In cooperation with our partners for memory solutions

In cooperation with our partners for memory solutions

Justin Lister


Most everyone in Kansas has basements. Most people rarely go down there except for a tornado warning, this is especially true as you get older. I find basements hilarious. They are time capsules. Everything you were once interested in and no longer so, goes in the basement. Old collectables, furniture, etc. I started photographing them and they make for strange worlds. Everything in the images were found in the basement. I used multiple lights with spot grids to make it seem more cinematic.

For example, this first shot has 6 lights. One 5 foot Octabox with a Move 1200 as a fill 2 stops under the key light, a Siros 800 L with a 2x2 softbox and a CTO gel behind the door, a Siros 800 L at the top of the stairs, another Siros 800 L outside the window, a Siros 400 L with a 2.5 foot Octabox on a boom arm lighting the subjects face, and finally the lamp.


Since this was a real location and not a set, there were low ceilings and some space limitations that caused some of the lights to be in the frame during the shot. To get around this, I used a tripod and combined multiple exposures in Photoshop. I shot an image with just the lights that were well hidden and used this as a back plate to easily remove light stands that were in frame later.



The next shot I wanted to have a cool, night time feel to the image. I used a similar technique to light this image, but I had more lights that were in the frame. I decided it was quicker and easier to put a 2.5 foot Octabox on the Move 1200 L and walk around the room lighting where I wanted to and use a remote trigger to fire the camera. I did this to light the bird statues on the table, the Indian Head statue, the beer can, the painting, and the subject. All the lights were gelled blue with the exception on the lamp. I cooled the image down further in post. There actually wasn't much post processing besides the combining of exposures which is actually pretty basic.