on the edge… the wall and the blown out parts of his jersey, chin, etc are lit by this light

    one thing that confuses me a little bit is i think the ball and his left shoulder are lit by the same light but i can’t see the highlights in the hair… i’ll go with simplicity sake and say it’s a single light as opposed to a grid on the ball and something else on his shirt… i prob just can’t see the hair right

    the light from the right isn’t completely specular… it’s medium in terms of apparent size because it’s not a completely hard line on his shirt and the ball… maybe a gridded beauty dish… the difference in exposure between the ball and his shoulder seem pretty significant… pretty high and to the right and aimed down… pointed more directly at where the ball is for the brighter middle light to hit the ball and the feathered parts hitting his shirt… you can see the stripes of light that made it through his hair highlighting his face as well…

    i think this is shot outside… i can’t see you guys having that texture in studio… the very slight fill on the guy’s face is just ambient…

    fill on the ball is just reflections off the wall…

    shot with one of the Nikon D3 type bodies… with a 24-70 (seems to be chase’s go to and it def looks like it’s in that range)… closer to the 70mm end…

    f/8… focused on the wall… the texture is sharp but his closest shoulder is less so…

  13. Andrew Hodgson May 5, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    It looks like an under exposed iphone image, that you tried to over expose in post production. As for lighting it looks like a light from the top right and one center left and they look like random tungsten lights, nothing special. It doesn’t look like it was a “shoot” but rather candid either at a game or in a park.
    The background has been added in. The bottom was part of the original photo and the top has been added in

  14. pp May 5, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    I second iPhone.

  15. JABBERPICS May 5, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    shot outside. one studio flash to left. ambient light(sun to right)
    background added in post as well as horizontal flipping of ball.
    levels and contrast adjusted to maintain blown out look.


  16. Denis May 5, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    The anonymous up there is me :D

  17. Gregory Tran May 5, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    i’m gonna laugh if it really is shot with an iphone and i typed all that mess… though i can definitely see where you guys are coming from :p

  18. Rob May 5, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    2 lights… Outside against a textured concrete wall. One blasted from left with a flag to force a hard line between light on bottom and top – It’s also hitting his front…. seriously high power. Second from high right on a lower power.

  19. Brian May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Looks like very harsh natural light against a textured wall… like maybe being outside next to a building but with an awning or some sort of shade or natural diffusing tool. Because there are hard overexposed areas as well as darker, colored areas. I see where everybody is coming from with the two light set up (one front and one behind) but I can also see where natural HARD sunlight can hit the wall lighting him in the front and with the overexposure, the light on the wall and shirt blend so difficult to see. What throws me off is the fingers as they look as if they were lit with strobes. Being the case I’d say a light in front of subject low or midway up then a light high up behind him. You know… I would almost say this is an iPhone picture but the ball seems a bit crisp for the rather slow shutter on the iPhone. So I’m all over the page on this one.

  20. Patrick O'Gara May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Two sources of light, above the figure, probably with grids, one to the right and the other to the left (and slightly behind). Both pointed slightly back as to rake along the back wall?

    A healthy dose of contrast boosting and other PS magic for post.

  21. Nick May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    How fun…I’ll have a go at it.

    The bg texture up top has to have been added in post. The scale of the ridges are too large if we’re assuming to be a foot away from the wall. Nice job however on matching the direction of the shadows from the sun at camera right, 60 degrees up. Skin tone gives this one away as well as the concentration of warm light throughout dudes mop top.

    Balance the sun throw 1 strobe low camera left. It really appears that it’s bouncing off the way but I really think that there’s a strobe low camera left.

    There’s one other strobe at camera right, right about the same position of the sun. Why? No clue. I’m sure this was a test shot?

    1 strobe low camera left
    1 strobe high camera right
    Sun at 60 degrees camera right

  22. Symphonick May 5, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Light 1 – 7 o’clock to where the model is facing, rather high I’d say. Noticeable from the shadows of the model’s hair on his face, and also, the light and shadow on the model’s fingers. This light is not too high also because there are no spills on the model’s face (The eyes.) beneath the ball. The weird part is that there’s no highlight on the hair. *Puzzle look*

    Light 2 – 1 to 2 o’clock to where the model is facing. Noticeable from the shadows from the creases on the shirt. Noticeable also at the chin-neck area. Interesting tho that this light didn’t spill much over onto the ball, I might give a possibility that it has a snoot.

    The background seems to be produced from a simple Photoshop artistic filter, and casually layered over the whole image with a simple change of blending option, perhaps a little layer masking as well. I concluded this because the shadow of the ball seems to be affected by the same effect of the background as well.

    Other effects are perhaps like some contrast boosting (Be it levels or curves.),

    I am puzzled by the light and shadow on the ball tho, the dividing line is such a straight line. I’m not that knowledgeable enough to deconstruct that part because as far as I know, light is supposed to wrap around its object when traveling pass a shape like such, a sphere.

  23. Rob Spence May 5, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    What the hey… I’ll take a stab.
    2 light sources. Subject is in front of some sort of light source. I’d have to guess a window with some light being pumped through… or maybe it’s just very sunny. Judging from the light on the ball Second source is coming from above and to the right (behind) the subject. Source 2 is also blowing out the chin and falling over his shoulder.
    Otherwise… Camera settings: F8ish, 1/500 (ball is not totally frozen) ISO800 (some grain). Lens.. uh.. 24-70? (wild guess)
    Overall, I like it. I’d guess that it was a one-off test shot and not too tricked out, but some subtle contrast tweaks in post.
    Fun challenge. Cheers!

  24. Michael Seneschal May 5, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    Oooh Ooooh… I know…. it’s a person with long hair that is seemingly head-butting a soccer ball.

    Yesssssssss :o)

  25. Laurence May 5, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    tbh first instinct i thought it looked like a mobile phone shot. so i’m gonna go with that. you snaped it on your iPhone Chase! and you’ve got us all running around with tech in our head! :D

  26. 11ellie May 5, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    OK…..Studio light camera right with no diffusion. Since the soccer player is close to the wall, there is a hard light camera left pointed at the wall to wash out the shadows. One more light behind the soccer player pointed at the ball with a grid to highlight the ball only. Looks like the light is on the floor or just below the soccer player pointed up. Great shot Chase. Thanks for letting us play along…………….


