GPP Group Shot = Pressure That Can Make Diamonds

gpp_blog_final.jpg

On the next to the last day of Gulf Photo Plus I was informed by GPP organizer, Mohamed Somji, that I had the “privilege” of shooting the group shot of all the GPP staff and photographers. I would be given 15 minutes to set up and execute the shot with 25 to 40 people.I have done countless group shots in my young career but never one that had folks like Joe McNally, Drew Gardner, David Hobby, Chase Jarvis, David Nightingale, and on and on and on. No pressure.

Last year David Hobby shot the group photo. He did it available light and had the photo posted on the web in 30 minutes. He was smart. David kept it simple. I however had could not leave “well enough” alone. I wanted to make a picture that was a tribute to some of the photographers in the photo and I wanted to keep with the OneLight theme so I decided I would get everyone in the auditorium and light them individually with one light and then comp them together in post. I have “painted with strobes” a few times in my life but never on this scale. It isn’t the most technically brilliant photograph I’ve ever made in my life but I had fun doing it. Everyone in the room had fun bustin’ my chops for taking this on. Hobby had a GRAND time playing with his wizard in his pocket while I was setting this up too. :)

How I did it = Pretty simple

• I set my camera up on a tripod so that each shot would align in the final image to be created.

• I had my studio manager, Erik, walk around the room with a Nikon SB-25 mounted on a tripod. On the SB I placed a Lightsphere that I have painted black. I call it my Darksphere. I then bunjee’d a 20º grid on the front of that. I like to have my grids placed off of the flash tube to get a cleaner circle of light.

• I exposed somewhere around 5.6 at 250th of a second to kill the ambient light in the room. I just needed the light on each person. There are 29 people in the final shot and I used 28 frames to capture them all. Chase and his wife, Kate, were lit together for one shot.

• I tried a quick multiple exposure shot on the back of the D3 to see if my idea was going to work. In this you can see Erik holding the light on the stick.

gpp_test_011.jpg

This is what each individual shot looked like…

gpp_mohamed.jpg

This is what the group shot looks like without the auditorium showing through…

gpp_black.jpg

Here is the auditorium. I would use this image to mask parts of the ambient back into the group shot.

gpp_room_shot.jpg

Once the people were together I could then bring in the image above and again, using layer masking, I painted in just enough of the ambient light to mix in with the lit shots. The final shot was 34 layers tall. 28 layers of people and 6 layers of ambient light and details like the the strobe painting on the back wall panels. Here it is again…

gpp_blog_final.jpg

So…To Joe McNally – I know you eat 30 Speedlights for breakfast every morning so excuse me while I meagerly try to pull it off with one.

To David Hobby – My light rig for this shot not only has a bunjee cord on it, but it has a LightSphere that I spray painted black to keep with the DIY / Modify philosophy you preach so well.

To David Nightingale – 30+ exposures to make one final image! How do you do it so well? You can see how much of a hack I am.

To Drew Gardner – If only I had a water buffalo and 300 gallons of strawberry jam then you too would have a tribute here. :) Maybe next year I’ll shoot it on a Phase One. Oh wait! I don’t have to shoot it next year! Some other light monkey will have to do it!

To Chase Jarvis – You talk about pushing yourself. Well… I pushed myself on this one!

I could have done this or that or the other to make this shot better but I had no time to really think it through. It was a good exercise for me though. I’m glad I did it this way.

I have one more Dubai post to make this week and then we are back to regularly scheduled blogramming.

Cheers, Zack




Discussion

  • Craig Ferguson said on April 12, 2009

    Great idea Zack, the only thing missing is some black straws :) The final image is great, thanks for sharing the details of how you approached it.

  • Sarah Smith said on April 12, 2009

    this is an awesome shot. thank you so much for sharing the insight on how you achieved it…looking forward to experimenting with this technique!

  • Broderick, Savory Exposure said on April 12, 2009

    It looks brilliant! I can’t even fathom all that went into this shot, I can imagine everyone was pleased with the end result.

  • Amanda said on April 12, 2009

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing the awesomeness of your work!!!

  • Julia said on April 12, 2009

    WOW! Thanks for sharing the steps and in between images as well!

    Great work, ZacK!

  • Michael Dunn said on April 12, 2009

    Awesome job!

  • Sam Coran said on April 12, 2009

    Let there be light…

    Amazing capture. People are really happier when they are lit.

