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Welcome to Part 5 and 6 of broncolor’s Live “How To” training series

It was a pleasure for broncolor to have creative master Karl Taylor in Basel to meet up with our photographer and consultant Urs Recher to shoot part 5 and 6 of the live “How To” training series.

SHAPE LIGHT Part 5: In this fashion shoot video, our model Sharon is wearing white against a white background. Karl and Urs demonstrate the versatility of the broncolor’s Para 222 studio light and reveal a small selection of the many types of shot that can be achieved using this amazing giant light.

FREEZE TIME Part 6: Karl and Urs demonstrate how to get the best results to freeze motion. Learn step by step how to take advantage of the super fast flash duration of the Scoro power packs with 1/10’000s at t0.1, smashing two wine glasses capturing the breaking glass and flying liquid.

Watch the video to see that good results need patience, the right technique and a “few” glasses.

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Red Bull Illume’s European tour kicks off in Cologne

Red Bull Illume 2013Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour – Hong Kong
© Markus Berger / Red Bull Content Pool

The world’s largest action sports photography exhibition provides perfect curtain raiser to the 2014 photokina

Red Bull Illume is coming to Europe! The world’s largest action and adventure sports photography exhibition will be in Cologne the week of the photokina photography expo. The top 50 images from the photography contest will go on display from 15-21 September, giving photography enthusiasts an even better reason for visiting the city!


After touring Asia and North America, the first Red Bull Illume exhibition on European soil looks set to be as dazzling as ever. The illuminated nighttime exhibition will be set against the scenic Rheinau harbor, where visitors will be able to stroll and appreciate the life-size light boxes, which feature the world’s most exciting and creative action sports photography. Top photographers and athletes will attend the opening night on September 15, adding a further draw for visitors.


Red Bull Illume will also have a booth at the 2014 photokina and plenty of action is planned, for the biggest week in the photography calendar, such as live shoots and demonstrations, meet and greet with some of the finalist photographers. For anyone with an interest in photography, checking out the exhibition is an absolute must!


“The Redbull Illume contest is one of the most incredible contests that I’ve personally seen,” says K Madhavan Pillai, editor of Better Photography magazine and one of 50 judges to select the winning images. “I am amazed to see what these athletes can do, and then beyond that, I am amazed to see how a photographer can capture that spirit, that entire energy of the action so beautifully well.”


The 2x2m lightboxes will go on display from 15-21 September and the exhibition will come to life after sunset each night until 11pm. More information on the event can be found on the official Red Bull Illume website.


Red Bull Illume contest – overall winner
© Lorenz Holder


The Cologne tour stop is the fifth stop after Hong Kong, Scottsdale USA, Vancouver Canada and Atlanta USA. The exhibition will continue traveling around the world’s capitals and cultural hubs for the next year as a unique nighttime exhibition. 

Red Bull Illume Partners:

Leica is the official partner of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest for the second time, following on from the successful 2010 edition. New partners for 2013 are leading flash brand broncolor, and Sun-Sniper, maker of innovative camera strap systems.


About Red Bull Illume:

Red Bull Illume is the world’s premier international photography competition dedicated to action and adventure sports. Its purpose is to showcase the most exciting and creative action sports photography on the planet as art to the wider public. The 2013 Red Bull Illume Image Quest is the third edition of the competition after 2007 and 2010.

The overall winner Lorenz Holder received the new medium format Leica S camera. Category winners received Leica X2 cameras. Other prizes included broncolor’s new Move portable flash, and the latest strap system from Sun-Sniper. 

Hypersync easily explained by Fabio Gloor – Part 1

Questions about HyperSync and Highspeed Sync come up time and time again. That is why I want to explain this subject in detail. Since it covers a great deal of ground, I will divide it into two parts. Here in this first blog post I am going to explain theoretically how HyperSync works. In the second part, which I am still working on, I will demonstrate how to use it on the basis of a practical example. This will include showing you a neat trick how to use HyperSync with the broncolor RFS.

But for now, let’s concentrate on the theory.

X-Sync Time
Normally a camera shutter operates as follows:

1) The first curtain opens to reveal the camera’s image sensor.
2) As soon as the first curtain is fully open, the flash is triggered.
3) The second curtain closes to cover the image sensor so that no light reaches it any longer.