  27. Tom S May 5, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    hmmm, how about two gridded strobes. One up against the background, above the subject and pointed down and mostly parallel to the wall but still lighting the ball from above. Second gridded strobe low and left still against the wall pointed up and more toward the subject. Subject turned 45 degrees from wall. Some post to tweak blacks, colors…

  28. Guillermo Flores May 5, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Taken with iPhone 3Gs, one direct light to the ball and one to the background.

  29. Mike Wilson May 5, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    This looks like a 2-light setup to me.

    First is a high-powered strobe down low to the ground pointed slightly up at the wall behind the model. I’m guessing that the light on his chest and chin are just reflected off the wall.

    The second light is high and possibly gridded or snooted to light just the ball.

    Then I’m guessing there’s a reflector to camera right behind the model’s shoulder to bounce a little fill onto his shoulder and face.

    Thanks for the exercise! It’s always fun to do, especially when you’re challenged to do it! :)

  30. Gaurav Sharda May 5, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    Here is my guess:

    Lighting –

    First strobe behind the subject facing the wall on full power. Another on camera right high above the subject facing down on him, possibly with a beauty dish attachment.

    Camera Settings –

    50mm at F5.6 ISO 600

    Post Production –

    Aperture used to crank up blacks, some color correction possibly warming of the colors giving a high contrast look.

  31. Joe J May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    I would have to say that it’s some form of an overlay, soccer player on top of a concrete type wall. Not sure of the harsh lighting if it’s harsh lighting at all. Might be just as simple as painting it white.

    Fun challenge! Really cool shot as well

  32. KC May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    I believe it was shot in a studio or industrial setting. First the framing of the shot, I think the background is probably a vertical lined cement wall and the camera angle is tilted off-axis slightly. As far as lighting, the shadow on the subjects fingers point to a two light set-up. Based on the angle of the light hitting the soccer ball the camera right CTO’ed strobe (or ambient light) serves as the fill light and is high and and pointed down about a 45 degree angle. The second strobe is most likely behind the subject fired and is used as the key light to overexpose the background and is reflected on the subjects chest to create an overexposed main light on the subject. I think the light fall off up the wall shows that the light is probably behind the subject and low. I am judging the second light to be behind the subject because of the hard nose shadow would negate the light being camera left. Post would most likely be modifications to color saturation, dodge/burn of the subjects face and shirt, and some gentle high-pass filtering to bring out the cement wall detail.

  33. Mirko Vukasovic May 5, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    All right!!
    My wild guess: Shot woth both natural and studio light. Light coming from the left is a tilted down softbox and the one lighting the ball and the shoulder is natural. The suject is a few steps away from the wall, because his side is the only thing lit with the same intensity as the wall. Minor adjustments in Aperture and PS of curves for contrast and color for pumping down the yellow.

    Fun shot, of course! fútbol is, of course, loads of fun! (maybe conmemorating that the world cup is coming soon??) Looks like an ad for some drink! Maybe i’m just thirsty… i’ll go now and grab a beer, salud!

  34. Aaron Schaub May 5, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    My guess is:

    – Natural light coming over the shoulder, camera left
    – Camera is an iPhone
    – Post processing is the Best Camera App
    – Filters include: Bright, Candy, Contrast, and Warm

  35. Paul Antoine May 5, 2010 at 9:01 am #


    My first try at this :

    2 strobes, maybe a 3rd light (not sure if it’s a strobe) :
    – 1 above camera right : hence the shadows on the shirt & the hair shadows on the face, and the blown out ball ; also giving the details in the wall
    – 1 above camera left, full power, facing down on the guy maybe in a snoot (a la Strobist) so that part of the wall is blown out ; thus giving the shadow of the ball on the guy’s face and neck
    – 1 under camera right pointed to the wall at 45° and full power in a snoot to over expose the wall …

    I also considered the over the sync flash speed to get that half blown out wall, but all the top of the picture would be blown out and not just the wall.

    Maybe baby… just a try.

    Eager to know your tricks.



  36. Eujin Goh May 5, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    First, I think it was a test shot. You had set up the lights, taking light meter readings.
    Player is standing on location against some concrete textured background.

    There’s a light top right behind the soccer player at the 2 o’clock position pointed down at 8 o’clock. It’s a hard light or a softbox with the diffuser removed and mounted rather high, maybe 10 feet.

    There is a second light to the left of the player which is gridded but aimed at the player’s face (away from wall). This light is nearer, maybe 8 feet away at 11 o’clock pointed at 5 o’clock.

    There is a third light hugh softbox with diffuser removed again and set up facing the wall.

    Camera is set up at a low angle.
    High shutter speed 1/250, 1/500, 1/800 even?
    F6.8 or F8.
    Player is trying to bounce the ball on his forehead. it’s not comped.
    You shoot.
    Strobe to left is 3 stops higher than required – so completely blows out the front of the player, t-shirt and all.. Strobe at right is 2 stops too high and blows out the ball. There is sun as well coming from behind the camera. Noon day sun?
    The third light facing the wall also overblows it by 3 stops.

    Or you could have had everything shot perfectly and then brought the shot into Photoshopped and ‘wanged’ the brightness to 50% and contrast to 100% and get that effect. Surprise me!

  37. Rafa May 5, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    He is a model, wearing an old brazilian football shirt from Kaká. The focus of the camera is on the wall behind him. The aperture is not too open (f/5.6+), since you can see detail in his face, and he seems to be near the wall. There are two light sources, one behind and above him and the other in front of him. The one in front of him is very closed and directed to the wall. Both lights are overexposed at 3+ steps, because there is no detail in the wall, in his shirt or in the ball. The speed should be something around 1/125, since the ball is frozen and his hair too. He seems to be jumping.

  38. Eric Krebs May 5, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    I am going with two strobes. One High Camera right, hitting the ball, head, Chin, shoulders and fingers. One to the left blowing out the wall and chest of player, possibly snooted, or possibly shot at a shutter faster than 1/250th. The fast shutter speed could be causing the drastic lighting result on the back wall.

  39. Greg May 5, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Two strobes, one high right ( directly behind player, but much taller ) one low chest height left ( directly in front of player ) AND natural sunlight, there has been some overexposure out of camera. I remember this image likely from Chase’s archive but i don’t remember it being blown out like this.

  40. Austin Joffe May 5, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    Chase… you’ve got me on this one… here I go though..

