Who Shot It Better? Chris Cornell Portrait for Rolling Stone and Visions

Black Hole Sun, won’t you come, and wash away the rain.

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell unexpectedly passed away yesterday. His 1994 composition Black Hole Sun was a genre defining song for the grunge movement. An incredibly tragic loss for Generation X who grew up with the flannel wearing styles of the 90s.

Cornell graced numerous magazine covers during his lifetime, let’s take a look.

Jeff Lipsky did the honors for Rolling Stone with a set of images that were widely syndicated. Typical of Lipsky’s style, the image has a very natural feeling to it. Lipsky always does a great job of balancing strobe and ambient light. And the pose and styling are great. The cover is a crop of Lipsky’s landscape image.

The version from Colombia used a different image with very different post processing.

Germany’s Visions magazine featured Cornell on the cover of their December 2010 issue, and I wasn’t able to track down the photographer.

The tight shot uses a small light source that’s placed close to overhead, but not enough to completely obscure his eye sockets. The skin features suggest that the blue channel was juiced a little:

Verdict: The two images are simultaneously stunning and very different in feel. Instead of picking one because I’m a little bummed out, I’m going to leave you with a few of my favorite musical covers of Black Hole Sun. RIP Chris.

Scott Bradlee featuring Haley Reinhart:

SWANN featuring Nouela:

Ramin Djawadi from “Westworld”:

Brad Mehldau:

And lastly, Cornell covering Prince:


About the author: Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter, which regularly publishes resources for photographers. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Allen is a graduate of Yale University, and flosses daily. This article was also published here.

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