1_normalSo far, so good! But what is the X-Sync time?
It is a fact that the shutter curtains need a certain time to pass across the image sensor. This time differs from camera to camera, but is normally about 1/250s. So the X-Sync time is, in effect, the time the shutter needs to pass across the image sensor.

So how do I take a picture with a shorter exposure than the X-Sync time?
It is possible because this shorter exposure actually exists only for individual image pixels. The camera’s shutter is never completely open. That is to say the second shutter curtain starts to close while the first curtain is still opening. In effect a sort of scan procedure. It works like this:

1) The first shutter curtain starts to open
2) The second shutter curtain starts to close while the first curtain is still opening.
3) The effect is that only a narrow slit is open (it’s width depends on the exposure time selected) and the individual pixels are exposed for the correct period of time

5_hypersync_verlaufThen why do we need HyperSync? Can I not flash for a faster time than X-Sync?

The short answer is: no. The problem is that the flash is triggered as soon as the first curtain is fully open. In this situation, however, the second shutter curtain is already in action and covering a part of the image. So this part is not exposed and will appear as a dark bar across the image. Let’s look at it, step by step:

1) The first shutter curtain starts to open
2) The second shutter curtain starts to close so that the individual pixels are exposed for the correct period of time.
3) The flash fires when the first shutter curtain is completely open. But the second shutter curtain has already covered a part of the image. So the complete image sensor is never fully open to light
4) And where the second shutter curtain is over the image sensor a dark band appears in the Image.

3_verschlussvorhangSo when working with flash, you are restricted to an exposure time of about 1/250s. Indoors this is not a problem, because with broncolor you can have 1/10000s flashes. That is to say that in a dark studio the shutter can be open as long as it wants. The image will only be exposed by the ultra-short flash and will be pin sharp. Outdoors the situation is completely different. With an exposure time of 1/250s, you get an awful lot of light on the image, even at ISO 100. This means that even if I have the world’s fastest flash, my moving subject will still not be sharp. The other problem is that, for precisely this reason, you cannot use flash with a big aperture. Because if I take a photo outdoors with 1/250s and f-stop 1.4, with sunlight alone my image will be overexposed. So why bother with flash.

HyperSync – the solution
HyperSync gives us a way to circumvent the restriction imposed by the X-Sync time. Certainly everyone reading this has heard of it, but not so many know precisely how it works and what to watch out for.


This is a flash curve with which we are all familiar. As explained earlier, the flash fires when the image sensor is uncovered. This flash then fades and the image sensor is covered again. But we want to set an exposure time such that the image sensor is never completely uncovered. To achieve this we need something approaching continuous lighting.

How Hypersync works
To generate continuous lighting from the point of view of the image sensor, the flash must burn for longer than the time the shutter needs to pass across the sensor. That is to say longer than the X-Sync time, which, as already mentioned, is in the order of 1/250s. In addition the image sensor must be illuminated before the first shutter curtain is fully open. Or, more accurately, before it has uncovered even one pixel of the image sensor. It works like this:
1) The flash fires before even one pixel of the image sensor has been uncovered
2) The first shutter curtain starts to open
3) The second shutter curtain starts to close. These operations together give rise to the scanning procedure mentioned above.
4) The flash continues to burn and only stops when the scanning procedure is complete. For this reason we need the longest possible flash duration.


The longer the flash duration the better
It might seem unusual, but that is really how it is. On the other hand, HyperSync also has a few little snags. Some of you perhaps already know where this is leading.

It uses a great deal of power
Because the full quantity of light fails to reach the complete image sensor, a lot of light is wasted. So don’t be surprised then that when you switch to HyperSync you have an image that is darker than before.

The image will have a brightness gradient
When you look at the flash curve, then you can see that the image receives more light at the start than at the finish. As the flash fades, the quantity of light is reduced. The effect is that your picture is brighter at the bottom than at the top. For this reason, with Hypersync it is desirable to have the longest flash duration possible (it’ll make the curve flatter). This phenomenon is well simulated in the following animation.


One or another of you may think this is not really a problem. I could simply lay a brightness curve over the image to correct it. The basic idea may be right, but in practice HyperSync is mostly used outdoors. This means we’ve got a situation where real continuous lighting dominates, but is combined with flash. In this case the image needs to be corrected only where the flash is effective, while the rest of the image should stay as it is.