    Firstly, here are the things that have really got to me:
    -no backlight on ball
    -background could be anything
    -light on the right doesn’t expose the hair, but is strong enough to wipe detail from back of shirt, an (obviously) the ball.

    I’m thinking there are 3 light + a reflector
    Light on the left – behind the subject ALMOST straight down.
    Light in the center – up high, flagged from subject, lightly to the right (because of the grad. on the wall) some sort of diffusion/modifier, possibly a dish – it’s gotta be round
    Light on the right – high, about 45 degrees down. no diffusion
    Reflector – lower left, might even just be a light colored floor, but I’m going with a reflector because he strikes me as being a bit tall. It hits his fingers and the ball.

    The light on the wall that give it it’s detail comes from the right.

    I’m not convinced of any natural light. But, also, I don’t think you would use a lighting setup that is as extensive as this; although, you’ll do what it takes.

    Post Processing:
    It’s near impossible to tell what this looked like out the the camera, but I can guess it was not like this. I would imagine a warming filter. Possible masking and taking the warmth out of the blown wall. Also a contrast boost. Part of me says it’s a giant composite, but, it’s too simple to do in camera.

    Camera setting:
    Definitely a Nikon, could be a D3 – depending on when this was shot.
    based on DOF – F8
    ISO 200
    shutter – eh… fast…. I’ll go with 1/125
    I say fast because for this, you probably shot fast.. 8+fps which is why you used your Nikon – Hassleblad is too slow.

    What was the purpose?
    No way to tell, but here’s what I think.
    -There are no brand names on anything; therefor, it was not shot for Nike, or anything of that nature.
    -On the other hand (you have different fingers) there is a good bit of negative space on the left, good enough for type. So it could very well be shot for something. I don’t think your personal stuff has very much negative space like this.

    That’s all Ive got.

  41. Ian Hylands May 5, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    I’m going to go with the easiest way I can think of besides simply a weird iphone shot. Nikon D3s upside down 1/400th shutter. Natural sunlight from high left is creating texture on the wall and highlight on the ball, shoulder, back of hand etc. one light close to wall on left slightly down blowing out wall and soccer player from front. At 1/400th with the camera upside down the flash does not hit that top part of frame (I just tried it for same effect)

  42. Kiriako May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    I agree with Aaron Schaub…
    – Natural light coming over the shoulder, camera left
    – Camera is an iPhone
    – Post processing is the Best Camera App
    – Filters include: Bright, Candy, Contrast, and Warm

  43. Justin Thor Simenson May 5, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    I am guessing 3 lights. One in front of the guy, down low, bare and cranked up high. The second high left gridded to hit the soccer ball, again cranked up high and bare. The third light is diffused in a soft box or octa box, slightly to the left of the camera.

    Camera settings, I am guessing a high ISO (3200?), f 4 or 3, and a shutter of about 200.

    The guy and the ball are in front of a concrete wall, best guess that I have.

  44. Ed Szczepanski May 5, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Two light system. One with a longer flash duration than the other. Fast shutter speed which gives you the textured b/g due to ss being faster than flash sync.
    The other light has longer duration which gives blownout areas of image.
    Slower duration light is in front of subject, Faster one is behind subject hitting him and wall.

    • Ed Szczepanski May 5, 2010 at 9:36 am #

      camera settings: ISO near 2000, Shutter: 1/1000 aperture: f4
      Light ratio of about 5:1

  45. Todd May 5, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    For in camera, I think you’re at the corner of a wall with this texture, and you have two lights going. One is lighting the wall – A long-throw reflector right next to the wall (maybe with some duvetyn over half of it for the hard line) camera left. Or heck, maybe it’s a door that’s partly open for such a clean line? The second light is another hard strobe just above the soccer player’s head. Then I think you rotated the ball’s orientation in Photoshop, to make it look like there was another light.

    As far as Photoshop trickery, you shot on a seamless with a white background using hard light. Maybe a silver reflecting beauty dish for the key, added the texture of the wall, and then once again rotated the ball in PP. Obviously some tweaks to exposure, filters, etc…

    The abstract is definitely a pain in the arse to figure out. It’s like an equation that has a few ways to be solved. Either way, interested to know how it came about.

  46. Guillaume May 5, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I think there is only sunlight from a window on the right. just over the top of it’s head.

    light is bouncing via the wall on him. and light glows on the back.

    iphone or normal camera but with high contrast filter.

  47. Fish May 5, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    I really want to say composite because of the tight control of the highlight layout but . . . “You, You’re good. Yeah you!” – Analyze This.

    Background photo’d separately & sick masking/selection skills to place behind soccer stud. The background is texture stock photo you have. The overexposed portion wall is another layer. The soccer stud photo’d in studio with hard light camera right. The soccer ball is shot separately as another layer.
    One lighter for for both socca guy & football.
    Dodging & burning for sure.

    If I did get real close please deconstruct my tennis photo.

  48. Rob May 5, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    One light, camera right and high. High ISO, short DOF, focused on background wall. Lots of post processing. Perhaps an interesting result from a test shot.

  49. Guillaume May 5, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    the wall at the back is probably a concrete 70’s wall in a gym or under a viaduct.

    all natural light.

  50. Matt Dryden May 5, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    The lighting looks pretty simple on the subject. One source camera left, slightly behind the subject. It creates the shadow of his chin on his chest. The second is in the same position to camera right, but perhaps a little higher. The light on the ball points directly toward that one.

    The hard part is the light on the wall. This is where I have to speculate a little. The upper part has a lot of texture on it, so it would have to have light scraping along it. The source is almost in-line with the wall. I am going to guess it is late afternoon ambient sunlight. The white part is blown out with a high power light almost in line with the wall coming from camera left. I say camera left because the light’s edge is a bit softer on the left edge.

    Lastly, you may have a reflector or fill light on axis with the camera for fill. I am going to guess a reflector, just because it would work really well. Did you do anything in post? I am going to guess all you did is pump the contrast and saturation a bit further than you typically would.

  51. Eliel Rosario May 5, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    I’m gonna say it was a test shot, and the soccer ball was cropped and flipped, to create some contrast. As for the “wall”, I’m not very sure what that is, it reminds me of a PS filter, and the overexposure-to-wall feathering doesn’t seem very “natural” to me.

