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How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

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  #11  
Old 01-15-2009, 07:16 AM
phurley phurley is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

Jstake got it! Appreciate you guys looking at the work and talking about it. I spotted the thread and thought I'd chime in. I used to shoot with my back to a big southern facing window and always loved that light. I would diffuse it on sunny days with a sheet or something like that and then I moved to a studio without windows and had to come up with something. I really didn't know anything about lighting because I never took a photography class, still fly by the seat of my pants, but Perry Ogden was using kinos in the adjacent studio a few years back and they looked interesting, so I tried them out and they've got their ups and downs, but it seemed to give me the light I was looking for. They are fairly expensive, but you can make your own if you want out of standard florescent lighting. Downfall is that they don't put out too much light and the light they do put out can be too much for people with sensitive eyes. I light the background with Alien Bees, those things are cheap and amazing! I'd recommend them for sure. If you've got a nice big window I'd start there first. Natural light is always great.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:18 AM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

Welcome to Retouch Pro Peter!

Very nice to see the guy behind the look give us the right answer. I was wondering, have you looked into using other lightbanks (such as the profoto or similar) to get the flash power instead (since you did mention the light output of the kinoflo was a bit low)?

Of course, if the kino's work, why fix it

/Henrik
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2009, 10:22 PM
phurley phurley is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

I thought about that and was considering trying it, but I guess I'd have to rent them first and my setup is working, so I guess I'm just sticking with it. My kit includes kino, profoto, lumedyne and alien bees. I try about everything and use all of them. Really just stick to the kinos with the headshots. I like the softness out of the photek softlighter for almost everything else. It's great! Only thing that I feel gives the light the softness I'm looking for other than natural light or the kinos. Worth taking a look at it.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2009, 07:36 AM
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TreesOfMyTime TreesOfMyTime is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

I have to say that this thread shows a great example the power potential of the site. Thanks to Peter Hurley for his sharing comments!
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2009, 08:06 PM
ejsaenz ejsaenz is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

A good site to use for inexpensive lighting tips is:
http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/

They've got all sorts of DIY lighting ideas there and many are inexpensive and can be made with hardware store items.

It's awesome that a pro like Peter Hurley can take the time and help out a few newbies and fans of his work. thumbs up!
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:56 PM
gng11 gng11 is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

WOW, I never thought the guy behind the camera and the style would be posting here. I've been away from this site (and this thread) for a couple of months now, and it's surprising to me how this has turned into one of the hottest threads at the moment. Thanks and my appreciation to Peter for jumping in.... I've got lots to catch up on. . How about a reflector against a large window? Anything similar to the aforementioned effect?? That's all the equipment I have right now. Thanks!
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:31 PM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

All of you have very valid ideas and it's great that the self-admitted amateur has the chance to hear from such a varied level of experienced shooters and their varied lighting techniques.
In the beginning of my career I did high-end commercial work and some sets would be scattered with lights, reflectors, scrims and cookies and it was very pleasing to create images this way with a capable hand but the same instructor who taught me lighting also taught me that there is only one sun and nature that reflects it and challenged me to take my lighting knowledge and create it a bit more simply. I have thousands of dollars worth of Broncolor lights that I rarely use now.
Just before graduating I blindly walked into a photo shoot here in Daytona being shot by David Chan who is a master of light and has shot for Playboy for years. This lead to a relationship that took me under his guidance as an assistant then later to freelance shooting for the same. David is where the one sun idea sunk in.
Back then we shot Nikon F3's (which I adored and still use occasionally). I would say that 90% of the time we used the 85mm, 1.8, shot wide open with gauze on the lens. The only light we used was the sun and a gold PhotoFlex reflector and my so called "style" was really born. With my namesake, the "sweetlight" of morning and evening and that gold reflector there is not enough lights in the world to duplicate. It has a feel to it that I feel can't be duplicated, you can get close but not quite there.
My best friend shoots with a multitude of lights and creates stunning images, I mean this guy sticks lights where I don't even understand but creates images that are clean and simple. Okay enough rambling.
Shoot your F.3 lens, wide open and throw that background out of focus. Reflectors are expensive but you can make your own cheaply. Find some gold and silver remnants at the cloth store and attach it to some foam core. You can also find remnants of ripstock or parachute type material in white which you can use can create huge soft boxes to create open shadows and softlight. Sorry for the wordiness but I hope I helped a bit too.
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  #18  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:31 AM
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Frank Lopes Frank Lopes is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

Do you mind explaining in a little more detail this trick?
How do you do it and what are the effects of it?

Since the Nikon F3 shoots film (it is not a digital camera), can the use of gauze on digital cameras create the same effect that you had with the F3 or would one be better off post processing the photo?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetlight View Post
...shot wide open with gauze on the lens...
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2009, 12:18 PM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

Sure Frank, sorry for the delay.

True enough the F3 is film which I still shoot sometimes when I am feeling the need to get fixer on my hands in the darkroom.

The gauze can be used on the digital camera but with the power of the Photoshop blur tools I tend to stick to a straight image out of camera then add my soft focus later.

We used to buy 2 neutral density filters (as cheap as possible) knock out the glass and stretch white or black gauze out over the bottom one then screw the top one into it sandwiching the gauze. Black was used for sof focus withougt a lot of flare much like shooting through a window screen. The white which I used the most would give beautiful soft focus with some slight flare and pastelish look. To use the gauze you must shoot at wide open so it throws it far out of focus.

If you look at my Flickr link http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetlight/sets/ you will see some examples under the "Weddings" and "Fashion" sets.

If I did not answer all your questions please let me know.

c
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2009, 12:27 PM
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Frank Lopes Frank Lopes is offline
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Re: How to achieve the Peter Hurley look

Now much light did you typically lose by using the gauze?
And did it make a difference (in terms of light loss) using black versus white?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetlight View Post
...stretch white or black gauze...
c
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