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Authentic Portraits – David, Stefan, Geoffrey

BackScatter Authors and discoverers of Code Red, ©Martin Trailer


This Authentic Portrait is a group of programmers that for the first time ever, were able to track and see live on the internet a computer virus spread across the world.  Until then, no one had been able to track a computer worm/virus over the internet, only within a local area network (LAN). (see below)

The guys are academics that had not been in the limelight before, so it was important to make them comfortable with the all the notoriety. When shooting people that are not seeking or comfortable with the limelight, it is important to ease that discomfort.  The response to the comfort you provide will result in a much more relaxed, authentic photograph.

I met up with them at UCSD in their offices after looking around the campus prior to our scheduled time, and found a few locations that might work on campus, but three people with some relevant setting or background of value to the image, was not jumping out.  Never giving up, we proceeded to do what we could constantly searching for some relevant visual. Nearing the end of our time together on campus, I asked if they were game to come to the studio later to do a shot in studio that would in my mind be much better. They were agreeable and we decide to meet a couple hours later at the studio.  This gave me sometime to get some props and set-up the idea I had imagined.

The globe was the prop I had in mind and once we were in the studio working out the lighting and grouping, I began to think about how these guys were really detectives in their own realm.  The sunglasses were quickly sourced and they were game, they were enthusiastic with the idea.

By then we had done several variations and once the glasses, globe and lighting all came together, the shot came alive.

The guys were totally into the worldwide detective idea, relaxed and authentic.

This is a animation of how the Code Red virus spread worldwide. Click Here.

Comments welcome.


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