  52. singh May 5, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    one light high very slightly to the left of the dude, almost camera centre, and behind the ball

    another light to the right, effectively sandwiching him between lights. This is the light highlighting the right of the ball and and the wall. Possibly some sort of flag or just adjustment of the light angle itself to give the shadow. Harsh lights on both counts so no major diffusion. Maybe naked or parabolic reflector?

  53. Sterling May 5, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    mate, this is a hard one (for me)

    I’m going to guess that you were above max sync speed, holding the camera upside down. Flash blasted into the wall and bounced back at the subject matter. As for the ball…well i’m just stumped. Because if you were cheating sync I think the highlight on the ball would be dark. So rather than over think this, I’m going to ignore the fact that you do most stuff in camera and just say you shot it separately with one relatively hard source and dropped it in during post.

    • Kurtis Kronk May 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

      I was thinking beyond-max-sync-speed as well, but I have no idea what that background is. I think this process would be much easier and less guesswork (more technical evaluation) if we had a high-resolution shot to go by. Then it’s much easier to tell what has been Photoshopped, what’s natural, and see subtle details we can’t see from a web-sharpened image.

      I’ll laugh if this is from the iPhone.

  54. JustinC May 5, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    One light high camera left, possibly snooted, no diffusion for the hard shadows. Fill light, right side of the model as the angle of the lighting on the ball and his shoulder match up. I also see the shadow of the ball on his face. Post production, added in the wall texture, painted in over exposure for the background, and upped the contrast for the edgy look.

  55. Justin May 5, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Taken with the nikon d3 with profoto strobes.
    This is an experimental shot, experimenting PARTIAL frame syncing with the profoto strobes.
    2 strobes, nearly full power or full power – strobe camera left at the height of his head pointed directly horizontal or a little bottom right.
    Strobe two, camera right over head pointed diagonally down and to the left.
    Lots of contrast in post processing with more exposure but the highlights turned up a bit to maintain the background texture.

    Awesome image, I’ve always wanted to try partial frame syncing, you’re the only person I’ve seen that does it really well.

  56. steve May 5, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    It’s a shot with your iPhone and processed in BestCam.

  57. stephan May 5, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    This image is really awful, and it looks like a crappy mix of photoshop effects.

  58. Graham McBride May 5, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Take with iphone best camera & used jewel setting & candy setting & contrast…lol

  59. Steve May 5, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Taped the ball to a stand and shot a snooted light directly at the ball. The wall was lit with a strip light laid horizontal and gobo’d at the top. The ambient (what little there is) lit up the concrete texture. A third light helped to light his shirt and provided the high contrast. Thanks for these exercises!

  60. D. Travis North May 5, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    The soccer player shot on a continuous white background. Two light sources – one aimed at the background to make it as bright as possible. The other almost immediately above the player. The top light has barn doors with the door pointing back and left half-closed to get that shadow on the underside of the ball. The shot was intentionally overexposed, and then compensated for with a boost of contrast in post-processing. Note how the color of the shirt begins to degrade around the edges.

    As for the texture – I believe that was added in post processing.

  61. Fabian Pulido May 5, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I believe that this image this composing by 3 images: player, ball, background, and mixed in PS, the illumination of the ball is different from the one from the player, the background it´s a PS texture with a perspective effect or maybe 3D efect! the overexposure of the t-shirt of the player makes me think that the photo was taken in a beach ! i don´t know i just follow the game!!

  62. Eric Schmiedl May 5, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Partial frame sync / flash sync at just over the max sync speed. The ball is illuminated by a continuous light source fairly nearby (modeling light at the max? 2K through a small diffuser?); the wall and the dude’s body by the flash head.

    The color effects are a lot of split toning followed by a “curves” control judiciously applied after a six-martini lunch.

  63. Myles May 5, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Filling with ambient and board left and low, as well as camera right. A gridded strip on the background, blown out. A snoot on the right side of the ball for balance, tight to the ball. Key is a softbox over the ball, slightly behind, using the ball to flag Right side of his face.

  64. Michal May 5, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    There’s no flash in this shot. That’s actual sunlight. The shutter speed was relatively high (1/500th or maybe 1/1000th) to freeze the motion of the soccer ball and player. Saturation was bumped up in post. The background is a wall which is partially shaded by a curved surface — maybe an archway? The sun’s position is revealed by the shadow on the soccer ball. The front of the player is lit by a white wall out of the frame to the left. (This means the player is standing in a corner).

    This photo seems like it’s a cropped outtake from a photo shoot. Outdoors in a corner with buildings and in sunlight. Mid-afternoon if I had to guess from the sun’s angle.

  65. Jeff P. May 5, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    This was a purely ambient shot. No flashes were used. My guess is that the soccer player is standing in some kind of corridor with light beaming in from an angle. the soccer player is for the most part in the shadow of some large object. The ball is being bounced up into the sunlight. The blown out area on the wall is where the sun directly hits. Fill light on soccer player is caused by reflected light off the wall. I think the contrast was pumped up in post.

  66. Raphael Kruczkowski May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Three part montage:

    1) Background, this one is interesting and looks like a wood panel in macro, of a wheat field from the sky (first thought, but not really).
    2) Ball, this is a layered image as the lighting is from one side. There is no lighting on the left of the ball, and on the player there is light visible (note neck shadow) (speed 1/~120, ISO3200+, f/8+)
    3) Player is in an outdoor stadium at night (light with spot lights) Several lights from few directions. (speed 1/~250, ISO400, f/~4)

    Nostalgic photo Chase?

  67. Derik May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Well I’m going to have to go with a two light setup,
    1: the sun above (duh) and to the right and
    2: strobe, bare, above and to the left
    The shutter is set above the sync speed (1/300) with the camera inverted so the sun is the only thing illuminating the ball and the striations of the wall, then boost the contrast and then split tone with yellow in the highlights

  68. Linda Taylor May 5, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    I think it’s an iPhone shot with Best Camera filters (contrast and warm) applied a couple of times.

  69. jimbslim May 5, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    outside clear day, no other lights. sun above and right player, player standing in front of light colored wall (concrete?) with an overhanging roof line casting a shadow on wall. Line up player ball and action with light and shadow using wall as reflector. post process to blow out highlights open up mid-tones and block up blacks.

  70. wim hendriks May 5, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I think it’s a studio shot and put together
    with a concrete wall.

