LINCOLN-SHERLOCKesque: Lighting and BTS

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: February 16, 2016

Category: Photography

Ok so as promised here’s a look at the lighting set up that went into my LINCOLN-SHERLOCKesque picture that I recently shared…


Ok so first off this was photographed in an office space I was using at the time as opposed to a studio so we didn’t have lots and lots of space to work in; which is fortunate seeing as there was only a small amount of kit needed.

Originally I’d intended to add in an elaborate background scene such as that in the movie poster created for the movie, Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Killer (never seen it mind you…the title turned me off somewhat) but the background scene in the poster was a night time in the middle of a forest with the moon high above.

Anyway what’s the saying … “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should / have to?” so I opted to change direction and keep a solid background and with it being the grey seamless, adding texture, light and shadow was a simple process in Photoshop. (I’ll be recording a full length tutorial to take you through the whole retouch from start to finish very soon)

As for the lighting though, just two lights were used which at the time of shooting were my Elinchrom BRX 500’s (now replaced with the ELC 1000’s). These were both fitted into the 130 x 50cm strip boxes so that I could controls thin strips of light from the chair to the top of the hat.

lincoln_BTSAlso to allow just a small amount of detail of the model to show through (face, jacket etc) I raised the iso to 200 but then also boosted the shadow detail a touch during post production.

In the Before picture below is the out of camera shot before the retouching and because of the small shooting space, you can see how close the strip boxes were either side of our model…

So as you can see the lighting was really simple; in fact the only challenging aspect of it all was the space we were shooting in. Actually on that note, with regards to the grey seamless background I have a few different ones…all the same grey but different widths; there’s the 2.72m which is generally used in the studio but then for transporting around and using in locations where space is likely to be limited I also carry a 1.35m version which is perfect for fitting in the car.


I’ll let you know when the full length video is released and will be sure to do that via the newsletter so if you haven’t signed up yet to get your FREE monthly Tip Sheets and access to all the files I used so that you can follow along, be sure to do so (just enter your email in the text field in the right hand menu or at the bottom of this page)

There’s lots of really cool stuff to show you that went into this picture that you’ll then be able to take and adapt into your own, and that’s exactly what this is all about….not just learning new techniques, but the real skill is knowing what to use and how to combine them together to get the final result.

Have a great Tuesday and I’ll catch you back here next time.


CLICK HERE to check out the LARGE version of this picture over on my 500px portfolio page

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