Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. He has shot everything and everyone from supermodels and celebrities to fashion, beauty and stock photography. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of one of his most recent shoot. This time he shows us how he created colored shadows on a background. Enjoy!
Hederus is what could be described as a Swedish sports fashion brand. By that I mean they design clothes with a sporty attitude rather than actual sportswear. I was recently approached by Hederus and asked to shoot a series of images that would reflect this mixture of fashion and an active, colorful lifestyle. It was important that this came through in all aspects of the images – the styling, the model, the lighting, etc.
So, I started thinking. Pretty soon I remembered this shoot I did in the early days while assisting Bardo Fabiani. For those of you who don’t remember, Bardo was a pretty big name back then. He himself had started out assisting the legendary David Bailey. Coming from that background, Bardo was obviously meticulous and creative with his lighting. I learned a lot from him.
The shoot I remembered involved Bardo and me playing with colored shadows on the background. I used to think it was such a simple yet fun and creative thing to do, and I still do. It’s also really easy! You put colored gels on your background light. You then bleach the colored background with some hard front lighting. Finally, you place the model so that he or she prevents the bleaching main light from hitting the background and, hey presto, you have a colored shadow!
I decided to do something similar for Hederus. But I tweaked the concept and kept the colored background in a tone similar to that of the shadows. This is also quite easy to do. Just make sure your main light isn’t strong enough to bleach out the background completely. But it has to be strong and hard enough to get a distinct shadow. So how did I do that?