  71. Dale Reubin May 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Looks like two lights. The light camera left is high slightly closer to the wall than the subject and gobo’d to throw a shadow on the wall at the top of the frame. The light that’s camera right is not as high as the other (about chest hight) and facing the subjects back and left shoulder. Settings could be 1/2 power for camera left and maybe closer to 1/4 power for camera right.
    Could possibly be a test shot as sometimes I get sick test shots. It could be originally for stock, maybe for world cup coming up?
    Post: Bit of contrast is my guess…

  72. Michelle Knight May 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    The light on the ball, plus the shadow on the mans left cheek says a hard light source camera right, but at naturally balanced proportions. There is a good chance in my mind that this could be sunlight.

    The light on the mans chest (shadows in the creases) looks like it is from a strobe light in front of him. The strobe would also account for the, “line,” of light across the wall.

    That’s the best I can do. I am currently readying my shoes in order to kick myself later.

  73. See Jay May 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Umm… Studio shot, maybe f 5, 1/1000 with ISO 800, hard light off camera right directed at ball with a diffused light on camera left lighting the person from above the the ball. The background was added in post with the addition to cranking up the exposure and contrast of the person to create the “angelic” look (dark spots on the shirt indicate to me a contrast party gone wild)…

  74. Joy May 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    My guess is that it was strobed from behind and front, most likely flagged in the front to constrict the light. It was shot outdoors behind some building. Office building? A little blown out but you decided that you liked it and increased the contrast anyway…

    maybe? lol.

  75. Anthony Lazzari May 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Camera position is below subject. (shooting up towards subject)

    One Light: Left, Above, Behind subject

    Ball has been rotated in post to reverse the highlighted side.

    Exposure was read from cheekbone. The shadow cast by the ball, over the cheekbone caused highlights to be blown out.

    In post:
    High Contrast was applied

    Ball and subject were isolated from background.

    Gradient was applied to texture in post. Ball (after being rotated) and subject were superimposed over the texture composition.

    This feels like a crop of a larger picture or composition.

  76. Bellasqueeza May 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    It looks like there are quite a few responses already, but Im gonna give it a shot:
    I believe this was shot in the studio, up against one of those great concrete walls, and it was a 2 light setup.

    – Light 1: Large strobe unit, positioned high-left of camera, in-line with the subject and aimed down towards the wall. The light was modified with a gobo on top to create that light cut off, and the remainder bounced off the wall to fill the front of the footballers chest/jersey area.

    – Light 2: Smaller strobe, positioned high-right of camera, directly across from light #1 (creating a light sandwich) ,aimed level across the top of footballer’s head (into the ball) and snooted or gobo-ed.

    I don’t necessarily think that the shot was actually terribly over exposed, but rather tweeked in post with high contrast, and a bleach bypass layer.

    I may be wrong, but never the less, great shot!


  77. pauli May 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    this is a hard one…
    the heavy pshopping could be sign that this has been some sort of random snapshot that had some “magic” to work with. i belive it was shot outside with 35mm camera. the light on the ball is too weird so i think it’s moved from another pic or part of the same shot.
    there was one strong light a little camera left and behind the player.could be a magnum reflector.
    2 bigger and softer lights from both sides of the player. ground seems to be pretty reflective.
    background too symmetric to be real and looks like the fibers from ps.
    can’t wait to hear the truth :)

  78. Brian Carey May 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Hard sunlight or un-diffused flash very high almost over head at about 10 o’clock. Looks like the soccer ball may have been edited in because the specular and shadows are almost in the opposite direction. Light on subject and background same light.
    I’m gonna go with 1/500 sec, f5.6 (for iso100).

  79. Chrisopher Lo May 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    I think there are 3 different pictures a play here.

    Order of layers:


    The “BALL” is obviously cropped and rotated. Lighting on the “BALL” is not consistent with the lighting of the “GUY”.

    “BACKGROUND” appears to be some sort of bird’s eye view of cement or concrete with a linear pattern, slightly rotated. Layer effect: Multiply, Layer mask: Soft paint brush to create transition from white to cement.

    “GUY” 3 Duplicate layers: Base: High Contrast, Middle: Screen, Top: Multiply merged and cleaned up space any artifacts on left.

  80. Chrisopher Lo May 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    whoops and strobe right around his neck area. Also middle to right of “GUY”.

  81. Andrew May 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    iPhone shot with contrast and jewel on best cam

  82. Shuaib May 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    I think its shot with a single strobe on top right above the player.. with honey comb or snoot. Shot against a concrete wall. Contrast enhanced in photoshop and little bit of detail is pulled out in shadow area as well in photoshop. Fill on the shadow area on ball and player’s fingers is the spill of main light falling on the wall.

  83. Randy Aldrich May 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Something like this:

    but more likely the natural light/sunlight with white wall on the left idea someone posted already.

    Obviously the contrast has been cranked in post either way.

  84. Jack Booth May 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    For the background texture, I reckon you panned with the footballer jumping to head the ball, the upward motion causing the streaks, but keeping the player still. Low shutter speed to allow for motion capture, hence the background overexposure, lights having been left at a much higher power level from a previous shot with a higher shutter speed.

    I’ll guess this is indoor, the bottom half being the white seamless you were originally shooting on, concrete above that’s come into frame as a result of the upward pan and jump. Lights positioned high camera left for face detail, high camera right for ball detail, two lights on the background for background exposure, 1 stop over the footballers exposure. I do think the lights weren’t deliberately positioned for this shot, more that you wanted to quickly try something spontaneous without moving stuff around, and got this.

  85. Luke May 5, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Well, I haven’t seen this idea yet, but it intrigues me…I have been interested in pointing the camera toward the light lately, and breaking the “rules” of good photography. The camera seems to be pointed at the wall (looks like brushed concrete) at around a 45 degree angle, and either the camera was dutched or the photo was rotated in post. I can’t decide whether the ball was spun 180 degrees in post or if a flag was positioned in front of the ball, but it looks like the bright light source (maybe a continuous spot light) is either cast along the wall (parallel to the wall), or there is a light source that is long and panel-like (a low window exposing the sunlight, a panel of Kino’s) emitting light away from the wall and toward the model. If the ball has been rotated in post, then the light nearest the wall is the only light here. If the ball was not rotated in post, then there was a flag of some sort blocking the light nearest the wall and either a reflector positioned above the ball or a light source at the same temp shooting light toward the ball from the upper right of the camera. In post the darks/blacks were darkened and the highlights were brightened up, where the mids were left alone for the most part.

