Lots of news lately about the roiled CBS-Viacom media empire, with longtime top dog Sumner Redstone exiting his chairmanship for reasons of failing health. Photographed Mr. Redstone for a Forbes cover years ago, and he was quite the character, as he is often depicted in the news.
I knew I wanted this scene, with late afternoon descending on NYC, but where to put the light? Beam on and in the seam of the corner, was my best guess, moving quickly. This is where a C-stand and a mini-boom, and a small softbox, with an egg crate, saves your butt. The mini-boom gives you reach. The egg crate baffles highlights and spill. Now, that combo doesn’t produce the most elegant, sumptuous light ever, but it keeps it up high and out of the reflection line of the glass. It’s efficient, and when you’re dealing with a CEO type, efficiency and speed at the camera is highly prized.
Use your subject as a gobo for you at camera, and you’ve got a fighting chance of shooting this without seeing the light and yourself. Which would be bad. This is a 6×7 chrome, BTW, seen on the light table, below. The chrome, being Fuji, is pretty contrasty, with a lot of color pop. Rendered as a digital scan, above, it has a slightly more muted quality. Dunno which rendering I like better.
Simple, one light pic of a mogul at the peak of his power. What I have always liked about the shot is the cat-that-ate-the-mouse smile, which is actually more of a smirk, playing about his lips. I imagine it must have been quite daunting to sit across the table from him and do a deal. Now, stand across from him and shoot a picture, that was a piece of cake.