View Full Version : Behind-the-scenes pics from SHOW Italy!

Nick Saglimbeni
April 21st, 2010, 04:37 PM
Hey guys,

I know you've been waiting patiently but I had to wait for the mag to drop before I released these. Here's a sneak peak at some of the incredible behind-the-scenes from SHOW Italy—my most logistically complex shoot ever, and there are more available on my blog (http://nicksaglimbeni.com/?p=396).

I'm most proud of the in-ocean lighting setups, and I want to give special thanks to my wonderful international team of assistants for working harder than ever on this shoot. I shot with my Hassy/Leaf-combo when I could shoot tethered, and used the 5D Mark II when I didn't want to risk dropping a $30K camera into the sea.

Here's the text I'm about to post on my blog:

"I suppose it’s every photographer’s dream to travel the world and shoot someplace with crystal waters, perfect weather, and timeless architecture. So when the publisher of SHOW approached me about putting an international shoot together for rising-star-model Laura Doré, I was all too happy to suggest shooting in Italy.

I’ve found many excuses to travel to Italy over the last few years, starting with shooting Cities of the Underworld for History Channel in early 2008. Since then I’ve been back 6 times, and have made an effort to improve my Italian with each trip. Once the magazine concept was greenlit, I went immediately into producer mode.

The Amalfi Coast is world-famous for its scenic old-world ambiance as well as it’s breathtaking views. I knew we’d have no shortage of places to shoot, so I flew out a week before the rest of the team, scouted some hot spots, and secured lighting equipment in Rome (I was intent on re-creating a full-scale Slickforce-sized shoot, but there was no way I was going to bring all of my equipment from the US). Once the locations were secured, I flew out my best-of-the-best from LA, including make-up artist Gaby Ramos, hair stylist Al Ingram, lead assistant Christian Arias, and wardrobe stylist extraordinaire Diana Chan. I also hired assistants from Italy and London, all of whom I’d worked with on previous shoots in Europe, and a local driver complete with passenger van. We took over 7 cabanas in the small coastal town of Sorrento, where we lived for 5 days.

Once the massive logistics were out of the way, I could finally concentrate on the shoot. Since I had my usual gear, most of lighting setups didn’t vary much from the work I produce at home. What I’m most proud of, however, are the setups on the beaches of Capri. Capri is a small island—and there were no docks or piers to the beaches—so we put all the gear on motor-boats, and cruised as close as we could to the coast. Then we loaded the equipment onto inflatable rafts, jumped in the ocean, and literally towed the rafts to land, generators and all. This was simultaneously the hardest day we’ve ever had and the most fun and awe-inspiring shoot I’ve ever experienced.

And check out the setups. We had lights hanging off of rocks, ringflashes levitating over the sea, and even lit from moving boats! Christian knows I insist on shooting tethered (I loathe lighting to a camera LCD), so she developed rigs for floating my Firewire and laptop cables back to land, while we all did our jobs either perched on rocks or in the water. These shots make me laugh because my awesome crew is doing the same thing they do at home, only this time they’re in bathing suits and up to their navels in water. This is that shoot that every photographer lives for—the one you will never, ever forget.

Thanks to SHOW and Laura Doré for the opportunity of a lifetime, and to Christian Arias, Daniela Guerrero, Hayden Phoenix, Steven Feralio and J.P. Monittola for these amazing behind-the-scenes pics!"

This was easily the most memorable shoot of my career to date, and it inspired me to find more excuses to leave the country to shoot. I am off to Kenya this week to research a future book concept, but I will check in regularly here and update you on my journey.

I welcome all comments! :cool0040:



Corey Jenkins
April 21st, 2010, 06:20 PM
Wow that shoot looked like tons of fun. What a awesome location to shoot at. Pretty crazy light placement! Just wondering how many days did it take to get all the shots needed? From the shots you posted I think I may go and pick up the magazine, or at least check it out. Those look amazing, and I bet there's a lot more good stuff based on all the behind the scenes shots. Congrats!

April 21st, 2010, 07:13 PM
That look like a dream come true shoot. Wow..im speechless at the first 2 photos..everything about those shots were perfect in my eyes. And one thing i learned that back lighting and hair lighting plays a big role as far as making the scene dramatic. I do have a question, When u had set up your lights for each shoot, do you use a light meter? Cause its like your lighting is always perfect. But hands down to me you are the Michael Jordan in photography. To be honest you inspired me to start doing photography so hats off to you man. Im just a product of your work.

