Spelunker Portrait

chris crisman spelunker personal work enviormental portrait

We’re really excited to be showcasing a brand new photo on the blog today. You may remember a mention of traveling underground to shoot some photos earlier this year when we were down in Texas working on our Unforgettable San Antonio ad campaign. When we were subterranean, we took the opportunity to shoot a few shots for personal work as well, including the environmental portrait we’re releasing today. How did the shot come together? How do you light an image like this? Keep reading for the answers…

chris crisman spelunker personal work enviormental portrait

When we found out that our project in San Antonio was going to take us into a cave in Texas hill country, Chris immediately saw this as an amazing opportunity to shoot a portrait we’ve been trying to make for the past few years. The first challenge faced was getting into the cave…

chris crisman spelunker personal work enviormental portrait

Truth be told it wasn’t so bad for us – there were some stairs. No spelunking with camera gear for us.

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Once we were down in the cave, our model repelled down and we needed to figure out how exactly to light him. Lighting from 75ft up into the mouth of a cave? No problem… time to break a trusty octabank and a ton of sandbags.

chris crisman spelunker personal work enviormental portrait


Our light for this shot had to enhance the natural effect of the sun shining down into the cave. To make this happen we used a 52” octabank boomed out over the mouth of the cave running at 2000w/s – all the power our generator and power pack could crank out. On a serious note, safety was a concern for this setup and to ensure that our spelunker was safe with the light above him, we made sure to load up on the sandbags and tie-off the entire rig to two nearby trees. Safety first!

Make sure to take a look at this new photo in full-screen glory over at crismanphoto.com.

Questions? Comments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!