    By the way, who took the shot when it’s your turn to be photographed? or did you place it in timer mode and challenged yourself to be seated in 30 seconds? (^_^)

    awesome… it has been a pleasure knowing you and a blessing learning from you. Thanks for coming to GPP.

  • S Marek said on April 12, 2009

    It’s simply amazing! Wonderful work thanks for sharing how you made this image happen.

  • Sunith said on April 12, 2009

    Amazing work! you make it look so simple and easy. Great concept.

  • Sherri said on April 12, 2009

    i can appreciate the image even more seeing how you pulled it off – thanks for the behind the scenes look

  • Hala Salhi said on April 12, 2009

    We love Zack!
    Bring him back!

    Zack thank you so much for sharing your brilliance and for your sense of humor on the blog.. your comments to the different photographers it made me laugh out loud.

  • Jen said on April 12, 2009

    Thank you for sharing your thought process. Great image and lots of hard work. A unique approach to the group photo.

  • Geraldo Garcia said on April 12, 2009

    Hi ZacK!

    I am a long time reader of your blog, one of the silent ones, and this photo made come here to comment.

    You rock! Thinking and making this picture under that kind of pressure proves it.

    About the “Darksphere”, have you painted the inside or just the outside?

    Thanks for sharing the process.

  • Matt S. said on April 12, 2009

    !!!1!!1!!!

  • Nash Haq said on April 12, 2009

    Hey man!.. this is incredible stuff !! i was there when were making this happen, and couldnt really figure it out.. but makes sense now!..

    Abso-Frickin-lutely Awesome!

    Nash Haq

  • Shadi said on April 12, 2009

    I was wondering when this piece was going to see the light (see the light…hmmm.. sometimes i surprise myself ).

    looks great. very creative stuff.

    Shadi
    PS i believe you mean Drew Gardner, not David.

  • Ted Leung said on April 12, 2009

    This totally rocks!

  • Stian said on April 13, 2009

    WOW! Fantastic photograph! Supercool idea and so well executed. I must say you handled the preassure extremely well :-)

  • Charles Verghese said on April 13, 2009

    Hey…that’s me in the 1st test shot shown…with Erik ghosting around!!

    Cool Pic Zack

    It was indeed a great pleasure to be around you, watch you work and think this challenge from start to finish. We need more people like you who welcome us inside your head!

    I hope to follow suit by sharing in the knowledge I have been graced with.

  • Phat Photographer said on April 13, 2009

    Amazing job blending in so many techniques into one fabulous shot. I’m surprised you didn’t take a photo of someone twice just for kicks.

  • David Nightingale said on April 13, 2009

    Very cool, and well worth the effort :)

  • sid said on April 13, 2009

    as they say in bombay.. ‘chakaas.. suppabb boss!!’

  • Janine said on April 13, 2009

    You are the one light master! No doubt!

    Love the vision that you had and the resulting image of it.
    To pull that off in 15 minutes would make us mere mortals freak right out!

  • Adam Swords said on April 13, 2009

    Good job Zack! Turned out great.
    Hope you and Erik are both ok.

    Adam

  • Chris said on April 13, 2009

    Shouldn’t it be DREW Gardner in the tributes? Guess there were just too many Davids in the lineup :-)

    EDITOR’s NOTE – Yes! Blogging too late at night! Thanks for catching that!

  • danny said on April 13, 2009

    Great Job and one of your best post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Rory said on April 13, 2009

    It’s great seeing someone do something well. It’s even better to “feel” the passion they have for their work. Unque image, and again, thanks for being willing to share your knowledge.

  • Chris Hartwig said on April 13, 2009

    Wow Zack ! Your lighting rocks !
    I thought of trying the multiple exposure trick for that recent shoot in a theatre : http://www.noir-et-blanc.fr/blog2/dotclear/index.php?post/2009/03/18/Photos-de-couple

    It would have been plenty of fun, but we didn’t have enough time to do it all ! It used more than one light though…

    That photo is really supercool !

  • Jeroen Berkenbosch said on April 13, 2009

    One question remains though… Who made the pic of you? :O

  • Bruno Monteiro said on April 13, 2009

    Damn, looks easier that it probably was. Great PP work, and great captures.
    The output is very good, IMO.
    Though thought you have nailed it with only one frame and 28 speedlights… ;)
    Regards!

  • Rosie said on April 13, 2009

    Neat. Love it! Thx for sharing…

  • Jeff said on April 13, 2009

    Great capture and a good series of shots on how you put it all togather!

