I saw this picture on Behance. As an amateur photographer, i just want an analysis of the picture and help in how to recreate it with a different object.

enter image description here

original picture credits - Kremer Johnson Behance : https://www.behance.net/neilkremer

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you describe in text the part of the picture that struck you? I know it's hard, but it really helps get good answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 11, 2018 at 13:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please, please read @mattdm's Important information for asking “What's this effect?” questions \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ The thing is, it's going to be really difficult to fit a different object into scuba gear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ ok what really struck me would the color, the golden light over with the blue undertones. i guess the other answers are right, its golden hour with an extra light being thrown over the object \$\endgroup\$
    – Glad
    Apr 11, 2018 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Glad Please edit that info into your question, including a more descriptive title. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 11, 2018 at 16:54

3 Answers 3


Agree with some of the previous answers, but not all of it...

Golden Hour, for sure - highlights under the arm, camera right, & the reflection in his pressure gauge, look to match what we can see of the sky.

Additional lighting camera right; broad white, not too high & not too far off-centre. Look at the catchlights in the eyes & highlight on the suit chest. The shine in the metalwork all seems to agree. The shadow of the spear gun in his hand would hint at maybe 45° to his left [camera right]

additional reflector/light, warm almost orange to match the sun, quite low camera left - check the highlights in the spear near the tip & colour hint in the suit at that side.

I also think it's had a bit of software tweak to lift the shadows. I don't think the light under his chin is fully explained by those 3 light sources.
The slight halo on the suit shoulder might be further evidence of that, but I can't decide whether it's had the full 'HDR' treatment.

Also, not f8.
f3 or 4 @ 50mm on FF.
At f8 the near rocks/water would be sharper.

After comments:
I discovered the original image on Behance has exif data supporting my lens guesswork.

Camera: Nikon D810
Focal length: 52mm
F number: 3.5

  • \$\begingroup\$ Agree with this, I think a gold reflector has been used, check out the reflection in the compass/guage on the divers belt? Also was the lens wider than 50mm? The body proportionslooks a bit skewed (minds throwing a blank on the technical term) \$\endgroup\$
    – Crazy Dino
    Apr 11, 2018 at 10:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The variation in colour/brightness of the lightsource, reflected in the model's eyes, also points to some significant post processing. \$\endgroup\$
    – db9dreamer
    Apr 11, 2018 at 10:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CrazyDino 50mm on FF is pretty wide for less than full body portraits. You'll see some perspective distortion at the distance needed to take this portrait with a 50mm on FF. The classic lens for such a portrait would be an 85mm on FF, which is about the same angle of view (and thus required shooting distance) as that of a 50mm on APS-C. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 11, 2018 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Great analysis of the lighting conditions and sources. The entire lack of pure blacks or whites, even in the far background, do indicate a significant amount of adjustment to black point, shadows, highlights, and white point or the equivalent adjustments using light curves as well as the evidence of luminance masking pointed out by david. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 11, 2018 at 17:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin Oh, wait!. I was only looking at the line between the top of the shoulder and the sky. Yeah, the interface between the side of the arm and the background does have that "HDR halo" look to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 11, 2018 at 18:33

The soft tones visible all over suggest this photo was taken during or near golden hour.

The fact that face is lit and mountain behind is not could be explained by clouds. However, the hands being lit less than face could not be caused by clouds, so there's an artificial light on the right outside the frame, quite high and close by. Some orange gel is used to bring its color closer to the surrounding natural light.

  • \$\begingroup\$ so you are saying this is pure photographic image and not been changed in post processing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Glad
    Apr 11, 2018 at 7:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I never said that, but I don't see any obvious hints or essentially required techniques. As a showcase image for a professional photography team, it's unlikely to be out-of-camera JPEG, but the lighting and timing I described should get you quite close already. \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Apr 11, 2018 at 7:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ The shadows cast on the right hand by the spear and on the chest by the silver hardware give a good idea of where the light is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:23

This photo could have taken during golden hours, most possibility with an additional light source which could be a soft box. Light is placed on the right side from a top angle. The photo is taken in mostly manual mode with a bit of under exposed metering, to get the clouds textures and pop the man out in brightness. Aperture seems narrow, possibly 8.0, to have the man almost full in focus and have nice blurred , still identifiable background objects.


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