    Anyway, there is my guess.

  86. AJ Mallory May 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Soccer player in Sunlight against a textured cement wall. There is an overhang casting a shadow on the wall. The player is under a covered walkway. The ball has been bounced up into the sunlight. In post production the contrast was enhanced and yellow hue added.

  87. Callum Winton May 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I recon …….

    2 Gridded spots firing into the wall to white it out.

    The reflection from the wall blows out the guy’s shirt.

    The light above the white on the wall and on the back of his head/face is (I recon) low/setting sunlight or a spot with an amber gel

    Football looks like it’s been flipped in post to create the double-take factor.


  88. Jack Pope May 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Shot at 1/250th f/4.
    Background: Seamless white
    Lighting: One profoto head to the left of the model, snooted/gridded and aimed at his chest. Another profoto head on a boom stand above the model. The boomed light is fitted with a medium sized softbox and is feathered slightly towards the camera.
    Post: The texture is composited into the top of the frame. The highlight in the ball was drawn in with a masked curves layer. The contrast was boosted via channel mixer and color balance was used to add a bit of yellow.

  89. Roel Hernaus May 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    My suggestion:

    1. at the left you’ve used a flashhead with the flash bouncing in the background to create create the light at the chin, neck and shirt, even by this effect you created the little lighting at the downside of the ball.
    2. at the left, above the flashhead you’ve used a flag to create the shadow at the topside of the background.
    3. at the right, a flashhead above the talent in an angle of 45 degrees, close to the background to create the lighting on the ball, maybe flagged out at the background side.
    4. at the right, a flashlight at, I think with a10 degrees angle above, a little distance away from the background to create the light AND shadow at the sleeve of the shirt, the back of the shirt, the hand, the hair and the cheeck of the talent ;-)
    5. over exposed the background lighting (you can see a little when you do some adjustment with photoshop, you can see the lines of the shirt)

    Am I right? ;)

  90. Luis Ruiz May 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    una light in front of the model (thats the left size of the canvas)
    Ball was cut and flip horizontal
    model have some effect created with levels and hue saturation ajustment
    background its a texture with some filter in this case it lucks that have smart sharpen add plus some hue saturation

    big part of the back ground was paint of white or eraze with or with out a mask having a first layer as white!!!!

    Send me the book jejejej I just got it!!!!!!!

  91. Scott May 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I’m skipping over other comments so I won’t be influenced. ‘Cause I’m sure others will be smarter than I about this. But I’ll bring my inside knowledge as a soccer player to bear, so maybe that will balance out.

    The background doesn’t look like any kind of wall one would play soccer near, and the light doesn’t lend itself to being near a wall. So I expect it was shot and added to the player photo. And because there are obviously two light sources on the player (one photo left high, one photo right over his shoulder), I’m guessing it’s a studio shot. Also, that’s a crappy soccer ball and it looks underinflated, so not a game shot. Best guess is some sort of big soft box photo left, and a more direct light photo right, background texture added, and post-processed for a gritty, contrasty look and washed out space on the left.

  92. Gabe May 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Being a young, and inexperienced photographer, my guess would be that there is some kind of soft light to the bottom left corner of the frame, a harder light to the right of the frame, about a little bit above his shoulder. I’m also guessing that it is a studio shot with the back ground added in PP.

  93. Jack Megaw May 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I’m going to say it’s outside in very harsh sunlight. The player is up against a wall which is partly sheltered so his head is in the shadow and the highlights are blown out. The ball was flipped in post and there was editing in post with levels (curves?) and definitely saturation but with taking colours out instead of adding them and adding yellow. Also there was dodging and burning done to enhance the contrast between the bright highlights and the dark shadows.

  94. Dane May 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Im going to say that this image was shot all with available light!! It looks as if the soccer player (a street enthusiast from Brazil/Brasil judging by his playing top) has been positioned just so that his head is in the shadow from say a building on one side of an alley, whilst the shadow from the roof on the other side of the alley reveals the texture on the concrete wall. The low perspective allows the player to be in shade while the ball catches the sun on the opposite side to that of the wall.

    The focus point seems to be on the wall which leads to the suggestion that the player was shot in a separate fram, but i don’t think this is the case.

    A little bit of post production to accentuate the over-exposure and there you have it. A simple image that doesn’t need to be any harder than it is!!

    Thanks Chase.

  95. Jeremy May 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Iphone + sun. Roof or something else causing shadow on the top of frame.

    Concrete reflecting light back on the dude. Sweet.

  96. jayms May 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    -Shot with d3 and emailed to your iphone, then processed in a filter on Best Camera.

    -or shot with iphone and put directly into Best, but I think shot with dslr first

  97. Miguel May 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    shot on location (at the beach), natural sun light (backlit), and frontal flash light (with softbox), post-pro (removing background and adding it photoshop). High constrast, saturation and unsharpen mask. High key kindla of look overexposing the light values of the picture.

    Thats my guess :P.

    Its been fun.

  98. Kirk May 5, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    It CANNOT be a test shot! because there is hint on the picture alt text.
    it’s actually from Chase’s portfolio. and there are actually some info there already..

    with the info given .. here’s the guess.
    this shot.. the camera was shot upside down.
    sync at a speed that is little faster than the camera sync speed (so .. something like a 1/320 or 400.

    the ball is light with Continuous light, with a parabolic reflector to emulate the sun. aiming at the ball and the guys left shoulder

    the other is a strobe, pumping out same amount of light as the continuous light. placed right side of the guy, between guy and background.

    since the sync speed is high enough, it cuts off the bottom (the top since the camera is upside down) and therefore the background is partially light by ambient only!.

    after that.. crank up the black in post…

    whether is on location or studio? well.. depends on where’s that background.

    • Kirk May 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

      btw, it is 30/32 of the commercial portfolio :P

    • Kirk May 6, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

      almost forgot the ambient fill.. somewhere on the right of the guy… far away.. to get the harsh texture on the background and the little yellow glow on the bottom of the ball.

  99. Joe May 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    You shot this with your D3 to get the detail in the knotty-dread. Using hard window light late in the day you popped a strobe from behind the subject, lighting the soccer ball.