    How long did the photoshop work take?

  • zack said on April 13, 2009

    Chris Hurtt manned the camera to take my photo and I spent an hour to hour and 15 on the final image in PS.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • murat said on April 13, 2009

    How cool is that! Lovely…

  • Earl said on April 13, 2009

    Very unique and well worth the efforts I believe.

    While it’s a group shot it gives a very personal touch for each person as well.

    Thanks for sharing “the how.”

  • Stacy Hughes said on April 13, 2009

    Very creative and well executed.

  • Michael Gowin said on April 13, 2009

    Great idea, well-executed–nice work!

  • C.C. Chapman said on April 13, 2009

    Up until now I wasn’t positive if you were insane or not, but now I know for sure!

    Great idea behind the shot and thanks for walking us all through it. The finished product is really a great one.

  • songvut Kositarut said on April 13, 2009

    Oh my, I have to try this.

    Thanks.

  • John A. said on April 13, 2009

    Very cool idea! I’m sure that crew enjoyed watching you suffer… I mean work diligently to get this. Love the fact that you painted the Lightsphere black. =)

  • Sean McCormack said on April 13, 2009

    Rocking Zack!

  • Matt said on April 13, 2009

    Great job! Very cool…

    To up the difficulty level, next time shoot in the complete dark at f22 and have the assistant pop the SB 28 times in a single frame! :)

  • Matt said on April 13, 2009

    Awesome shot zack, and even better when done under pressure!

  • Marc Photography said on April 13, 2009

    Looks like a fun group to be with. Lots of photo talent there including yourself. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alex Saunders said on April 13, 2009

    Wonderful image Zack. Thanks for the breakdown on technique and welcome back.

  • Mark Wilson said on April 13, 2009

    This is the best example of photographic problem solving I’ve seen all year.

    Great!

  • Dave Vernon said on April 13, 2009

    Now if only the “Squeeze the Lime” gang had tried this with their 800-person group shot that was all over the Lighting Inet a few weeks ago. Nice job Zack – and way not to crater under the David Hobby PW tyranny.

  • Bernie said on April 13, 2009

    You have made many pictures that are more interesting to look at but with this you have gained a great deal of admiration.

  • Chase said on April 13, 2009

    Rock the socks off the camera world ZA, your humble approach and love for the game always inspire this kid!

  • Rich C said on April 13, 2009

    Extremely cool final image. Thanks for the explanation too! I’ve got to work with my lighting more!

  • Frederik said on April 13, 2009

    cool shot! actuallu works pretty inspiring.

  • Debbi said on April 13, 2009

    Fantabulous!
    Debbi

  • Jeremy Sale said on April 13, 2009

    That is a reverse-engineer that I never would have thought of. Brilliant!

  • markowen said on April 13, 2009

    Awesome work!!! Very inspiring=)

  • Chase Jarvis said on April 13, 2009

    this is all lies. i was there and he used 37 speedlights, all of which were suspended from the ceiling and snooted. best part was watching eric change all the batteries ;)

    j/k. lovely image, buddy. now let’s see those diamonds. they should really go to mcnally ;)

  • Rick Wenner said on April 13, 2009

    Great work here Zack. Love what you did in post with this one. I can’t imagine working under this kind of pressure with the likes of McNally, Jarvis, etc. staring you down. You pulled it off and I hope one day to be in that same position too.

  • Keith said on April 13, 2009

    BRAVO!

  • Jeff said on April 13, 2009

    Zach,

    I am sure It might have been a little been stressful to shoot all these pros, but you did something simply amazing.
    Creativity is key

  • Michael Fletcher said on April 13, 2009

    Zack, you’re a genius working under such pressure! Thanks for capturing a group photo of many of my photographic heros.

  • Dave Loebig said on April 13, 2009

    Sweet. Great way to do it with a single flash.

  • Bruno Monteiro said on April 13, 2009

    Dumb question: did you focus for each and every individual photo, or kept the focusing as in the original shot? I mean, f/5.6 wasn’t going to give tons of DOF… Thanks!

  • Phil said on April 13, 2009

    Great imagination…thanks for sharing!

  • Ronny Hermans said on April 13, 2009

    Great work, this is the most impressive group shot I’ve ever seen.

