How I Got the Shot - Michael Gilbert

October 09, 2020 0 Comments


Welcome to our How I Got The Shot series! Here we go behind the lens of photographers and videographers around the world to find out how they used their Litra gear to capture an amazing shot, sometimes in the most unexpected situations. Below we hear from Michael Gilbert on how he captured these awesome photos that show his versatility as a photographer!  



I'm a portrait photographer doing one of my commissioned portraits. Each one is done with the client’s moods and Dreams in mind. To create an image that will stand the test of time and reflect who they really are, not only from within but also how they themselves.

I focus more on woman and my client list are usually from the Arts. There is a lot of preparation and of course what makes the final difference is how its LIT. I’m classically trained and therefore I feel I can take any and all liberties I need to.

Portrait of Sonia - Dancer Visionary NYC, ‘I see myself as a Goddess of Woman a good Witch.’ After my talk with Sonia I decided on a location I knew and the exact time of day I needed to be there. The actual time to take the picture was less then fifteen minutes the planning is where the story unfolded in my mind. 




TAMRON 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD. ISO 160 at 2.8.

Amazing compact piece of glass.


Three LitraTorch 2.0s –

  • One with Barn Doors
  • One with the White Diffuser
  • One Full Strength.

I’m a huge fan of back light. Back light is the most important and the least understood. Photography for the most part is two dimensional. To create and make your image come off of its flat background is what a back light is for. It separates and allows the images to have that floating feel. Many times, like this image the back light is tilted up and gives a nice separation of the headpiece as well.

Take note: all the Litra Torch 2.0 lights are placed directly in the water, so they have to be waterproof. It’s what I love about these Litra Lights. The second LitraTorch 2.0 was put inside the shell with the white bubble diffuser on it. I did practice with putting the light in the shell beforehand to make sure the exposure was not going to be too strong. So now I had my backlight and my soft face light. The shell was also going to be filled with water and it would pour out so the light in the shell caught that as well. The third LitraTorch 2.0 light was the trickiest to get right and that was my front fill. I put the barn door on it so the light would not spill all over, but just add a light fill to the overall image. I put it inside the water in a small pool in the rocks facing up at full strength. At first it was too bright, so I had to stick my hand in the water and push some sand and stones in front just to tone it down. Also had to avoid the crabs who might like to nip my fingers.

The cropping was for my Instagram page @michaelgilbertfineart.

We then waited for the Milky Way to appear and did one more series that will follow up with this one.