about this image

A few weeks prior his performance in New York City for BET, I had an opportunity to collab with this rising hip-hop artist on some new promos. He was an absolute blast to work with, because he was willing to try just about anything I threw at him.

Case in point-- I had this vision of an "explosive", fiery scene where sparks would be flying all around him, and I knew ahead of time that the real challenge would be to get him psyched up enough to deliver the intensity of emotion that the image would require. However, I shouldn't have been concerned one bit, because he pretty much nailed it within about 3 or 4 frames. I was stoked!

strobist info

This image was lit with three strobes, two of which were placed in 42x18 gridded softboxes on either side of the subject, and a third that was boomed overhead inside a 22" gridded beauty dish.

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tools & gear used

Requiring about 15 total hours of retouching time in Photoshop, this shot needed lots of finesse and attention to detail to make everything look believable. The amber light wrapping around him was created almost entirely from scratch, and the background explosions you see are actually made up of about 6 different images blended together. I also made sure to include a little bit of religious symbolism in the upper right to match the "Hell Ride to Heaven" theme. Everything was finished off with a light dose of Topaz Adjust.

Got a specific question about how this image was shot, lit, or retouched? Got a praise/critique? Leave us a comment below!