Kevin DynastySX
April 21st, 2010, 07:59 PM
When i saw the behind the scenes pics on the SHOW website i picked up a magazine the same day! This is one of those photo shoots that makes me work harder everyday and take notes from you. Next i'm making sure to start shooting teathered b/c like you said sometimes i like how it looks on lcd but when I load up something is wrong. Thanks again Nick for the inspiration and some great BTS.

Nick Saglimbeni
April 21st, 2010, 10:44 PM
Wow thanks guys, I love the feedback (and you're being WAY too nice to me LOL).

@Corey: I was in Italy for 2 weeks, including my scout. The crew was in Italy for 6 days total. Travel time from Rome to Sorrento and back ate up a half day on each end, and the shoot was 3 solid days total. One day we spent the entire day on boats and in the water, and the other two days were spent shooting in the villages and the side streets (and having my local assistants stall the police while we finished the setup).

@Bigram: Though I'm proud to call myself a classically-trained cinematographer, I have to admit I haven't pulled out my Sekonic light meter since 2004. Once I got my lighting and my ratios down, I just found it much quicker to light to eye. Besides, light meters won't catch lens flares and misfires so it's always safer to simply look at the intended shot on screen.

@Kevin: Thanks, and yes I agree on the tethered thing for sure. To be completely honest, one of the reasons I never fully embraced DSLR formats (Canon & Nikon) is because I got so angry at their LCDs for being so misleading...whereas my original Leaf was so archaic that you HAD to shoot tethered, and I was always happier with the results. If I had learned to shoot Canon tethered, I might never have gone to medium format.

Matt Timmons
April 23rd, 2010, 07:31 PM
Yes, the LCD- or as I call it, the "beer goggles" on the back of the camera is definitely a misrepresentation of what it's going to look like on screen. Guess we can't blame them for selling cameras that way.

Tip of the hat to the makeup artist. Super clean and great lashes. After viewing this trip you took it reminds me of a quote I heard a couple of weeks ago during a motorcycle race in which a professional rider was setting record lap times on a difficult track. One of the commentators was talking about the intense skill level of a rider to be able to pull that off and the other commentator replied, "Yea, well that's why he's there and were here."

True dat.

Kevin DynastySX
April 27th, 2010, 09:40 PM
lmao @ beer googles. So i tried it out tethering with the canon eos software and it would def take some getting used to. It probably wont be that bad when I get a longer usb cord.

Marcus Jones
July 9th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Hey Nick I have followed a lot of your work and I love the BTS shots cause I am always trying to dissect the setups. Will you do a lighting seminar or a DVD about the shooting aspects. From what I see your setups are kind tricky looking and I say that cause I have been to lazy to setup a full studio setup for a outdoor shoot. MAYBE THATS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE MAGIC. If I can cask one question I really would like to know what is the light that is usually placed above your camera. I always see the big octogon on one side and a large box on the other and I noticed you use a overhead sometimes as well to cut the light from the sun but whats the ring light over your head there for?

July 13th, 2010, 06:28 AM
This is awesome nick!

July 13th, 2010, 07:54 AM
Awesome work Nick......you need anyone to hold a reflector?:)

Nick Saglimbeni
July 13th, 2010, 07:36 PM
Hey guys,

Glad you're enjoying the photos. I promise it was even MORE fun to shoot (though I did get stung by several jellyfish!)

@Marcus: I am planning on releasing a DVD on lighting in the future, but for now I'm focusing on the Retouching series which has only been out for a few months. Each light definitely has a purpose, as do the sun, the reflectors, and the ambient light used to create the shot.

@Ducati/Larry: In fact I do! If you look closely, you can see I gave my wardrobe stylist, Diana, a reflector and stuck her on a rock in the ocean because I ran out of people. Just look at all that electricity and water.....yikes!!

July 13th, 2010, 08:50 PM
@Ducati/Larry: In fact I do! If you look closely, you can see I gave my wardrobe stylist, Diana, a reflector and stuck her on a rock in the ocean because I ran out of people. Just look at all that electricity and water.....yikes!!

I m your man then Nick, but water and electricity don't mix very well:D, Great location and also love the setup shots. I was hoping you were going to be in La July 22-25 . I m trying to get Matt to join me there, would have been great to meet you...goodluck in Kenya, and cant wait to see more from you.....Larry