Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Lionel Deluy - Hi Energy!
Lionel Deluy's signature style comes from a mixture of furious action on the set and creative work in Photoshop
Of the Hasselblad H2, Deluy says, “The quality is beautiful, but it is too slow for the way I shoot, and processing the RAW is too slow for me as well. The new H3D looks like a wonderful camera, and I wish I could have the one with the 40-megapixel back, but I'd need it to be as fast as the Mark II and as easy to process the images.”
Deluy sets his camera to shoot RAW plus large JPEG, so if the client requests a RAW image, he has it, but surprisingly he's not gung-ho about RAW files. “I don't see enough of a difference, and it takes so long to process,” he explains.
As if to punctuate his point, Deluy tells me about a campaign he shot three years ago: “It was the RAMPAGE campaign, and I was shooting with the old [Canon EOS] 1Ds. From a large JPEG file, the company created a billboard that took up the whole side of a huge building in Los Angeles—and they cropped it, too! The quality of that large file was more than enough.”
Creating The Look
Examine Deluy's portfolio, and you notice a lot of his work utilizes a wide-angle lens, which allows him to take in a large scope of the scene, fundamentally opening up a lot of room for him to fill with elements like creative lighting and colorful scenery. These extra elements work together to essentially make for a more narrative image.
Deluy describes his lens choices, “My lenses are so important to me. I tend to use the 24-70mm, and for beauty I use the 100mm, but I really love the 16-35mm. I like wide angle.”
To fill the frame of those wide-angles with color and light, Deluy uses a lot of strobe packs: five Profoto 2400 Acutes, four Profoto 1200 Acutes, a 7B and four Porty Hensels. “The Profotos are real workhorses that I rely on for just about every photograph I take,” he says. “And the Hensels are strong, light, easy to move around and use on location.”
Deluy essentially paints with lights. For the job he's shooting on this day, he has six lights on the main subject—two backlights with grids for highlights, a snoot for the hair, two beauty dishes in front, also with grids, and a ring flash on the camera adds fill.
“Always beauty dishes with grids,” he says. “I love the quality of light, and the ring flash fills in and smoothes out the model's skin. It helps wash out the mode just a little and cuts down on retouching time as well.”
There are always a lot of lights in use to create his images. “Especially back lighting,” he says, “like four or five heads, maybe more.” His work looks simple in a way, but there's a great deal going on outside of the frame.
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