He had a normal conference room, the Bayshore at the MySQL Conference, made a bit darker. Not pitch dark, but let's say too dark to read. Then, he had us sit down on a chair in front of a neutral background, and took the pics with his camera mounted on a tripod. A picture took perhaps 30 to 60 seconds. After opening the shutter, the object was supposed to sit still. Julian then lit up our faces, in my case with blue and red light sources ("mini-torches") which he moved top-down. Then, he sprinkled in some additional stray light in various colours.
I had asked for a picture of an angel (with halo, above -- perhaps to be used at my own funeral?) and a devil (with red horns, below -- perhaps as an alternate funeral picture, depending on my then-current CV?). Being the guinea pig for the setup, Julian spent over a quarter of an hour on the pics.
It was great fun, and I remain a great admirer of Julian's.
Ah, and just to be clear: Note that the pictures are not digitally edited. They're originals. I.e., the tricks work also with granddaddy's analog cameras. However, seeing the pics on the camera display does help; in my case, the final pics were the fifth and sixths tries. So if you experiment yourself (and at least I will), do go with a normal, modern camera, mount it on a tripod, and use some creative sources of light.
If you click on the thumbnails below, you'll see a number of other pics taken by Julian in that session.
- Julian Cash's Flickr set "MySQL 2008": http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliancash/sets/72157604716923223/
- Julian Cash's web site: http://www.juliancash.com/
- The Human Creativity Project: http://www.humancreativity.com/about.html