SouthPaw: New Picture + Lighting Set Up

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: August 20, 2015

Category: Photography

I’m always looking at film posters, magazine covers and such like to get inspiration and ideas for new shoots and it just so happens that one of the ones I’d seen and really wanted to do was from the movie, SouthPaw; the story of fighter Billy ‘The Great’ Hope played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Thinking this would make a great addition to the book we’re working on with Steven ‘Pocket Rocket’ Cook, rather than trying to explain what I wanted to do, I took a screen grab from the internet and showed Steve saying I’d like to re-create it with him and his partner Sofie.

So, I’ll start off by showing you the final finished result and then I’ll give you a look at the original picture from the movie and then the lighting set up that I used…


And here’s where I got the idea from for this photo shoot; I loved the lighting, the mood and also the connection between the two character…


When it came to the lighting, looking at the shadows on the two characters in that we can see they are all on the underside of their arms and under their chins which clearly indicates a light source from above. For my set up I went for just a one light set up that consisted of an Elinchrom D-Lite One in an Elinchrom Rotalux 135cm Octa on a boom; great light source and the two combined are still nice and light making those fine adjustments for position so much easier as the set up was inside the ring. Added bonus was that where we decided to shoot, the backdrop also looked similar to that in the original 🙂


Here’s a lighting diagram giving an overhead view…

You’ll see that I’ve also used a California Sunbounce Mini Reflector. The reason for this was that althought I was really pleased with the overhead light, I felt that Sofie’s face needed just a little more. So, after a little bit of DIY I managed to position it at just the right angle to give us exactly what we needed.


Last but not least, for those of you interested in camera settings, it’s just worth mentioning that I shot this picture quite wide open with an aperture of f/4.0 so that the gym wall in the background would go out of focus. Using the Elinchrom D-Lite One made this possible because it can go down to such a low power; much like the new Elinchrom ELC 1000’s I’m using that can go from 8 ws all the way up to 1000ws. The advantage of the D-Lite One though is that it’s incredibly light and no problem when out on a boom.


As always if you have any questions/comments then feel free to make use of the comments section below and I’ll be sure to get reply.

Oh one last thing…I’ve uploaded a large version of this SouthPaw inspired picture up onto my 500px portfolio page CLICK HERE, so if you like it I’d really appreciate you swinging by and spreading the love 🙂

Have a great Thursday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.

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  1. Frank

    you need to update your link “CLICK HERE” thought you like to know 🙂 No problem for me I can always find you Glyn 🙂 yes you have my love as always..

    • Glyn

      Nice one mate…thanks; alink added 🙂


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