© 2011 Canon U.S.A., Inc. Canon, EOS, and PowerShot are registered trademarks of Canon Inc. in the United States. IMAGEANYWARE is a trademark of Canon. Visit us at learn.usa.canon.com. Douglas Kirkland is a compensated spokesperson and an actual user of the Canon product(s) he promotes.
INSIDE The Story Behind The Shot
Canon Explorer of Light
Douglas Kirkland is an award-winning
photographer and a Canon Explorer
of Light. He has worked as a special
photographer on more than 150
motion pictures, including The Sound
of Music, 2001: A Space Odyssey,
Out of Africa, Titanic, Moulin Rouge
and Australia. He has published
numerous books, such as the bestselling James Cameron’s Titanic, An
Evening With Marilyn, Freeze Frame,
Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 and
Michael Jackson: The Making of Thriller. Kirkland’s work has been exhibited
worldwide, including at the museum of
the Triennale in Milan and the Gallery
of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. In
February 2011, the American Society
of Cinematographers presented him
with the ASC Presidents Award.
© Douglas Kirkland
I love the spontaneity of this image, captured for Italian Condé Nast Traveler for a feature on actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta.
We were shooting at architect Steven Ehrlich and his wife Nancy Griffin’s house in Venice. Nancy was a colleague of mine at
Life magazine who also collaborated with me on the very successful Michael Jackson: The Making of Thriller book. Steven and
Nancy have two Havana cats, Benito and Luis. I asked Maria Grazia to talk with Luis, with the warm late-afternoon sunlight
behind her. Behind me, I had a Dynalite M500XL strobe for a gentle fill light bouncing off the wall. Maria Grazia leaned toward
Luis, and Benito suddenly decided to get into the act. He leaped, and I caught this image at just the right instant.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II made this shot possible because it responds instantly without delay. It’s also extremely sharp—
the quality of the images it produces has never been surpassed on any camera that I have used, and it has very low noise,
thanks to its DIGIC 4 Image Processor. Canon’s lenses are also essential to my work. The zoom lenses, for example, give me
possibilities that I didn’t have in the past with fixed-focal-length lenses, and they do so with no loss of quality.
The Condé Nast Traveler feature on Maria Grazia centered on her favorite spots in Los Angeles. I photographed her visiting
the Chateau Marmont, Beverly Hills, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I’m especially pleased with this image,
though, because I feel it has a bite to it, a surprise quality. For that, I thank both Benito and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which
allowed me to capture a moment that I could never have created on my own. After all, you can’t tell a cat what to do.
Kirkland shot this photograph with a
Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera body.
He used a Canon EF 16-35mm
f/2.8L II USM lens and exposed at
f/11 at 1/60 second at ISO 400.
“The Canon EOS 5D
Mark II made this shot
possible because it