Colour authenticity not assured
As mentioned above, in a studio you can take steps to counter the problem with the brightness gradient. However a flash curve does not have the same colour temperature at the beginning as at the end. For this reason, with Hypersync colour authenticity is not assured.

HyperSync is a fantastic advantage. But it does have a few snags, and is no replacement for a short duration flash in a studio. However, especially outdoors it is a great feature; now you can use a large aperture to provide an out-of-focus background, or simply freeze super-fast motions. As mentioned at the start, I will show you precisely how that works in practice in Part 2. If you have any questions about this post, please send a mail to As I said, I am still working on the second part and perhaps your question may call for further discussion there. 


broncolor’s Partnership with Creative Master Karl Taylor


Karl Taylor has been a professional Photographer for over 20 years and has travelled the globe on assignments for some of the world’s most successful companies.

Unusually for an advertising & commercial photographer Karl is what he calls ‘multi-disciplined’. Having started his career in photojournalism he is comfortable and actively enjoys shooting across a range of genres. Karl’s ethos is that ‘variety is the spice of life’ and that the visual philosophies for creating effective images are universal.

Karl became involved in the photography training market several years ago after hosting lectures in photography and finding he had a knack for explaining the subject in an entertaining and understandable way. Since then Karl has become very passionate about his Masterclass Training Series and is keen to demonstrate professional but achievable photography techniques in the simplest way possible. As well as presenting and shooting he writes the scripts, formulates the ideas and formats the programmes and training.

In the following interview (part 1) you get a good opportunity to learn from Karl, how light is important and how broncolor gear supports his creative ideas and gives him the freedom to develop his vision. Karl is a very popular instructor with a huge community of followers. His natural but detailed way of explaining light, photography and his love for broncolor made him the natural choice for broncolor to start a long-term partnership with Karl.

For Interview part 2 & 3 follow Karl on his blog at

Karl’s remarkable understanding of photography and light coupled with his ability to impart knowledge motivates and encourages audiences. This formula matches and supplements perfectly broncolor’s own programme of teaching light.

Urs Recher and Nadia Winzenried from broncolor are also well known ‘light’ instructors, travelling the world for more then 15 years educating photographers. Their knowledge about lighting can be followed through the  ‘How To’ program on our website Nearly every week we develop new ‘How To’ examples. If you follow us on facebook, you will always be notified when a new ‘How To’ is published.

Karl was involved in the launch of the ‘How To’ project, and with Urs Recher created some great live How To examples. The ‘How To’ examples were very well-received by the public and photographers are delighted by the variety of ‘How To’ examples available. What is How To? Check out our previous Blog post “broncolor’s educational tool How To”.

The great news is there will soon be more, so stay tuned! Next week we will be presenting brand new Live ‘How To’ videos with Karl Taylor and Urs Recher.

Swiss Economic Forum – Tom Solo’s Concept “Shoot ‘n Show”


Shoot ‘n Show combines Tom Solo’s talents of shooting and presenting. It is the innovative concept of an interactive portrait shoot on location. Tom shooted at the premium economic leadership event in Switzerland bringing together the most powerful minds in business, politics, science and media from all over the world with top executives from Switzerland.

I have been in the photography business for over 15 years. I did an apprenticeship in manual trade and studied for sometime design. Through my past work as a photography assistant and working in production I have gained a lot of experience as a photographer and was able to get a good start in the photography world.

In the beginning of 2011, the Swiss Economic Forum approached me and said they needed my photography skills. They wanted me to be part of one of the biggest economics event for entrepreneurs in Switzerland. Normally around 1600 people take participation. Swiss Economic Forum asked me to take some images of particular side events. However, the significance of the event encouraged me to approach the organiser with a long-cherished idea. I saw an opportunity to finally introduce a new concept and make the event a whole lot more unique and fun for the participants. I suggested installing a pop-up studio with nice lighting setup’s, which will create a different atmosphere for the movers & shakers.


In 2014 I decided to get professional equipment for my concept called “Shoot ‘n Show” and saw the need to engage with a competent partner for lighting design. Of course Bron occurred to me immediately – a Swiss manufacturer as well. That was a great choice.

