How I Got the Shot: Alien by Ofir Abe

Posted by: on Jan 02, 2019

How I Got the Shot: Alien by Ofir Abe
I would describe my style of photography as… It’s definitely going to be dark, dramatic and clean. What was your first camera, and how’d you get started in photography? I had a film Pentax that I got from my mom as a kid, fiddling with it without really knowing what I’m doing. The first ‘serious’ camera I owned was a Canon 40D that I bought in Australia. In 2008 I traveled there for 6 months with a Canon G7 and got frustrated really fast with how limited I was with capturing the vast amazingness of its landscapes and nature. I got the 40D with Sigma’s 10-20 lens and a Canon 70-200 2.8 and by the time I got back from Australia, I could swear that I’d be a national geographic photographer. I woke up from that dream relatively fast. Why did you want to become a photographer? It just felt natural for me. I love everything about it. The dynamics between people and those moments captured that delivers impact. What’s your most memorable shot or shoot, be it challenging to capture or interesting subject? I got to work on a Porsche motorcade tour around the Alps. got to create some photos I don’t usually get to do and was so delighted to face that challenge. Also driving that car for a week was a very fun experience.

My favorite piece of gear is…

A camera grip. I could get the best camera in the world but if it doesn’t have a grip attached it just feels weird in my hand. Do you shoot tethered? Only all the time. My favorite piece of Tether Tools gear is… The TetherPro USB cable. But now I’m waiting for the TetherBlock that I’m sure I’m going to love as I’ll ruin the camera’s USB port less. The best advice I can offer a fellow photographer would be… Keep Learning all the time! I buy the tutorials and go to workshops of photographers I like to keep my mind on its toes. (can it be on its toes!?) I may not always learn new things but at least I’m getting to meet new fun people.  

How I Got the Shot: Alien by Ofir Abe

The makeup artist (Emilya Orlova), whom I’ve been wanting to work with for a while, approached me with an idea she had for this photoshoot. She outlined her ideas for styling, makeup, and a very distinct-looking model. After seeing the model’s pictures and understanding his unique look, I wanted to take the makeup artist’s vision and translate it into a more ethereal look. This happened as the shoot started and progressed, rather than deciding on the concept as a whole, cohesive look beforehand. The story we ended up telling was that of a beautiful creature from outer space.

A few challenges we had were:

  • Keeping it classy: making sure the pearls don’t give the shoot a tacky look
  • Capturing the model’s uniqueness by making sure his lack of head and body hair and the eyes were both present and strong in the shots taken
Post-processing was kept to a minimum, it looks very similar to SOC. Pratik Naik from Solstice Retouch was kind enough to retouch the photos, as he usually doesn’t take on new clients.


I used both home-made neon lights and Spiffy’s Spekular lights to shoot the entire scene. The set up for the shoot shifted a bit as it progressed but mainly it was key light LED light on camera left, with fill light below camera, another fill light on camera top above the model, one hair light that was on for the red shot, and one light on the background to make it gradually less dark.   Understanding the essence and feel of a photo is very hard for me on the camera’s small screen. I could never tell if I’m nailing the shot or not, so I try to always tether it to my 27” iMac and if I’m on location to my laptop. For example, the red portrait seemed to be a little dull on colour, and by seeing it on my Capture One and tweaking the colour a bit, the vibe I wanted got locked and clear and I could continue the shoot with ease and energy.