Select Page
How Would You Light This? : Rick Friedman

How Would You Light This? : Rick Friedman

Thad StarnerThis is from an assignment I shot at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA.  The MIT Media Lab is a hub for innovative creations and ore of my favorite places to photograph.  I was at the Media Lab looking for interesting projects to photograph when I met That Starner who was working on wearable computing.  Starner is now a professor at Georgia Tech.  The idea for this shoot came about when Starner showed me a pair of glasses that had a computer monitor in the center of one lens, which he connected to a small computer in his pocket.  With no preplanning, this is what I cam up with.  Little did I know this was the beginning of “Google Glass.”


The lighting on this photograph is 2 strobes and 2 computer monitors.  I had to match the brightness of the two computer screens to determine my exposure, matching the brightness of the large monitor in the background and the small computer screen embedded in his glasses.  To obtain the exposure I used the meter in my camera.  I needed a lot of depth of field for this shot, so that glasses and my subject were in focus.  My focal point was Starner, seen through the glasses.  The glasses were clamped to a light stand with a Superclamp.  The main light was a Dynalite MP-800 power pack and a Dynalite head with an extension tube, a grid holder on the end of the extension tube, a 10º grid and a sheet of Rosco Tough Spun over the grid to soften the light.


I really needed to control my light on the subject, so there was no light spilled on the glasses or the screen behind the subject.  Just off set, on the right side, I set up a speed light with Rosco yellow gel and a snoot made of Cinefoil to outline the frame of glasses with color.  The Cinefoil snoot was brought down so it was about a 1º opening.  When making shoots out of Cinefoil, which is black tin foil, you have flexibility to make any shape you want with any size opening giving you great control over the output from your Dynalite heads.  To determine the exposure of both the speed light and the Dynalite, I used a Sekonic light meter.  If you are maxing speed lights and studio strobes, you speed light needs to be on the manual setting and not the TTL setting.

See more of Rick Friedman’s “How To’s” of Location Lighting on his blog where every Tuesday he has another tip that he shares from his Location Lighting Workshops with Rick Friedman!