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October 27, 2011

JaMarcus Russell Sports Illustrated Editorial Image breakdown

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Written by: Lawrence
For today’s Lighting analysis, I will be breaking down the lighting that was used to capture the JaMarcus Russell Sports Illustrated Editorial.

JaMarcus Russell is referred to be the biggest number one draft bust in the NFL with scoring a $61 million dollar contract when signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2007 and released in 2010 after going 7-8 as a starter. If you follow football, this is not a good record for a number one draft pick scoring one of the biggest draft contracts in history.

Now you know a little about the subject of this image lets examine this image.

The lighting utilized for this pictorial seems to be more practical than creative. So what do I mean by practical? Practical lighting to me is lighting used to simply satisfy a technical need to create a technically sound image.

You might be wondering how I came to that conclusion. Well let me show you.

Ok whenever I examine an image I dissect the image by asking two encompasing questions:
1. What is the concept?
2. What is the context of the light required to execute the concept.

For the JaMarcus Russell sports illustrated article image, JaMarcus is standing up on the drivers side of his convertable lowrider that is directly in front of a barbershop which is ironic because he is bald. Anyways, that is beside the point. The concept brings him outside standing up on his vehicle with barbers outside of the barbershop looking at him.

The context of light calls for a light source that can light the subject and the background.

In this image of JaMarcus Russell, I first look at the shadows of the background in relation to the shadows on the Subject. It seems the Sun is at about a 45 degree angle camera left by lookin at the rembrant lighting that you can see of JaMarcus Russel and then the harsh shadow from the lamp above the barber shop sign directly above him.

The suns position although creating a nice rembrandt lighting, the camera right side of JaMarcus Russel’s face will be very dark and can easily blend with the background due to his dark complextion. Therefore, “Practical Lightin” is necessary to separate the subject to the foreground which you can see camera right of JaMarcus Russel’s face with the white highlights. Personally, I would have used a filter to match the edgelight color temperature of the sun.

So that’s about it. I only see two light sources used for this image.

Do you guys agree? If not, then let us know what you think on the comments below.


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About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.




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