Canadian photographer Derek Galon has always been fascinated with classical painting. But it wasn’t until a friend of his had a crazy idea that he realized how to use flashes and softboxes to combine his fascination with painting with his love for photography. Here is the story of how he did it, in his own words.
I love old paintings and have been fascinated with them for many years. But only recently, after decades of photographing, did I feel confident enough to try and recreate the type of light and mood such paintings have. It started with a suggestion by a friend, professional model Michael Ward, who wanted to shoot a Bacchus scene similar to those painted by Titian. At first i thought it may be an overwhelming project, but I decided it will be a fine challenge worth a try. All next shoots followed thanks to this first one being a success.
I’ve been lucky to have access to a large studio necessary for such multi-model setups. The studio is owned by my friend, a brilliant photographer and a lighting wizard: Jon Hoadley. Thanks to his kindness I also have access to high-end lighting system: the Profoto D1 Air and plenty of Light Shaping Tools. Without his generosity, none of these images would exist today. Casting models for this series has been easy for me. I mostly use my friends as models, experienced art photographers along with some younger aspiring models and friends from art industry, a stage makeup artist, costume designer, a fine painter, and so on.
The whole Painterly series is rather diversified, but several images are shot in style of old Flemish paintings. The one we use here as example for my lighting, is my homage to Adrjaen Brouwer – a fine painter who specialized in rough tavern scenes. He was well respected and one of Rembrandt’s favourites. To create image with distinctive feel similar to these paintings, one needs to study them and analyze separate elements. I would use a somewhat simplified list of these elements: styling, the whole scene composition and micro-scenes, plot and interactions, and lighting. Read More