  • Woody said on April 13, 2009

    Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matt said on April 13, 2009

    Seriously, congrats. I know you were looking up to these people, wanting to learn from them. I think they learned something from you, too. Read JMcN’s & DH’s blogs if you don’t believe it. I’m sure Jarvis will have something about it, too.

    Very high-production look to it. At what point did you know you “had it” and you weren’t toast?

  • Andyroo said on April 13, 2009

    I too wish to know exactly how the lightsphere is painted black? The test shot shows light leaking from the sides, is that intentional fill spill?

  • simon.the.photo said on April 13, 2009

    Great !!!! And all done within 15 min !!!!

  • Mohamed said on April 13, 2009

    Zack – awesome!
    I’m glad you didn’t do the fisheye shot!
    I pity the new guy next year who will have to beat this shot!

  • garrey said on April 13, 2009

    Excellent work dude.
    I have the gary fong lightsphere and love it.
    Im still unclear about your black painting of it. Do you have an image of your painted Lightsphere? I would appreciated that when you have the time. Thanks man!
    Great work.

    Garrey

  • Megan Parks said on April 13, 2009

    Sweeeeet Inspiration! Proof it’s not the quantity of equipment, but the knowledge and creativity that counts!!!

  • Jay Lawrence Goldman said on April 13, 2009

    REALLY, REALLY Impressive.
    Amazing focus-in your attention and camera skills. I probably would have crapped my pants by the end of that session.

  • Pradeep Raghunathan said on April 13, 2009

    This is kickass!!! What creativity and thinking on your feet. Hats off Sir!

  • Kati Debelic said on April 13, 2009

    Zack, I am curious about your lighting set up, I didn’t understand the lightsphere painted in black, do you mean totally painted in black? Top included? Then do you direct the light towards the subject?
    Thanks!

  • Christian Løverås said on April 13, 2009

    Whoah! Very gutsy to do it this way – respect! Good thing you didn’t feel any pressure..

  • Kholloud said on April 13, 2009

    Finally you post it, I was waiting for it since the time i saw you doing it in the auditorium yeah we had a great time, I took 3 session with you on Friday and i felt that i missed a lot for not being in your workshop, since that time am a big faaaaaan .. and i even let you sign my DVD copy ;)

  • Adam Stevens said on April 13, 2009

    Looks like you are getting the props you deserve!

  • Carl said on April 13, 2009

    Zak and GPP Rocks…Beam Me Up Scotty…hope to see next year. carl

  • Sharon Miller said on April 13, 2009

    Standing ovation! Love it.

  • Kenneth Theysen said on April 13, 2009

    Great work!! I’m going to feel sorry for the next person who has to do it next time. heheheh. You just raised the bar again!!!

  • Myron B said on April 13, 2009

    Great image and great light engineering and post.

    I love to see a few images of you DIY dark sphere and grid spot.

    I was wondering the difference between a snoot and a grid spot and you showed us a big one.

    Thanks

  • Sheena Yusuf said on April 13, 2009

    Amazing pic Zack ! Very Creative. Having been visiting your blog since you left dubai to see what this pic looked like. Its truly worth the wait !!!!

    I agree with Mohammed – Pity the new guy next year to beat this one.
    Oh ! just in case you need to remember me Think “Krispy Kreme”

    Sheena

  • Graham McBride said on April 13, 2009

    What a great idea… I think the finished shot is great and I’m gonna steal your idea of the darksphere!

  • Neil Calvin said on April 13, 2009

    Excellent shot — thanks for holding it down for Atlanta!

  • Michael Zelbel said on April 13, 2009

    “Use your brain, not your wallet” really rules!

  • Jerry Harding said on April 13, 2009

    Wow!! Such an incredible shot, very creative, and guttsy with no margin for error, and in 15 min’s! This truly Rocks. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and the process.

  • Rosanne Christie said on April 13, 2009

    I found you through Joe McNally…fabulous feet! Nice work.

  • Alison Greenwood said on April 13, 2009

    OMG! That is amazing work!

  • Rick Lohre said on April 13, 2009

    Super impressive dog! Super impressive.
    I think if I were made to light it I probably would have shat a few diamonds under the pressure too.
    I have to say, your creativity inspires! And so do the rest of the company you kept over there! Good on ya gang – keep on keepin on!

  • tomas flint said on April 13, 2009

    u da man bro! talk about pressure…u handled it like a champ.

    cheers zack!
    t

  • Joshua Gunther said on April 13, 2009

    You da Man!!!! Great work

  • Jurgen said on April 13, 2009

    Hi Zack,

    I just read about this picture at Joe McNally’s and Strobist’s blog. This is fantastic. Congratulations!