  100. Frank Dries May 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Looks like a studio shot. Ball suspended from above. Three light sources. Backdrop lit from below with spot light low and barn door to make hard horizontal line on backdrop. Spot (with snoot?) from right/upper onto ball. Third light from lower left into chest of player. Exposure adjusted to face of the player. Would guess this was not a test shot but an abstract planned harsh lighting shot. Very cool.

  101. CMDVisuals May 5, 2010 at 10:51 pm #


    Two flashes: One on the background, flagged to get the shadow on top of the image. The model is lit by the reflection of the background an is close to the background.

    The second flash is on a boom or high stand coming from above the model camera right (about 45 to 60°). The ball is closer to the light and therefore hotter than the model.

    Then the contrast was cranked up in post production.

  102. NelsonHD May 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    two flashes: one pointed directly at the wall which is lighting the talent then one high above hitting the ball. the high contrast gritty effect was done by shooting at a very high iso

  103. Will Hore-Lacy May 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    The player is lit by two hard lights, one high to the left and behind him, the other high to the right and only very slightly behind him. One of these lights could be the sun, hard to tell.

    The background light does not come from the shutter curtain cutting off the light because the shadow section does not have a straight edge. I suspect this is the shadow from a wide reflector or beauty dish that is attached to the left light or there could be a flag. Could also be the shadow of house eve or awning if one the lights is the sun but again would expect a straighter line for this.

    However, the brightness of the light on the soccer ball and his left hand from the right hand light don’t seem to match with the light on his shirt, left cheek and nose. One possibiliy is that this light has be feathered to produce a graduated intensity from the one light.

    Lots of contrast going on in post and I still can’t quite guess what- in the real world – that background texture is, but as other have said, I’ve seen PS filters that look similear.

  104. ANTStorm May 6, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    One hard light is hitting the player and background from above and behind(causing hard shadow of a chin on the shoulder and shadow of a ball on the face). That flash is probably short-snooted, leaving a hard shadow on a background. Another hard light is pointed at the ball from high right, lighting the ball and the player’s back and nose.

  105. Robert Meeks May 6, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    First, the background. Its texture looks really similar to a concrete wall that was (combed) you can say. Then the color and contrast of that were twisted altered and brought to life through aperture then pulled into Photoshop. Seems like you used your broncolors for this guy here, so I guess ill list my guess of the equipment. Two broncolor strobes, not sure of what model.(one strobe as a main light, one as a fill) NIKON D3s at f9 ISO 800 and seems like probably 1/8000 shutter speed. One reflector board or beauty dish. Your angle for the shot was actually cropped wider than this before post, id say originally you could see more of his torso and you angles the camera upward to give the surreal emphasis of him looking up with the floating ball going up as well.

  106. Chris Thomas May 6, 2010 at 4:39 am #

    I think this is a tight crop of another picture taken at an actual soccer game. In post the picture has been over-saturated and given an overexposed look. The soccer player and ball were both cut out of the original picture and placed on a white background. The background texture is a picture of wood grain with similar effects done to it as the soccer picture and then it was feathered to the white background and placed near the top of the picture.

  107. point357 May 6, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    iPhone under a bridge or summink on a sunny day. Sun is high right and is blowing out the wall and the right side of the ball. Blown out left of player is wrap reflected off wall. Player and wall detail is just ambient.

    Lol. Or is it a D3X and some strobes? Same sort of set-up, nuking the wall with something snooted or gobo’d. Maybe a bit of fill on axis for player detail, but it could be just ambient. I think the reveal will show you’ve done a lot with not very much.

  108. Rick Allen May 6, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    IMAGE CONTENT: I am going to assume the image content has not been substantially modified, that this is not a composite, and that the crop is reasonably close to its original capture. Also assume that the ball is not suspended by string, but actually being bounced off head.

    POSITION OF MODEL: The bg is in focus across the entire length of the picture (altho midtone contrast could have made this appear so). As well, the stitching of collar to the shirt and the player’s number are in focus. Suggests the player is positioned relatively close to the bg. Position of player’s head and chest suggests he is azimuthally rotated ~30deg from profile relative to cam position.

    CAM SETTINGS: With so much in focus, I speculate f/ratio of 8 or higher. Lack of any obvious distortion suggests no wide angle lenses. Slight out of focus on ball suggests shutter speed of 1/60 to 1/125 sec. Assuming bg texture is vertical, then image has been rotated in cam or post ~13deg. Cam is also shooting low to high (probably located mid- to slightly lower chest ht relative to the player), as evidenced that you can see under the chin. That there is a tightening of the bg pitch, suggests the cam is not perpendicular to the wall.

    1ST SOURCE: positioned near the bg, high & to rear of player. This source is probably a kicker, lighting the ball, back of R shoulder, hair, L cheek & nose, and fingers. Shadow angles suggest the lite is tilted at a polar angle ~21deg down from horizontal and azimuthally rotated (possibly feathered) 33deg behind vertical axis of ball. Assuming 5′ horizontal separation of light from player, player’s ht=5’10” and std 22cm diam soccer ball, then the lite is at least 2.5m high.

    2ND SOURCE: The highlight on the chin is perhaps the most perplexing. Light rays are obviously coming from slightly above head ht, as evidenced by lip shadow and harsh shadow on neck. There also appears to be a very slight rim light on the bottom of the ball (hopefully I’m not looking at a jpg artifact), all of which suggest the light is directed/gridded.

    3RD SOURCE: That the bg so cleanly goes from texture to blowout suggests a source is aimed directly at the bg to achieve that precise look.

    There are strong suggestions that the 2nd/3rd sources a single lambertian source. One could approximate a lambertian source by shooting thru a silk. Advatage of lambertain sources is that they give incredible wrap around light, unlike any directed source. But not knowing the nature of the bg, I cannot see how to retain the bg texture with a rear lambertain source, so I am led to dismiss these speculations.

    3 days w Vincent and another afternoon w Art, that’s enough for today w Chase.

    Rick Allen
    St Paul, MN

  109. David Griffin May 6, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Was going to say exactly the same as point357, but also add in a bit of tweaking in The Best Camera iPhone app.

  110. erik neilsen May 6, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    ok. It’s a slow shutter speed. We’re talking a few seconds or more. He is standing on the back of a truck or something that is moving. It’s night time and there are street light, car lights, whatever, patially blowing the background and his far side – that covers the background and the amount and direction(s) of light on him.

