Photographing hands has always been one of my favorite activities, even to the point of suggesting to Sports Illustrated that we show a life in sports by photographing just the hands of athletes.
They approved it, and then killed it during a budget cut.
It was fun while it lasted. Around the photo department, the story was affectionately dubbed "the hand job."
But ever since taking a class from Life DOP John Loengard all those years ago, hands fascinate me. When shooting a story about someone, their hands should always be on your list to shoot.
[How To Get This Type of Shot:
I lit Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman's hands with a beauty light combo. The hands are the center of attention, so directly above him is a medium softbox, slightly angled back toward his chest. The low fill light comes from a smaller softbox, running at about half the power of the main light, positioned just below his hands. They key to the picture is the little "wing lights" on the sides that provide visual separation. I used two Nikon SB-800 flashes positioned on either side of his body, just edging him out.]
Excerpted from: The Moment It Clicks. Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters.
By Joe McNally, Copyright 2008 Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and New Riders