Actress Elizabeth Banks Promoting “Man on a Ledge”

Actress Elizabeth Banks was in town to promote her new movie Man on a Ledge. We photographed her at the Liberty Hotel on January 2012. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/G

Behind the Scenes:

In the course of my job I have gotten used to photographing people from all walks of life. From US presidents to actors to regular people. So I just don’t get star struck anymore.

However I apparently can still become “beauty struck.” Banks possesses such a natural and radiant beauty it is kind of hard to look at her for too long when her full attention is upon you.

Thankfully, she was really nice and a professional when it came to being in front of the camera. The whole shoot took about five minutes and not because that is what I was allowed – sometimes that is how much time you are given with movie stars and alike – but instead it was that short because that is how long it took me to make the photo that I wanted.

Some days my job is just that easy. (:-) I also knew she had been doing interviews and photo shoots all day long and that I was the last one on her schedule so I didn’t see the need to keep her longer than necessary. I got what I wanted quickly and I believe on quitting on a high note.

Tech Stuff:

I had originally set up a mono-light with a medium rectangular soft box but I also kept paying attention to a shaft of light coming from a reflection off a building and through the window.

  • When I saw her up close I knew immediately she was the kind of subject who could handle such dramatic light and I was correct.
  • ISO 500, aperture 2.8, speed 1/500th of a second, WB sunshine.
  • Cameras Mark IV and Nikon D3s, lenses 17-35mm 2.8 and 70-200 2.8

While using aperture priority – my favorite mode – the matrix metering in the camera wanted me to use a 1/160th of a second at 2.8.

  • I know the limitations of my gear so I used that to my advantage and increased the speed to 1/500th of a second to expose just for the highlights.
  • (For those old school shooters you may recall this is how we used to shoot chrome.)
  • Thus creating the dramatic effect seen on these images.