  • spiceboy said on April 13, 2009

    I was there in the auditorium when you took the picture…..zack u are taking creativity to the next level!!!

    “light the world with ONE LIGHT”

    btw where is jimmy in the picture?

  • chris said on April 13, 2009

    Great shot and result…well worth the work. Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes in creating it…

  • Wills said on April 13, 2009

    Hey Zack cool shot and thank’s for the heads up on what you did, pressure no pressure for Mr Cool.

  • Josen said on April 13, 2009

    Wow!! so this is the final end product. Was a bit confused as to what you were trying to achieve while you taking the shot (or should I rather say shots)
    The end product just rocks … awesum !!! Hope to see you next year.

  • catalina said on April 13, 2009

    HOLY FREAKING COW. awesome photo and thanks for breaking it down for all. you ROCK!

  • Paulo Rodrigues said on April 13, 2009

    Damn, I wish I had thought of this when I was doing group shots at the British Library auditorium last year. Nice work Zack.

  • Chrystal Beson said on April 13, 2009

    Friggin’ wicked awesome! You are truly a genious.

  • Dan Rakofsky said on April 13, 2009

    Great shot and very practical technique. You have just inspired some great ideas for me. Thank you.

  • Ken Tersten said on April 13, 2009

    I think anyone with that much talent

    should be outlawed in this world. If I

    had 6 months to get that shot I still

    would have missed. Do you take any

    special pills or something?

  • David Hobby said on April 13, 2009

    I am told it is a *great honor* to get to stand way off in the back and to one side in one of Zack’s group photos. He always reserves that spot for the most talented, respected and *darn attractive* person in the group.

    At least, that’s what he told me . . .

  • Chris Biele said on April 13, 2009

    Great image! I thought you used like 30-odd strobes on CLS to pull this off, but that would be WAY to hard to make everyone sit still for so long while you pointed your snoots in the exact location.

    Well done and keep up the hard work.

  • Christina Montemurro said on April 13, 2009

    Zack,

    Truly amazing, creative, inspired.

    Can I ask – if you had to shoot this same setting, same number of people… but instead of photographers, they were a group of say, world leaders, how would you light it?

  • Bob Beal said on April 13, 2009

    That’s a ton of post processing to come up with a very amateurish end product. Then you have the nerve to try and claim it as a one light shot?

    You really are an arrogant hack.

  • Darren Tuer said on April 13, 2009

    Zack, congrats on a spectacular image!

    You’ve gotta be happy with the results – and have you read Joe’s post about it?

    ‘The shot’s amazing. It definitely falls into the “Holy Shit” category for me…’

    You have *got* to be happy with that!

    Love your work :)

  • Robert Lewis said on April 13, 2009

    First off, great job on thinking outside the box. Nice image. Secondly, I think Mr. Jarvis hit the nail on the head when he said “your humble approach”. He is right, this speaks volumes.

  • Juanxo said on April 13, 2009

    Zack, after Edit/transform i’ve been hanging around you blog and page. every single time i come back, i find something really good. keep it up (as if you needed me to tell you to) i owe you a great deal of inspiration. tnx.

  • Stephen Woo said on April 13, 2009

    Just awesome. The image is simple and elegant. Execution took creativity and discipline. Loved the thinking process, execution, and results! Brilliant

  • Jamie Maldonado said on April 13, 2009

    Masterful minimalism!

  • Kevin said on April 13, 2009

    Yea, yea yea…amazing, incredible..whatever…blah blah blah!! You guys suck!!! :-) You can do more in 20 minutes and with one light than I have ever done since I used my plastic Playskool camera back in the diaper days!!! (Sometimes I feel like I am still using that Playskool camera)
    Seriously…amazing job!! I love seeing and reading about true artists like you and the group! Keep inspiring yourself and us!! Cheers!

  • Owen said on April 13, 2009

    Love it. Found your site through the Strobist site (which I’m only now discovering.) Great stuff.

    Before following the link from Strobist (who left the details slyly incomplete) I was wracking my brains over how you’d done it. When I saw the pic, I got it right off. Genius. And a unique look.

  • Lee Fly said on April 13, 2009

    Looks like you nailed it.

  • Will Alan said on April 13, 2009

    Good thinkin!

