The previous day’s picture is an example of why a snoot was obvious, but they are usually used for more subtle purposes. In today’s image a snoot was used to light the hand and knife but nothing more. The key light was a large soft box on the models left side. The background is white but we are far enough away from it for it to drop three or four stops, but close enough for spillage from the flash and ambient light from a slower shutter speed light to stop it falling into black. The shot was taken in room with enough daylight to be a secondary light source, so there is some colour change on the background, which I didn’t mind in this instance and didn’t think a warming gel on the flash was required. The snoot is to the models right, about half a meter away from the knife.
The concept was to make model (Ary) look both dangerous and aggressive, but he is such a nice person it was always going to be a struggle.
This is as mean as Ary gets and he tried very hard.
Because the snoot has such a narrow beam of light it was extremely difficult to get the knife into a position where the light glinted on the blade and looked natural in the hand of some one with the intention of doing you harm. I went with this one because it has a sense of movement. I really don’t like those static images where the model looks like a mannequin or Bambi caught in the headlights. Gregory Crewdsons work is an example, although it’s hard to criticise a guy who gets $250,000 and Hollywood actors to make a shot. I have his book 1985-2005 and really do like many of his concepts, but it all seems a bit plastic in some ways. There is another photographer I’ve seen recently who has a similar style, but try as I do, I just can’t seem to like it.
70-200mm, f7.1, 1/80sec, ISO160