How this photo of a model on a giant white ball was shot

Aug 1, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

How this photo of a model on a giant white ball was shot

Aug 1, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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While he was in Jeff Bennion’s workshop, Francisco Joel Hernandez captured a really interesting portrait. The photo is serene and almost surreal, with a model lying on top of a giant white ball. We wanted to know more about how he did it, so we chatted with Francisco about the shoot and he kindly shared a few images with DIYP.

The photo was taken in Weese’s Pieces in California this June. The day was very bright, without a single cloud in the sky, and Francisco wanted to outpower the sun for this shoot. Since he was traveling to this workshop, he had with him the gear that he normally uses on these occasions. In other words, everything was compact, lightweight and/or foldable, and yet powerful enough to help him get the photo that he wanted.

Francisco used a Sony A7RIII paired with a Sony 85 FE f/1.8 and a Tiffen Variable ND filter (stopped down to about 6 stops). Although he almost never uses ND filters, he shot this photo wide open, so he needed it to cut the daylight a bit. To light the model, there was one Godox AD600 Pro camera left and above on a Manfrotto Nano stand. It was fired at full power and modified by a double diffused 24×24″ softbox. Francisco’s new friend Steve helped by holding the light in the frame, and it was set off by the Godox XPro Sony transmitter. As for the settings, the photo was shot at f/1.8, 1/250 s, ISO 100.

When looking at the photo, I find it kinda surreal because of the giant white ball, the colors and the ripples and their reflections. But of course, it was all captured in-camera. And I couldn’t help but wonder: how did the model get up on that huge ball? Francisco explains that Jenny Bee used a ladder, plus there was someone holding the ball from behind. There’s also a circular frame on the bottom to hold the ball in place. Still, it took some strength and focus to hold the position, and Jenny did a great job.

Here’s the final image Francisco ended up with:

Francisco also shared a video about his shoot in Weese’s Pieces, and you can watch it below. And if you’d like to check out more of his work, make sure to follow him on Instagram.

YouTube video

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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8 responses to “How this photo of a model on a giant white ball was shot”

  1. Chris Cameron Avatar
    Chris Cameron

    Interviewer: So, tell me, how was this shot of a girl on a giant ball shot?
    Francisco: Well, I put this girl on a giant ball and then shot it.
    Interviewer: Fascinating.

    1. Francisco Hernandez Avatar
      Francisco Hernandez

      Funnily enough, I didn’t even describe how she got on the ball. I did describe all the technical and creative decisions though. =)

      1. Chris Cameron Avatar
        Chris Cameron

        I’m not criticising you Francisco. I think it is a lovely photo. I am just tired of these articles that are so light on actual information (and yet packed with, what i suspect are affiliate links).
        Basic journalism…
        Why – Not asked?
        Where – Weese’s Pieces, Then nothing. I had no idea this place existed. Googled it. Fascinating. Another paragraph right there.
        When – Not important I guess
        Who – Answered
        How – Somewhat answered. Except where’d you get the ball? What’s it made of etc

        1. Francisco Hernandez Avatar
          Francisco Hernandez

          Scroll on by if you don’t like the article then? I do that all the time and works wonders. I’m just glad to be featured at all. I create content to help first and foremost which is why I made a video on the shot which was shared here in the article. I enjoy helping out and when someone thinks it’s worthy enough to share I’m happy. Not letting anyone take that from me. =D

          1. Chris Cameron Avatar
            Chris Cameron

            Don’t be so sensitive dude. My criticism is not even about you or your shot.

  2. Monica Silver Avatar
    Monica Silver

    Beautiful shot!

  3. Guy McLoughlin Avatar
    Guy McLoughlin

    I am surprised that this wasn’t a photoshop composite, which probably would have been more work to shoot and assemble, but if you can find an actual 7 foot white ball outside in public it then becomes a much easier shot to produce.

    1. Francisco Hernandez Avatar
      Francisco Hernandez

      I got lucky that day in terms of so many things so I just worked with what was there. I didn’t even mention in the video that I only had 20 minutes or so to get this photo. I had a vision and executed as best as I could. I’m not opposed to composites, but not the best at doing them.