  • Darien Chin said on April 13, 2009

    Very cool idea and execution Zack. Way to get a bit creative. Looks great

  • Nick Bicanic said on April 13, 2009

    Great shot/concept especially under pressure?!

  • JeffreyByrnes said on April 13, 2009

    This was awesome!

  • Sandrino said on April 13, 2009

    Zack,

    You nailed it! Simple and quick on the feet.

  • Razvan said on April 13, 2009

    Brilliant job Zack!

  • Karen Venter said on April 13, 2009

    Zack…you are just way tooo inspirational. A true class act!

  • r. j. kern said on April 13, 2009

    what are you naming the technique… single flash, multiple exposure (SFME??).

  • Jason said on April 13, 2009

    Wow – you really know how to knock the socks off your readers. For those of us just scratching the surface of off-camera lighting, seeing this kinda work is definitely humbling – awesome composite and explanation! I think if I were in the presence of that crowd, I’d just fold like a cheap lawn chair!

  • Gromitch said on April 13, 2009

    Very creative flash idea!

  • Arnold Pangilinan said on April 13, 2009

    Amazing Zack!
    You are truly a ‘one light’ genius. Putting all these fantastic and famous photographers in this one shot is fantastic!

    Brilliant!

  • Portland Wedding Photography said on April 14, 2009

    Great capture, truly a creative and innovative way around things. I got started in photography by painting with light…I had no strobes, I just used little LED lights and a flashlight. I was amazed with the results and now I’m wanting to try more creative ways to capture weddings and large events. I’m sure that you had a blast editing this together! Great stuff!

  • dave wright said on April 14, 2009

    nice work. i’ve done some similar stuff. it’s fun to play with opacity too, make them all 50% opaque and you’ve got a room full of ghosts.

  • Peter Marin said on April 14, 2009

    Zack ‘One Light’ Arias……Legend lol.
    In poker terms, it’s a Royal Flush.

  • Weddingphotography Luna said on April 14, 2009

    Awesome picture my man! Took quite some effort and shots, but the result is definately worth it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Graham Riddell said on April 14, 2009

    A masterclass not just in innovative lighting, but also in PS! – Amazing shot(s)

  • John Lewis said on April 14, 2009

    Way to Zack well done and under such pressure!

    Lets have a close up of the light sphere/grid combo!

  • Kendale said on April 14, 2009

    Whoa! So that’s what happens when you free your mind! Awesome concept and execution, and even more so when considering the amount of time you had come u with the idea and pull it off, not to mention the roll call pressure. Does your OneLight DVD teach us how to do this? Aloha!

  • Kristina said on April 14, 2009

    Fantastic! You rock!

  • Mark said on April 14, 2009

    Cheers, Zack. Well, well done.

  • Teemu said on April 14, 2009

    Good job!! I really liked your greetings! ;)

  • Fotografi said on April 14, 2009

    really nice trick well done!!

  • Matt Wynne said on April 14, 2009

    The photo came out great. You brought back just enough of the auditorium to make it seamless. Well done.

  • Scott said on April 14, 2009

    Brillaint as always Zack, think I’d have dived in a big hole with my D300 if asked to take on that shot lol

  • Jamie Willmott said on April 14, 2009

    Really cool image and a great walkthrough.

  • Scott Mac... said on April 14, 2009

    Thanks for this and the killer DVDs. I love this stuff…

  • Tim said on April 14, 2009

    haha! nice one zack! gonna get another lightsphere for a diy-project tomorrow =)

  • billie muller said on April 14, 2009

    Great work zack! i was watching this with great interest!

  • Gary Day said on April 14, 2009

    Zack,

    I remember watching you taking these 25 photos, I was wondering what you were doing.

    We chatted briefly and you explained the concept..

    I have to say the end result is totally awesome… I am very impressed…

    Gary

  • alex said on April 14, 2009

    This picture destroy david hobby last year pics.

    happy to see that. LOL!! i like hobby, but i love your style alot more!!!

  • Kara said on April 14, 2009

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  • Michael Warf said on April 14, 2009

    Love it Zack! I’ve been watching a similar blend of exposures with cars in the dark – why not people? Gettin’ creative with the tools you have. Love it.

  • Michael Warf said on April 14, 2009

    Love it Zack! I’ve been watching a similar blend of exposures with cars in the dark – why not people? Gettin’ creative with the tools you have. Love it.

  • Rory said on April 14, 2009

    Intelligent and fun. Giddy up!!!!

