Does anyone know how David Sims achieves this look?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by charbry, May 17, 2018.

  1. I wondered if anyone is skilled enough to analyse from the images linked below, what it is that David Sim's is doing to achieve this overexposed spot effect on the face of the model?

    I've tried numerous different modifiers etc but I feel as though I'm missing something...

    any help would be great

    similarly done here by Danko Steiner?

    Danko Steiner on Instagram: “Paul in Replica Man Magazine @replicamanmag styling #anasteiner photo #dankosteiner”
  2. Easy

    Eg in the first shot
    basic lighting set up is probably (standard) two lights (direct, with some kind of light tight 'reflectors' to block spill light hitting the camera) on the background
    plus most likely one large diffused frontal light fom a high angle (judging by the shadows under the right arm, and under the chin)

    While the light on the background is overexposed (to render it as white as possible) the large frontal light is under exposed by one or more stops (as is shown by the grayish skintones of eg the upper side of the right arm)
    Then as a final ouch a, shaped by use of special modifiers, light is used to create the 'over exposed' spot, positioned quite close to the subject.

    Can be done eg with a snoot with a honeycomb grit to focus the light into a small area, but then the shape of the spot won't come out as angular as it now does (rather more circular)
    In my experience in order to get the 'straight' line better use masks with (small) holes cut in out of cardboard or something similar, in whatever shape or size to keep the size of the 'spot' as small and the shape the way you want you place directly in front of the light
    I then use use additional barndoors to keep control of the shape, size and 'sharpness' of the borders of the over exposed area

    Since this last light will be positioned quie close to the subject, there is a real risk of it becoming more over exposed then intended (especially when as I did back then using lamps)
    I personally used to stick a piece of opaque Lee filter on the head, together with the DIY mask, before mounting the barndoors
    The diffuser filter will absorb a few stops of the light, and also make its character oa bit softer (which will be more kind on pores, wrinkles and skin defects) while the cut out mask and barndoors will still create the 'harsh'shape of the exposed spot

    In the enclosed image (shot in the 80's on film, so a bit rough to what IQ wise can be done compared to digital) I used the above described technique to create a similar effect. In it I kept the head and torso lit, while keeping the background darker.

    I have another shot shot for the Z Agency in London in which I used this technique to create a more seperating light for the head only
    For some reason I can't upload, but you can see it over here
    Z Agency London 058 B.jpg by Paul K

    For the kind of shots you're after, you as described will have to use masks with smaller holes and barndoors more closed to get the light focussed (tight) enough
    charbry likes this.
  3. Thanks so much Paul, thats incredible helpful!!
  4. Get a roll of cinefoil to play with.
    charbry likes this.
  5. tools are cinefoil, flags, cutters, fresnel spots and barn doors

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