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Hasselblad Bron Lights the Rock for ‘Sports Illustrated’

With Hasselblad Bron’s Broncolor Para and HMI FT system, photographer Michael Lebrecht II and cinematographer/gaffer John Engstrom established polished, magazine-style lighting for a simultaneous motion and stills shoot for a recent issue of Sports Illustrated.

With a focusable 1600W source, Paras are capable of producing a wide variety of light qualities, from punchy to subtly soft. In this case, the focused light of Para 133HR complemented Dwayne Johnson’s features.

The cinematographer’s goal was greater than simply making The Rock look good. “It’s a cover, and we want him to stand out among all the other magazines, so we tried to make him pop off the page. I’m a freak about the Para. I regularly have multiple Paras on every shoot that I’m on just because the light is so dynamic. I could have one as a key, use another for a fill, and have 88s on the [overhead] grid as rim. It’s a dynamic light,” says Engstrom.

Michael Le Brecht II is a New York-based photographer with more than 20 years of experience photographing celebrity athletes. John Engstrom is a cinematographer and owner of Scheimpflug in NYC.