  • Azhar Ariff said on April 15, 2009

    Hot dang Zack! Sure beats Joe McNally eating 50 speedlights for breakfast. Not even 50 speedlights can do this I think. :) Great work. You’ve pushed the bar up this time for the next year’s “new guy” shooting the group shot at GPP. Cheers!

  • Pete Nicol said on April 15, 2009

    Zack thats pretty impressive even for a one light guru. 29 with one light now that is extreme one lighting.

  • Pete Nicol said on April 15, 2009

    P.S. I’m off to paint my dong black

  • Adam Leahy said on April 15, 2009

    Nice job, way to be thinking on your feet. The final picture is really great.

  • Adam Trevillian said on April 15, 2009

    Brilliant.

    AT

  • Christian said on April 15, 2009

    Wow, this is totally inspirational…brilliant lighting idea, especially under all that pressure. :-)

  • Michael Good said on April 15, 2009

    I always wondered what I’d do with my next to useless Fong Dongs. Grid has been ordered and LS will be painted today. Great work and idea Zack.

  • plevyadophy said on April 16, 2009

    Given that you used just one light, this shot is so clever, so nice looking that it’s simply RIDICULOUS.

    And erm, you say that there are things you would like to have done to make the image better. Like what for example????!!! I would really like to know.

    Had I produced that shot with one light I would be so proud.

    Great work.

    An inspiration.

  • Jim Mucklin said on April 16, 2009

    Zack, you smacked it, great shot,I can’t believe you got them all to sit at the same time. Thanks for sharing

  • Jeremy Sale said on April 16, 2009

    Zack…
    Is it just me, or is there a bit of a masking issue on the guy to the left of Joe McNally? The woman’s arms (behind him, with the pink scarf) seem to be digging into his head a little.

    I’m not trying to be a knob, but I thought I’d ask.

  • Jeremy Sale said on April 16, 2009

    Zack…
    Is it just me, or is there a bit of a masking issue on the guy to the left of Joe McNally? The woman’s arms (behind him, with the pink scarf) seem to be digging into his head a little.

    I’m not trying to be a knob, but I thought I’d ask.

  • Jeremy Sale said on April 16, 2009

    (I hasten to add that this photo is one of the coolest, most brilliant things ever.)

  • Shari DeAngelo said on April 16, 2009

    A darksphere with a grid. Oh I gotta try that. I just love that this image is about one light and that you pulled this off. Brilliant, Zack!

  • kim james said on April 16, 2009

    RESPECT!

  • Rob said on April 16, 2009

    Brilliant! You da man, Zack. (I’m picking up some black spray paint tonight.)

  • jon said on April 16, 2009

    No offense but… a lot of the faces are blown out. Some of the masking is botched; a lot of the heads fade to black with no good detail on the hair. The woman on the lower right is especially bad as part of her forehead is fading out to black far too soon. Many of the people seem much brighter than the others. Overall, it looks kinda fake. I don’t even think it’s that imaginative of a trick.

  • Robert Hall said on April 17, 2009

    Would you describe the light sphere painted black? Photo of it? Thanks.

  • zack said on April 17, 2009

    @Jon #176 – Yep! Like I said in the blog post, it isn’t the most technically brilliant shot I’ve ever created.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • zack said on April 17, 2009

    @Robert – I’ll make a blog post about it.

  • Terry Smith said on April 17, 2009

    “On the SB I placed a Lightsphere that I have painted black. I call it my Darksphere.”

    Hilarious! LOL!

  • Don Winkler said on April 18, 2009

    Just a suggest on your mod for the sphere. Paint the outside silver first….let dry then paint the outside black as seen in your video….that way you use the smooth quality of the inside material (like a mirror)

    Just sayin

  • tony said on April 18, 2009

    great idea, and very well carried out, love the home made beauty box!

  • Dean Ritola said on April 18, 2009

    You inspired me! I LOVED your picture and your explanation of how you put it together. Soooooo I had to try something – anything. http://www.flickr.com/photos/friedrabbit/3453587708/
    Thanks Zack!

  • Marcos Valdés said on April 18, 2009

    Zack, eres formidable, soy un ferviente admirador de tu técnica de “un solo flash”

    Gracias por compartir tus conocimientos!!!!

  • Zohra said on April 19, 2009

    Brilliant idea. You totally inspire me here.

    IMO some of the faces at the back are not so clear.

