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Submitting Stock Photographs

by Gary Bernstein -

David Allen Grier - Studio Action - Color 35mm

Because magazine photography fees are so much lower than their commercial advertising counterparts, the photographer is usually rewarded with maximum creative freedom and a guaranteed photo-credit -- so often the key to securing the high-paying commercial assignments. I used that creative freedom in this assignment.

As opposed to what one might expect from talented comedian David Allen Grier, I found him to be serious, very direct, and a man sharing my own passion for the martial arts. In this fasion layout, I opted to shoot with only a single 250-watt tungsten bulb, hanging from a C-stand, against the white seamless studio cove.

Allowing the background to fall off nearly three stops rendered it a deep gray. The excessive contrast range and equally dramatic falloff from the small light source in such close proximity to the subject created even greater visual drama in the subject.

In the suit shot we went for a variety of subject expressions, keeping his form still to retain as much detail in the wardrobe as possible. But when he changeed into the leather jacket, I wanted to see those fringes fly -- so we shot it with maximum motion as David feigned using the light bulb as a fighter's speed bag.

Subject: David Allen Grier
Client: Black Elegance Magazine
Creative Team: John McMurray, Art Director
Location: Gary Bernstein Studio, Culver City, California
Camera: 35mm
Lens: 85mm
Lighting: One 250-watt tungsten light
Film: Kodak Ektachrome Professional Tungsten El 320
Exposure Metering: Incident
Exposure: 1/60 second at f/4


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