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Light-Test
July 5, 2009 7:13 PM   Subscribe

Light-Test: a home for all of our light tests. A website dedicated to pictures of photography assistants at work. Sort of.
posted by ColdChef (24 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is full of tremendous win. I love seeing all these top-notch photos of dorks gleefully dorking around. It's a pity these can't run in place of whatever product/fashion shots ensued.
posted by mindsound at 7:33 PM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have no idea how these photographers got their assistants wedged into their light tests, or why.
posted by nonspecialist at 7:43 PM on July 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Great find, thanks ColdChef.
posted by Decimask at 7:47 PM on July 5, 2009


There are some magic shots in there, and I've always been a fan of "behind the scenes" stuff. I especially like the band photo, this moment of model humanity, and the "this will be my new facebook profile picture" shot. Oh, also I love the light (hah!) in the Point Reyes shot.
posted by nonspecialist at 7:59 PM on July 5, 2009


Love it, ColdChef! Thanks!
posted by The Deej at 8:05 PM on July 5, 2009


Light Test for Sarah Palin
posted by ColdChef at 8:29 PM on July 5, 2009


Steven Spielberg
posted by ColdChef at 8:31 PM on July 5, 2009


Sarah Palin was overexposed.
posted by MrVisible at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2009


"Sarah Palin was overexposed."

You know... I doubt it. I imagine the exposure was exactly what the photogrpaher intended.
posted by bz at 9:26 PM on July 5, 2009


I've done a lot of photo assisting, it is definitely not a dull job. It is sometimes tedious, sometimes insane, but mostly awesome if you love photography - or at least as awesome as doing someone else's heavy lifting can be. It's also never the same thing twice. You get to watch photographers closely and see them sometimes have moments of genius solving a problem, and sometimes you get to see them crash and burn (and make mental notes for when you are the one behind the camera). You get to see how bad photographers work their business magic to get jobs and how good photographers fuck everything up except for the actual image. I learned far more assisting than I ever did in my BFA program.

You sometimes have to run weird errands, go to interesting places, or goof off* with other photo nerds. Sometimes you have to brave the elements (on a Brooklyn roof at noon in the middle of a July heat wave - at least I wasn't wearing fur coats like the model), be the closest target of stress relief (saw a guy throw a chair at a 2nd assistant for not wrapping a cord properly once - that was a fun client!), or once again, run weird errands ("I need you to go to the opposite side of Manhattan and pick up these Mexican wrestler masks. The mask maker will try to get you stoned - your objective is to not get stoned at all costs.")

* This is my former assistant / good friend, who I was going to add to this light test website, but when I looked through my outtakes he either looked hungover, homeless, or bored out of his mind in all the funny ones. Instead here is a different assistant, who later on this shoot ate a bunch of dry ice on a dare, dunno why I didn't get photos of that.
posted by bradbane at 9:45 PM on July 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I love this - and pray I never show up on this site.
posted by memewit at 9:52 PM on July 5, 2009


Why do so many of them (especially Brad Trent's) have halos? Is it something other than inept use of unsharp mask?
posted by unmake at 10:13 PM on July 5, 2009


i am glad that i gave the blog a second look and am surprised that it has not crated more conversation. this blog deserves more recognition. thank you, coldchef, for making me aware of my newest rss subscription.
posted by the aloha at 10:20 PM on July 5, 2009


18% gray!
posted by ericb at 10:20 PM on July 5, 2009


Ansel Adams and Fred Archer's Zone System!
posted by ericb at 10:22 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What are those handheld color grids called? Is there some sort of tool in Photoshop you use to mark off all the squares and then the color palette gets transmogrified?
posted by crapmatic at 12:02 AM on July 6, 2009


crapmatic: it's a Gretag-Macbeth chart.
posted by polyglot at 12:35 AM on July 6, 2009


Is there some sort of tool in Photoshop you use to mark off all the squares and then the color palette gets transmogrified?

You can use the eyedropper in the Levels palette to set the black, white, and grey points. If you switch to a specific channel, you can do the same for the other colors. Knowing Photoshop, there are probably a few other ways to do it.
posted by smackfu at 5:51 AM on July 6, 2009


I bet Bo gets an incredible amount of tail.
posted by digsrus at 7:18 AM on July 6, 2009


Wow, do I ever not understand anything going on in those shots. Wierd colour block things, grey paper, licking what looks like paint samplers. I just don't understand photography.

I love the photos though, go figure.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:49 AM on July 6, 2009


unmake: I wondered about those halos too. It looks to me like poor application of Photoshop's Shadows & Highlights filter, which will do that if you're not careful. You can get it with HDR software as well, but S&H works on a single image.
posted by kcds at 12:30 PM on July 6, 2009


Is there some sort of tool in Photoshop you use to mark off all the squares and then the color palette gets transmogrified?

Each square is a known value that you can reference later to make sure your color is accurate.

Why do so many of them (especially Brad Trent's) have halos? Is it something other than inept use of unsharp mask?

It's part of his look I guess, no one would make it that obvious if it weren't intentional. I think the ringlight also exaggerates whatever he is doing in post.
posted by bradbane at 12:57 PM on July 6, 2009


unmake: I wondered about those halos too. It looks to me like poor application of Photoshop's Shadows & Highlights filter, which will do that if you're not careful. You can get it with HDR software as well, but S&H works on a single image.

It's part of his look I guess, no one would make it that obvious if it weren't intentional. I think the ringlight also exaggerates whatever he is doing in post.


It's definitely that desaturated HDR ring-flash enhanced look. Add some burn and dodge to make haloes for good measure.

In this case, it looks like the bastard child of Jill Greenberg and Dave Hill's styles.
posted by arishaun at 5:27 PM on July 6, 2009


Holy crap!
posted by ColdChef at 3:55 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


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