    Considering my technical ignorance, I thought I should request you this. Would you try posting the pics of Lightsphere that you spray painted black and the grid?

  • Rodney Keith said on April 19, 2009

    Well done Zack, considering the odds and only those who were present know it – I love the result. The way you painted in the room later is an excellent idea.

  • Jennifer Grigg said on April 20, 2009

    Fantastic! Finally Zack foound a use for the lightsphere! Patent it NOW, or Gary will!

  • Paul Indigo said on April 21, 2009

    Respect. Good concept, very well executed. Quite a challenge with that audience. All the praise is well deserved, Zack.
    Cheers,
    Paul

  • George evan said on April 21, 2009

    hey. first off, love your site.

    \2nd… if you still have an unmodified gary fong, can you post a comparison of the darksphere to the lightsphere?
    spray paint or what?

    sounds cool
    thanks for your words of wisdom

  • Steven Fielding said on April 23, 2009

    Zack, rumor has it that you appear on the popular BBC programme Top Gear as… THE STIG!?! Any comment?
    Nice job on this shot and look at all these comments – wonderful to see people paying attention to your skill and wisdom. Cheers.

  • fiona ogilvie said on April 23, 2009

    thanks Zak for sharing how you went about this. at first i was thinking how did he place them all under their own light at once…but then i went ahhhh i see. tfs..looking forward to seeing you in Brisvegas in august

    Fee
    xxxx

  • Obi Nwokedi said on April 24, 2009

    Amazing work Zak … love it, and thanks for showing us

  • Matt Norris said on April 25, 2009

    Awesome post, Zack! Got the link from David’s blog. It’s an unbelievable image, sounds like framed prints all round! Thanks for the detailed “how to”… invaluable. I’ll second the “darksphere vs lightsphere” comparison request! Best wishes, Matt

  • Serge said on April 27, 2009

    Brilliant idea with the Lightsphere!Thanks for sharing details!

  • Firdaus Omar said on April 27, 2009

    Thanks for giving a detailed behind-the-scene. It was a technically difficult shot executed wonderfully. Congrats!

  • Dustin Diaz said on April 27, 2009

    I’m going to respond even though i’m 200+ comments in (i know you’re reading this zack).
    way to take the challenge, this is freaking awesome. i could only imagine how frustrating it was with hobby on the PW’s. too funny!
    in the end, you totally stepped up and pwned. well done!

    cheers,
    Dustin

  • Lucy M said on May 2, 2009

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Love it!!! Now…I want to go play with my lights!!! You rock dude!!! :-)

  • Austin Wedding Photographer said on May 5, 2009

    Such a great write-up Zach. Really neat that you stuck with your theme of one light and a flawless execution of a very intuitive concept.

    Cheers to you!!!

  • jP said on May 8, 2009

    Thank you so much for this post. When I came across it, I had already been planning a similar shoot. You can check it out at http://jeffreypaul.pixyblog.com/entry/electrics .
    Your post helped me quite a bit in planning and laying out this shoot. Thank you!

  • Morgan said on June 24, 2009

    Zack, great as always but could you point us towards maybe an explanatory technique or tutorial for the whole blending the shots together? How did you ‘cut out’ as it were each individual and put them in the full frame?

    Thanks a bunch!
    Morgan

  • Jeff said on July 18, 2009

    That is a fantastic shot. Thank you for showing how you did it. I also enjoy reading your white seamless articles.

  • Leighton Roberts said on July 24, 2009

    That is awesome! Something I will definately be trying!!

  • Wowzers that was cool. I wouldn’t have ever thought of that, and you pulled it off quite well.
    If you didn’t want to dedicate a lightsphere to “black” couldn’t you just wrap something around it? It might work better.
    And was the grid in replacement of the dome?

  • Otto Haring said on October 9, 2009

    Love it! Thx for sharing…

  • Trudy said on May 20, 2010

    Phenomenal.

  • SANDEEP said on June 7, 2010

    I THOUGHT YOU HAVE DONE THIS IN PHOTOSHOP OR SOME OTHER SOFTWARE……BUT NOT….
    WOW!!! IT REALY GOOD….I DIDNT KNOW THAT CAN BE DONE WITH LIT CAMERA TRICK…..
    NICE WORK….THANKS FOR SHARING….

  • Bimal nair said on April 14, 2011

    Am floored. Am on my knees with hands folded. May Lord give me a percent of talent and brains you posses. Salutes from India! You are one hell of a GENIUS!




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