    There is a flash that goes off at the end of the exposure, camera high right. Someone throws the soccer ball from the street for a well timed header. Flash hits it, freezes it and his side that faces the camera.

  111. Adam Belnap May 6, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    I think this is very similar to the “Hacking Sync” shot as the background seems to be very similar.

    If so, there is a softbox up on a boom high overhead. I think the shadows (different than hacking sync) are because the camera angle has changes in both shots (noting the direction of the texture of the wall)…but I think light on the left side (shirt and chin) would be coming from that….with the sunlight camera right adding to the seperation, background and his left shoulder.

    Or….this is all natural light, exposed to the right to fill in the shadows and give some flare and drama with the hot spots.

  112. kd7 May 6, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    …”shopped”… background with a light source at a low angle 3-5 meters from the picture area… for shadow contrast relief…and a yellow orange tinge white balance

    the person shot with strong (not reflected) light source front and rear and from the side… person is also shot at a high shutter speed to freeze the implied motion…

    ball done separately and brought into the pic to give the motion a purpose

    but i am probably totally WAY off… so ces’t la vie

  113. Geoff May 6, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    you got the new PS CS5… took a soccer dude pic… played with the new masking tool options.. you thought, what’s up with the PS filters these days, ran a few… ran it up the flag pole.

  114. Luca Viola May 6, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    Hi Chase.
    I think you have a strobe upper the guy on the left, quite perpendicular on his face, 45° on his right (beetween him and the background) very zoomed in.
    There is a second light behind him, behind his left shoulder, just up his head but lower the first in position and power, wider diffused.
    The ball is lighted directly and placed in post production, that’s my idea, since I can’t find any shadow or bounced light from the ball surface on the guy.
    The background was placed in a second time and postproduced. I think it’s a wall with work in progress (prepared to glow a surface on).
    I see contrast, blacks and vibrance uppered.

  115. Oliver A. May 6, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Hi Chase,

    Here’s my answer.

    Two flashes. One camera left with a snoot. Another camera right with a warming gel.

    Background looks to be added in postproduction. So the actual shot was taken with a greenscreen. The background and subject looks to have different degree of noise to them. Then the background image was done using a mask in post. And a mask was used to blend and match the subject’s front.

  116. Donald May 6, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    im going to go with a photo composition. 2 images. background image was blasted with flash but purposefully synced at something higher than 1/300th.

    I dont think its a studio shot because of the motion blur on the ball. Or at least shot in a stadium. Light source from top left down casting the shadow on his face except his chin. Ambian stadium light coming over his shoulder from the right

  117. Darryl May 6, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Looks like a composite with the following:

    a….soccer player studio
    b…..white background Photoshop….with effects for blowing out background
    c….cool background with texture
    d….the three elements were masked

  118. Scott May 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Ok here goes…

    1. Bouncy head guy shot with iPhone down the park.

    2. Textured background shot from car window at speed. Yep with iPhone.

    3. Composite and masked layers in CS5

    4. Straight down the pub for beer and whiskey…

    Please send my prize to London, UK. :-)

  119. Gilbert May 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    My guess:
    Shot in front of a textured or combed concrete wall. Soccer player is leaning backwards about 30-45degrees while heading the soccer ball.

    One main light source positioned behind the model’s body (to the right of the set-up).

    Camera settings at f4 with the focus at the soccer ball and the model’s head. A relatively slow shutter speed was used, enough to capture the ball in motion while overexposing the light around the model’s body. Perhaps 1/250s.

    The resulting image is rotated and cropped so the model appears to be standing upright. This also produces the angular lines in the background from the concrete.

    Some post-processing to increase saturation and contrast (especially the colour of the background)…and voilà.

  120. pinz May 6, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    … photoshopped … composite … something very strange about the ‘background’ texture above the head/beside the ball, ie. upper right hand corner of image … it passed thru my head that it’s been ‘textured’ with an electric stylus …

    HOWEVER, that sure doesn’t sound like something Chase Jarvis would do (does it???)….. so, have no clue, but fun to guess … :)

  121. pinz May 6, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    p.s. Chase, loved your New Zealand B&W’s by the way. Can’t find the post again now, but they were MIGHTY impressive. I was wondering too about the type of equipment you were using – the camera in particular. And the film stock? Or, gasp, were those digital?

  122. RV May 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Looks like a snap from an iphone with filters applied from your app. Not a big fan of this picture by the way.

  123. Kenny May 7, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    OK here is my thought!

    One light from above, done is studio against white background. Ball is rotated in post and upper background which could be a cement wall.



  124. Lester Molina May 7, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    It seems to me, (and by all means am I an experienced photographer to judge very closely), that the model was nowhere near the wall. It looks inserted later in photoshop or other. Going by the shadow being casted on the shirt from the model’s chin, I can assume there is a light source pointed down from above and slightly right of the model. Then, there is another light pointed at the ball about 45 deg. from above. There could also be some king of gold reflector in front of the model reflectintg upwards towards his shirt. That is my take in this image. Either that, or the whole thing was burned out in PS to create the effect of hard light. Just my two cents worth. Keep it up Jarv.

  125. Joe Coulas May 7, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    In short, two lights, aimed somewhat at him but probably meant for the background. This was probably a test, because so little is focused properly even though there is ample light hitting him. Noticing the harsh gradient from hot – to – not lighting I’d guess there is some gridding going on. These lights could have been meant for him as well, however his face is so dark that I have doubts. The falloff on his face is from the light behind him which is very high trying to catch the ball, you can tell because of how his chin catches more than the rest. If the light was in front it would have lit more of his face. Wrapping on the neck tells me that the wall is reflecting a lot of the harsh light that is bouncing around.

    Where the lights are more specifically-
    The camera left light that is illuminating his chest, neck, and the background is rotated mostly towards the background. The only problem is why does it wrap so much onto the subject? My guess would be that there might have been actually 3 lights. One gridded or flagged on the background, one pointing on him directly, and one behind him catching the ball.

    Final answer 3 light set up :o!

  126. Max Leitner May 7, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Shot with an Iphone and entirely edited in Best Camera.


  127. Jeff Shaffer May 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    I’m a little disappointed by this post. I feel this is an unsuccessful image- not very compelling. Yes, it breaks the “rules” , but not in an interesting way. Keep going with the series, though. It makes for some useful discussion in my photo classes.

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