And Let There Be Light!

Renowned Photographer Nick Nacca Sheds Light On Variations Of Objects

Some 20 years ago, renowned photographer Nick Nacca began on his journey of controlling light on his subjects in a very creative and unique way. As he would so describe, it all began when researching the attributes of the new digital cameras entering the world of photography. In so doing, Nacca read an interview about a photographer who was trying to properly light a very large set, and finding it difficult to properly light its entirety, it led the photographer to light one side of the scene, capture the image, and then move the lighting to the other side, and shoot that image, thereafter combing the images to create the scene he had intended. 

 It was at that reading that Nacca realized that capturing multiple images and combining them wasn’t just a solution for difficult lighting challenges, it could also be a powerful creative tool. Using this new creative tool, he could edit and refine the lighting in post long after the shoot wrapped. It also allowed him to work faster and more efficiently on set with less gear. This approach was nothing new for product and automotive shooters, but it wasn’t long before he wanted to try it with people. The challenge was to capture multiple images of human subjects before they moved. 

After a bit of research, he discovered devices that could trigger 2-16 studio strobes sequentially in less than a second. Just what was needed to pursue his newfound challenge. Fast forward a series of successes and it came to mind that the multiple images he was using to control light in still photography could also be animated to create motion. From that moment on, he started thinking in layers of light that could be animated. He also started blending the animations with actual motion footage. 

Nacca describes it as an interesting journey and feels excited about where this could go. His hope is that advertising and editorial clients will realize the potential of getting a high resolution still photo for print, plus an attention-grabbing animated version of the same image for mobile & web platforms. Having journeyed with him in his creative attempts to blend a layering of photos with a uniquely creative approach to lighting, it is time to view some of his works of art within the field of photography. 

Nick's Photo: Melissa Mitchell