Thursday, February 03, 2011

"You Lookin’ At Me”

You Lookin' At Me

"You Lookin’ At Me”
©David A. Ziser

OK, I know the title paraphrases Robert De Niro in “Taxi Driver” but I thought it fit this photograph. This is an image I did several years ago while on a trip to Australia.  I was doing a few workshops and we got to work at some great locations.

I remember this being on the steps of one of the imposing government buildings in downtown, Melbourne.  What I remember most about this location was that is was a very overcast day, but more specifically, how dark the concrete walls and steps were.

The steps were a perfect “prop” for my super wide angle portrait of this young man. I placed the 40mm lens on my Hasselblad, gave the steps dominate billing in my viewfinder, and shot away.  The first shot was quite bland because of the flat lighting and dark background.  I had one strobe with me and it was set up to fire remotely.  I thought that instead of using it as a key light coming in from camera right, as so often would do, it would better serve me by using my strobe as a backlight (at 100 w.s.) to really define and separate the young man from the very dark background. 

I think this was the best approach for this image.  The strong leading lines of the steps add the impact that I wanted for this shot.  And, the backlight worked it’s magic in spotlighting the main subject.

Camera specs (to the best of my knowledge):   Hasselblad 503C medium format camera fitted with Distagon 40mm super wide angle lens (89 degrees field of view or 24mm - 35mm equivalent), F5.6 @ 1/125 second, Kodak Ektacolor 400 film, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David


  1. always learn something from you.Even if it is how you work a certain image, while taking it. Thanks

  2. Did you point the flash at the subject or at the wall? ^^

  3. The softness of the focus on the steps is awesome and almost distracts from the intent of the picture - the man. I see the steps and . . . oh yeah there is a guy way back there. Just my opinion but love the picture!
    Thanks David!