One thing I love about the YouTube era is getting the kinds of insights into how various photographers work, whether they be amatuers, jobbing pros or the world famous.
It’s now easy to view the kind of scenes you’d once have needed to have landed a plum assisting gig to witness. One interesting snippet I saw recently reveals an Annie Leibovtiz shoot. Here we see her photograph Michael Douglas for a Vanity Fair spread on Gordon Gecko, Oliver Stone’s Reagan/Thatcher area archetype that gave us the phrase ‘Greed is good’. Gecko is back with Wall Street II, which will be an interesting movie given the public debate surrounding the banking sector.
Anyway, the clip reveals Annie faily laid back approach to shooting and fairly deadpan rapport with assistants and subject. The shot iself is sumptuous but utilises a simple overhead umbrella box with a flash head mixes with available light.
The finished result form this one light set-up shows just how dynamic a dollop of flash over ambient can look. I’m curious why there was not more attempt to bring the cool tones of the flash to the surround street lighting with at least a warming gel but it’s great stuff all the same.