Taysean Nolan photographed by Derek Johnson


Photographer, Derek Johnson, shares his story behind the shot from his shoot with athlete, Taysean Nolan.

Taysean Nolan photographed by Derek Johnson
ISO: 100 | SS: 1/125 sec. | Aperture: f/6.3 | Focal Length: 44mm

This image was created for the client who is an up-and-coming college basketball player from Toronto, Canada. We wanted to showcase his athleticism, determination, and passion for the sport that he’s pursuing at a collegiate level. The low camera angle empowers the subject and also makes him appear higher off the ground. He wanted to increase his quality of images on social media and showcase his style as well.

Taysean Nolan photographed by Derek Johnson
ISO: 100 | SS: 1/125 sec. | Aperture: f/6.3 | Focal Length: 44mm

For this image, I used a two light setup powered by a Paul C. Buff, Inc. Vagabond Mini Lithium portable power system. I placed one DigiBee DB800 flash unit camera left, at 45 degrees, and modified it with a 47” Foldable Octabox. My second DigiBee sat camera right, at 135 degrees, and modified with a 7” Standard Reflector.

DigiBee (DB800) Flash Unit
Vagabond Mini Lithium Portable Power
47” Foldable Octabox
7” Standard Reflector


“It is beneficial to have an edge light opposite of your key in order to add depth to any image. For example, the image of Taysean with the basketball has a key light from camera left – so the edge light would come from camera right and vice versa. Notice the nice highlight along the edge of his face and chest that separates him from the background. Without the edge light this image and scene would appear flat. By adding a second or even third light will improve the dynamic to any shot.”

About Derek Johnson

Photographer, Derek Johnson

Derek is a Denver-based Commercial Photographer who creates timeless and bold imagery for a wide variety of clients around the world. 

Through meticulous lighting and his unique perspective, he creates authentic and dynamic imagery seen throughout commercial, advertising, and editorial usage. He often finds himself capturing portraits, products, lifestyle, and automotive photographs for his clients.

FOLLOW DEREK JOHNSON: Instagram | FacebookWebsite

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