Behind the Scenes Photo Geekery

When I did the original photo essay I imagined that it might be something I would travel around and continue doing and for that reason I wanted the setup to be as simple as possible (I envision lighting setups not entirely by their final result but largely in terms of all the gear that I’ll have to carry through airports). I used one light and a very neutral collapsable backdrop. This meant that my lighting gear was essentially two light stands, an umbrella, and a bag of cloth and wire all of which fit in a not-very-heavy though extremely unwieldy circular bag that I could also stuff with clothes.  It wasn’t pretty, but it was portable. I often see kindred photographers sitting astride a pyramid of Pelikan cases in baggage claim, morose and marooned by their own gear, awaiting assistants stuck in traffic to come and rescue them.

The photos were taken with a Nikon d800 and a Nikon 50mm f 1.8 and a Leica M9 with a Zeiss Planar 50mm f2. Lighting was a Photek Softlighter II triggered by Pocket Wizards.