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Bill Henson Look


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#1 Edward Goldner

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:30 AM

Hello there,

I'm using some of Bill Henson's still photographs (links found below) as a main reference in an upcoming music video that I'm DPing. My main point of interest in these photos is the moonlight blue/silver skin tones. From what I've heard, Henson used a combination of flash and long exposure to achieve this look but this obviously isn't an option with motion pictures.

I will be using the Sony Ex1 and shooting at quite a high frame rate/shutter speed so I may need to use quite punchy lights. With this said, I am keen to capture the soft, moody tones present in the photos below. My main question is whether people think the subjects are lit with bare 5600K daylight lights or whether gels have been used. If anyone has any grading suggestions that could help achieve the desired look, that'd be great too.

I'm thinking of using two 4-bank kino (daylight tubes) and possibly some china balls (daylight globes) to light the subjects. If I'm not able to get a decent level of exposure, I may look into using HMIs or gelled Blondies.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time. The photos can be found below.

Regards,
Edward Goldner

http://www.coolhunti...rchives/013.jpg
http://www.vam.ac.uk...29115-large.jpg
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:50 AM

I can't be positive, haven't tried this before so this is just from what it looks like to me, but it looks like an effect you could get with bare 5600 perhaps through some diffusion material, maybe 1/4 ctb or some such to cool it down, and shot with daylight balance. Other than that it looks like some sort of breakup pattern is used on them, note the shadows and dappled effect on the subjects shoulder and chest.

That's just my guess, testing would be the best way find out and get the look you want.

Good luck.
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#3 David Rakoczy

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:30 AM

Looks to me like that is 1/2 Blue and the rest is done with Make-Up.. tho it could be Full Blue then Desaturated...
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#4 Matthew Stanton

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:06 AM

This info is probably a bit late but judging by a documentary i saw on his work those portraits are actually done in a studio with constant light sources. The background cityscape is actually a large panel of small illuminated orange globes. Seems he uses long lenses (200mm or thereabouts) at wide apertures. All of the images are hand printed by Henson and are analog optical prints from colour neg films.

Hope this helps,

Matt
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