Simplifying Sports Photography: A Portrait of Wolfie Novogratz

Novogratz FamilyLifestyle Portaits Oct 2010

Wolfie, a teenage basketball buff and the son of famed NYC-based interior architects Cortney and Robert Novogratz, of Sixx Design and popular reality show Home By Novogratz on HGTV. Last year, I did a 3-day East Coast residency with the family, documenting behind-the-scenes images of this very-cosmopolitan, 10-person clan.

With Wolfie, as with any athlete, the linchpin of capturing a striking, catch-you-off-guard image is the use of dramatic lighting. It accentuates the musculature of the human form, with light wrapping around the limbs to create eye-riveting shadow. Photographer Rick Sammon puts it best: “Light illuminates and shadows define.” For this particular portrait, I began the shoot with lots of complicated light rigging, and then completely cast-off the set-up as ultimately needless. In the end, the simplest set-up – in this case, a Profoto head with medium Chimera softbox was placed at a 45-degree angle on the right side and a white reflector on his left side –produced the Rembrandt-like effect you see here.

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  1. dawn

    Wow! So striking!!! Loved reading about the lighting philosophy… Motivated to give it a shot myself now. Thanks.

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