View Full Version : Help with a question about Yousuf Karsh
12-05-2008, 02:41 AM
Does anybody know anything about the lighting style of Youself Karsh? Has anybody studied his work? I have read a lot of info, but I am getting a lot of different opinions and answers. Has anybody on here studied his lighting or works? If so I know he liked to light the hands of the subject, but I am trying to figure out what kind of light setup he used on this. It looks as if he has a bright light on the subjects right side, and maybe up high directing down, but the shadow on the hand has me perplexed!
12-05-2008, 03:23 AM
Easy to reverse engineer this one. :)
Strobe camera left and ear high, strobe camera right and a little higher. There is also one strobe to the front, as evidenced by the sheen on the subject's forehead.
As for the hand effect, it is simply light from the side flash (could even be a 3rd light source grid-spotted). We see it more because his hand is facing the exact side of it, and there is a hard shadow from his chin making a clear line across his hand.
It could also be nothing more than a random beam of light from a window. This is hard to identify without being there in person.
As for his style... it is impossible for me to say, since this is his first picture I have ever seen. It is not a complex lighting setup. Basically, it is a butterfly lighting with front fill.
Edit: I just spent some time on his website. What an amazing man... what an amazing group of people he has captured, and he knew just how to pose them to bring out each person's persona strongly in every picture.
Is he someone you are studying in school, Sue?
12-05-2008, 05:08 AM
Yes Jerry, He is my master photographer that I have to emulate. I did Paul Strand last semester and now him. I really thought I was going to pull my hair out last year. lol When I had to do a report on him with CC I said that the light on his hand could be from a light with a grid or a window. lol funny that you said that. The more I look at it, I think it is artificial light. I have to use continous at this point, because we are not allowed to use any flash at all in this particular class. He was KNOWN for lighting the hands seperately ..which you might have read about. I am trying to figure out how I want to go about my lighting in my photo.Hey and thanks for all of your help.
12-09-2008, 09:14 PM
Hey Jerry check this out.....I did a little things different, and guess what???? MY INSTRUCTOR LOVED IT and I will show you what she said! Here is the photo. (Yes I used stage makeup to make my model look older) I still think he is better looking than Andy Warhol.
I actually cropped a little off of the bottom of that photo after I turned it in , and like it even better. This is the SOOC shot. (other than the B&W conversion)
You've done a fine job with this shot Susan. I actually like this portrait better than the original. Your light and contrast is excellent. Good work.
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