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Weekly Photo ChallengeChallenge: Reverse Engineering King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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St3v3Murray
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Challenge: Reverse Engineering King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Post by St3v3Murray »

- Forget The Challenge Rules On This One - This Is A Challenge Against Our Ability More Than Against TIme -

I've liked this image since I first saw it and have always wondered how it was made. Ultimately I'd like to make my own.

I have no more insight than you but imagine some of you might and thought it might be fun to figure out how it was done.

This is Charlie Hunnam who plays a young King Arthur in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Official Comic-Con Trailer (2017)
- Director of Photography John Mathieson *Cinematographer John Mathieson Discusses 'Logan,' 'King Arthur,' and the Art of the Shot

I like this image as a starting point but there may be better here so think about the lighting and choose wisely.

I have not done this before but assume you download a base photo then work it until you find something close to the end photo.

Details, details, details, let's tell everyone the details of what you learn and of course let's see your work! S-
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Post by PietFrancke »

I am expecting to be able to try this next week - just letting you know I like the idea of this exercise a lot. It is a study in observation and organization. For instance, perhaps adjusting facial features first (like straightening the smirk into a more serious look). Then adjusting lighting - bringing it higher and to the front - gleam on forehead, dark under brows and cheeks and work on tones. Perhaps doing a desaturation first as you advise is good to do before working on tones and reshaping. And about color, perhaps after desaturation, do something sepia and then turn the color or some of it Cold.

Regardless, an excellent chance to learn to See better, Plan better, and Execute better! Thank you for opening up my world to this.

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Post by St3v3Murray »

PietFrancke wrote:...
Regardless, an excellent chance to learn to See better, Plan better, and Execute better! Thank you for opening up my world to this.

I'm excited to see what you come up with when you have time! S-
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Post by Duck »

In deconstructing this image you need to understand that there are four major elements working together here; the subject, the camera, the lighting and the post processing. If you're wanting to recreate this 'look' having an understanding of all four parts will help in determining where you can deviate and where you can't. For example with the camera work. Judging from the shallow depth of field and the rather 'normal' proportion of the face this was likely taken with a longer focal length (80mm?) and a shallow depth of field (f/2.8?). Would this work with a deeper depth of field? Very likely.

Lighting can be trickier since there is so much post processing done but my guess would be a beauty dish, high and centered. There is definitely a lot of dodging and burning going on since the brow and nose flares are bright in comparison to the ridge of the nose. This, of course, is for drama. Or it could be a three light setup with a key light high and center and two fill lights left and right set behind the subject, though it's not as pronounced in the sample provided.

For more examples do a Google search for the work of Nigel Parry.
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Post by St3v3Murray »

Duck wrote:In deconstructing this image you need to understand that there are four major elements working together here; the subject, the camera, the lighting and the post processing. ...

I feel like I've had the crash course in studio work and am finally able to say something intelligent so I'll give this a go.

The shine on his forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip lead me to the think they might have used a light from above, a beauty light or a small softbox. The catchlights are a mystery but I can imagine shooting though a circular fluorescent bulb flattening the light on the face even more. The tone of the image is interesting, but having watched the movie I suspect they took this in full costume including the dirt on the face which may be hard to replicate. The color on his forehead, eyes, and lips lead me to think they processed this the brought the saturation down leaving just a hint of each.

I think I'll look for another image, something similar to the lighting and work with this again. Thank you so much for helping me see! S-
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Post by Duck »

St3v3M wrote:I feel like I've had the crash course in studio work and am finally able to say something intelligent so I'll give this a go.

The shine on his forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip lead me to the think they might have used a light from above, a beauty light or a small softbox. The catchlights are a mystery but I can imagine shooting though a circular fluorescent bulb flattening the light on the face even more. The tone of the image is interesting, but having watched the movie I suspect they took this in full costume including the dirt on the face which may be hard to replicate. The color on his forehead, eyes, and lips lead me to think they processed this the brought the saturation down leaving just a hint of each.

I think I'll look for another image, something similar to the lighting and work with this again. Thank you so much for helping me see! S-


The shine on the forehead, cheeks, nose and lip look pretty forced in comparison to other light hints which leads me to believe those areas were pushed in post. The overall light is pretty contrasty and that's why I was thinking beauty dish, but I could be wrong. The highlights in the eyes don't look like something made from a ring light so it leads me to think that was done in post also. As for the toning, I looked at the numbers and it looks like it's a B&W conversion with a slight yellow undertone.

I'm going to go though some of my images and see if i can find one that I can experiment with. I don't photograph a lot of people so I'll have to really look through what I have.
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Post by St3v3Murray »

Duck wrote:The shine on the forehead, cheeks, nose and lip look pretty forced in comparison to other light hints which leads me to believe those areas were pushed in post. The overall light is pretty contrasty and that's why I was thinking beauty dish, but I could be wrong. The highlights in the eyes don't look like something made from a ring light so it leads me to think that was done in post also. As for the toning, I looked at the numbers and it looks like it's a B&W conversion with a slight yellow undertone.

I'm going to go though some of my images and see if i can find one that I can experiment with. I don't photograph a lot of people so I'll have to really look through what I have.

I hadn't thought about the light being overly processed but I see it now. Neat! S-
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Post by St3v3Murray »

Duck wrote:Unitas_Photography-9621.jpg

I set up a beauty dish with a white reflector butterfly style and took a selfie to see if I could replicate the look. I think I may have dodged the highlights a bit too much. Also, the background on my attempt is dark instead of light, as in the sample image, but hopefully the lighting and processing is about the same.

Wow, you really have an eye for this! S-
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Post by St3v3Murray »

PietFrancke wrote:My attempt at painting light, desaturation, detail in beard and eyes..

good learning exercise, lots of failure but fun to attempt.

This is a lot better photo than I used and a lot closer too. We're really getting there. Thank you for adding this! S-
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