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How Was This Photo Shot?

Published: 28/01/2013
By: larry

JasonRoehner-400If you've been following the January PFRE twilight contest you will recognize this photo as Jason Roehner's entry in January's contest. I got several requests asking about how Jason did this shot so I asked Jason for the story behind this photo.

Jason and his friend Andrea Calo from Austin, TX, setup and shot the photo as follows:

Since this 14,000 square foot home in North Scottsdale had a lot of ground to cover, we split the work so that she would shoot the yard/pool area/patios, and I photographed the house from an adjacent street to get an overview of the entire property, apparently modeled to look like a small mountainside Italian village. We showed up with a lot of lights, all real basic Smith-Victor photo floods in 500, 250, and 100 watts, and several reels of extension cords. We spent about an hour setting up about 14 lights in the yard (here is the diagram of where the lights were), the motor court, courtyard, driveway, and sunken wash around the house. Then it was just a matter of timing and shooting.

With using all that constant light meant there was little post-production to do. In raw conversion I lightened the surrounding land with an adjustment brush and toned down the bright sconce lights on the home. In photoshop I masked in a brighter sky since it was a somewhat overcast night, and was asked to remove the foundation construction behind the home.

Jason, thanks for the setup info! Interesting photo!

11 comments on “How Was This Photo Shot?”

  1. I think a little dodge and burn would have been easier than a bunch of extension cords and flood lights. Nice shot, but a lot of resources needed to set this one up.

  2. Very nice job Jason,
    I loved the lighting. Did you have many AC power outlets, or use a small generator for power?
    Also, did you just set your WB on incandescent, or custom white balance?
    I’d love to see the before and after images you did from Photoshop.

  3. Nice work! You guys did a great job and thank you for sharing. I hope you were compensated nicely.
    The picture proves it was well thought out and exicuted.


  4. Damn nice photograph, not only the house but also the beautiful surroundings, especially when zoomed in. BTW, I liked Bob Carney's comment; it got me to spend some time considering alternative approaches.

  5. Dodging and burning wouldn't even get close.

    I honestly don't know how the hell this shot didn't win. Superb in every way. Technically, aesthetically, beautifully lit, and a wealth of knowledge required to pull it all together.

  6. Thanks so much for the kind words everyone, I'm glad the image and technique can be appreciated by the PFRE community!

    @Iran Watson and @MikeKelley especially, I greatly admire your work guys!

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