It was the real simplicity of the Scoro power pack that surprised me. It is so simple: everything is arranged on a single, structured surface, so that you immediately have an overview. The setting buttons operate with a pleasant feel. I like the blue light of the control elements and the display – they have a quality appearance. Even in the complex setting menus, I can find my way quickly and adapt all functions without wasting time. A valuable feature is that individual channels can be changed through full f-stops. Switching channels in or out at the touch of a button, and the same for modelling light, whether proportional or fixed – everything is easy. Even after two days’ shooting and hundreds of flashes there were no detectable variations in colour temperature. Pleasantly reliable. [more…]

A career spanning over 16 years and 1000 Weddings – David Stanbury

David Stanbury - Wedding Photography
David Stanbury is a Multi Award Winning Portrait & Wedding Photographer based in the North West of England with a career spanning over 16 years & 1000 weddings.

His accolades include nearly 200 national and regional awards including Mario Accerboni UK Wedding Photographer of the Year,  UK Wedding Album of the Year, UK Adult Portrait Photographer of the Year, North West Wedding Photographer of the Year 4 years running and recently named as a Finalist in the Prestigious Hasselblad Masters 2014. He has also been awarded Fellowship in Wedding Photography by the BIPP & the SWPP and is one of 28 Graphistudio Ambassador Photographers worldwide. [more…]

2XU International Campaign shoot – Freezing the motion with Move-Kits

Carlos Alcaide_2XU_03

About Carlos Alcaide
“Also know as “The Fiery Spaniard”, Carlos is 100% all go. Always. With over 20 years experience in the business, Carlos has shot with world famous celebrities from the likes of Priscilla Presley, Tim Cahill to local hero Billy Slater. He doesn’t like talking about it, but we have heard he’s won a bunch of awards.”

Carlos has an exceptionally versatile style. Specialising in Advertising, Portraiture and Corporate photography, Carlos is passionate about his craft. [more…]

PEROU launches EDICT magazine – There’s too much of everything: here’s some more


Perou is a London photographer who has shot many celebrities from David Beckham to Blondie. He has also worked for the Spice Girls, Jay-Z and U2, an he continues to work with the greats because of his unique perspective. On print, he has shot covers and Features for Vogue, GQ and Entertainment Weekly. This one-time butler was educated at the University of Westminster, and has earned his degree in Photography, Film and Video Arts.

EDICT Magazine is an object of printed art, a relic of the future that stands alone in it’s simplicity. EDICT Magazine ist not available online, nor are any images of it’s cover or pages set to appear anytime soon, so if you want to see it or read it, you have to walk into a store and buy it! [more…]

Learn how to combine flash light and continuous light to get motion

BMX2Learn how to do it – © Rutger Pauw

Mixing flash light and continuous light while having a longer exposure time is an interesting technique to show objects in motion. With the fast flash duration you see the subject sharp and frozen and at the same time a blur effect occurs due to the continuous light. Working with broncolor equipment such as the Move or the Scoro power pack allows you to freeze even very fast movement. With the Scoro power pack you can reach a flash duration (t0.1) up to 1/10000 s, with the Move up to 1/8500 s.

Here an example to explain the process: The grapes are hanging from a black thread, and are swung from right to left. [more…]

Print Magazine ELLE – Natural Beauty Portraits

Elle Magazine - Beauty Natural PowerClick to see the ELLE Making Of video

Talented Swiss photographer Sandro Bäbler received a phone call from Elle Magazine to make some Beauty portraits. After looking at his portfolio and his portraits they choosed him for this special black and white job.

“The task was to shoot six different models with a natural look, nearly without make up, presenting them in a natural way, relaxed, self-confident . Time was short and after making the first series, the images looked fine but too serious, somehow cold. So we discussed what we could do, to make it more natural, warm and inspiring. We decided to make a series with laughing. When the models started to laugh, something changed in their attitude completely, they became much for relaxed and the hardness in the faces dissapeared. They results were amazing and we knew, this is it.”


Have a look at the light set-up. Special on this light set-up is that the light on the face is the main light and the large Para light is placed to have a nice reflection in the eyes.



Sandro Bäbler

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