Lighting Diagram

The Fandom Nerdlesque: Infinitease Promo Photos - 2019

The time is finally here! For anyone who has been following me on Social Media the last few weeks you have probably heard me teasing these series of images. For you and those who may not have known alike you are all in for a treat.

I was contacted by my friends over at The Fandom Nerdlesque (who if you don’t know are an Atlanta based collective of nerd-themed burlesque performers from all across the country) asking if I wanted to be a part of the marketing push for their upcoming Marvel Themed Show (being performed at the time of this blog post on Friday and Saturday THIS WEEK..HINT HINT…TICKET LINK AT THE END OF THE POST…HINT HINT).

After some very brief talk of concept, we decided that the end goal was to emulate the famous Marvel MCU posters that have been coming out regularly. It wasn’t until we were on set going through photos that I thought about using some various forms of compositing to create artificial backdrops for each character.

Jet Spiegl - Matt “Daredevil” Murdock


Final poster design by Evin from Apologue Media. He did a FANTASTIC job of throwing everything together into an amazing final product. Be sure to throw him some love as well!


Additional poster design by Kali Fornication (You can see her link above under her Thanos photo).

Get your tickets here!

For a peek behind the curtain as to how the sausage was actually made, keep reading below.

I’ve done some experimenting with various forms of compositing over the last few years. For more of an expert’s view I would make sure to check out the work of Renee Robyn or Clinton Lofthouse. Anything I have learned was very much learned by watching both of these amazing artists at work.

The first part of the recipe was making sure that the subject of the photo was lit properly. In the case of these Marvel photos I needed 4 lights. A Key in a 3’ Octabox, a fill in the form of a 12” beauty dish, and two 3x5 softboxes as rear kickers.


That setup lent itself to a photo like the below.

by using content aware fill you get one of the following photos below.
One worked better than another:

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 10.19.28 PM.png
Spoiler alert, it was this one that worked much better.

Spoiler alert, it was this one that worked much better.

Afterwards I roughly followed this tutorial from DIY Photography to mask the image

Click the photo above to read an in depth article that I assure you is WAY less scary that it looks.

Click the photo above to read an in depth article that I assure you is WAY less scary that it looks.

After masking its then just a matter of sourcing an appropriate background, and then adding any needed tweaks to it to fit the image at hand, and then several hours of refinements…the process of which I don’t have photos of because I didn’t think to take them.

If you would like to see a more in-depth step by step, let me know. I’d be happy to work something together!

The DIY Backdrop Test 2 (and Build) – Justin – 2015

I'm going to take a few moments and walk through the construction of the DIY backdrop project (It's really a lot more simple than you would think). I believe total cost for me was around $22.00, but that included two backdrop stands that I already had.

It all started with this video:

In it there is a section where it mentions the IKEA Tupplur blind.

Originally I wanted to go with a grey one instead, but since there was an open box deal on the large black, I got it instead. I'll probably go back in the near future and pick up the grey one.
After I got it home I removed the spring driven auto-winder (I guess that's the best way to describe the part) and found that there was a 3/4" tube running down the center. That tube just so happened to be the same diameter as my backdrop stand, so I had to run down to home depot and grab some 1/2" electrical conduit (about $2.30 for a 10' section).

They cut it down to size for me, and helped me find some screw on ends that formed an L shape (about another $1.50 each) that I used to mount on top of my backdrop stand.

Short of using a little black spray paint to dull down the silver, the final product looks like this. The diagram approximately (and totally not to scale) looked very similar to the one below.

Using an LED Panel that I borrowed from a friend of mine (and totally need to return, sorry Vivi) to provide a back light to the background, and my studio strobes (modeling light on, with a closed umbrella since the camera I am working with has a different flash mount than I am used to) as my main light. I was able to get some pretty interesting lighting situations. I probably need to look into some various gels to take some of the blue LED tint out, but other than that I am pretty happy.

Justin stepped up to help me out with some more testing of the background, and using what I learned from shooting Stan yesterday, this is what we were able to achieve. 

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