Exactly a year ago (actually to the day!), my assistant, my hair and make-up artist and I travelled by car from Berlin to Rome. The easy route takes 15 hours, a distance of 1,500 km! However, now to the story of why I went to Rome:In the middle of 2015, a new trainee started in my office who I employed relatively quickly as a permanent assistant.
During one of our lunch breaks, we started chatting about ‘old childhood heroes’ and we both realised that we are very big Bud Spencer fans.
My assistant then asked me dryly why I did not just write to him…
Text written, translated into Italian, mail sent. Two days later, his son wrote to agree to my request. I was actually given the opportunity to spend a day with his father! The meeting was to take place just two days after the agreement had arrived! So, we had to grab my big car, load everything into it, and drive from Berlin to Rome. There was just no time to book flights, or to securely pack the equipment, etc.
I gave a great deal of thought as to how I could portray Bud Spencer, as I had been told that we would be shooting in his living room and that I did not have much space at my disposal.
In fact, this was why, in Berlin, I had decided to go for a sure-fire lighting set-up, which I myself really like using: the Para 88 at the right-front, the P70 with a honeycomb rear-left, and the brightener front-right.
After the 1,500 kilometre road-trip through Germany, Austria and Italy, we arrived in Rome and went straight to sleep in our Airbnb. First thing in the morning, we had our appointment with the Pedersoli family. We were a little tense, and we did check the equipment again in the morning before we left. We then made our way to Bud and, upon arrival, we were very warmly welcomed by Bud Spencer, his wife and daughters. 30 minutes after we got there, having enjoyed eating homemade chocolates and talking about Rome and Berlin, we started to build-up our set, while the hair and make-up artist got Bud Spencer ready for the shoot.
My plan worked: I actually did not have much space in the living room, so the space-saving, yet super-ideal set-up was perfect.
In retrospect, it was a very good decision to use the Para 88 as the main light, as I could light Bud’s older skin perfectly. Anyone who has already portrayed elderly people knows how different this is – the eye-sockets are deeper, there are wrinkles …yet it is exactly these things which make such Portraits so Special.
A couple of portrait sessions, coffee and cake, good chats on the roof terrace later – this is how the wonderful day with the Pedersoli family passed. A childhood dream had come true!
Marco Justus Schöler was born in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. After discovering his love for photography, he decided to move his life and work to Berlin in 2011. There, he rapidly built up a viral network. Marco is an autodidact – he learned everything about his craft by “doing it.” He takes the bold approach, tackling tasks without fears or reservations.
Ringflash C – Orchestrating reflections and shadows more deliberately and spontaneously The light of a Ringflash is known for its very uniform – at best slightly centre-oriented – fill. Honeycomb grids allow the lighting angle to be directed more accurately. As a result, illumination similar to a spotlight is achieved while retaining the typical shadowless characteristics the Ringflash is known for. The angle of the Ringflash C can be adjusted independently from the camera, allowing more flexibility for directing light to the area where accentuation is desired.
Light characteristics When using a Ringflash, the light source is evenly distributed around and very close to the lens. Light without shadows is the result. With one exception: If a background is not illuminated with additional (natural or artificial) light, shadow contours may appear around the object or model. These shadows are larger when the object is farther away from the background. You can see these shadows and the influence of the distance very clearly in the pictures of the chairs.
Make it Shine In the following photograph the shadow contours cannot be seen because the background is illuminated by natural daylight. A Ringflash is a very hard light. This is why shiny materials take on a beau-tiful glow. In this shot, the Ringflash C makes silk look like silk (Softer or even diffused light might make silk look like cotton.) As mentioned earlier, the light of a Ringflash comes from very close to the optical axis. This is what makes a Ringflash a fantastic fill light!
Fill in perfectly The first photograph is illuminated with backlights only – and a Ringflash C without grids as a fill. The Ringflash C is filtered to be slightly blueish. The example of “three-dimensional posing” shows the model with his arms in front of his body.
A standard fill such as a softbox would still create dark core shadows in this shot. When using a Ringflash C as a fill, even the most concealed parts of the picture are still illuminated, and the eyes have a sharp highlight.
Use the Ringflash C differently When shooting stills or taking photographs of people, the Ringflash C is the perfect choice to ensure absolutely nothing stays in the dark. In this shot of a narrow car interior, a Ringflash C is used as basic illu-mination while a second Ringflash C provides an effect light from under the driver’s seat. A few softboxes add accents to the light. If parts of the object are very shiny, small but highly reflective areas may appear.
Hi everybody! It’s Lucho here once again, trying to make some time to share my experience with another great product from broncolor.
I was lucky enough to have been one of the first ones to try the Siros L 800 packs on assignment. I had an upcoming shoot on a cruise ship with Trial Bike world champion Adam Raga thanks to the awesome Black N Rad productions Crew. So I had a call from Txomin from tx-lab and he was kind enough of telling me that he had a surprise… some new flashes that he knew I would like. Which indeed, I ended up really enjoying using.
Working with this new monolights and the bronControl App was very satisfying, making the workflow have more…. flow. Which from my point of view thats always a great thing.
Being able to move fast in between the different locations inside the ship without having any cables lagging around was also great, making the job easier, not having to worry about having cables stuck to furniture, people’s feet or anything that could cause a mess while being on set. In the end having this tools make a big difference on being able to concentrate on the final result, and doing what we are there for, shooting the pictures and focusing on getting the most out of every different location and action. And being able to do it with the highest quality that we can.
Enjoy the final results and the video from the promo, hope you like them!
Weightless – The design outfits by Japanese designer, Issey Miyake, needed to be portrayed easily and silently, with every dance movement.
Top model, Yumi Lambert, artistically made-up in a Japanese style by makeup-artist, LUDOVIC ENGRAND, with the appropriate hairstyle having been created by B-Agency artist, Mike Desir, falls into a trance of spirituality for the magazine, Narcisse – Issue 5 – ICON.
Filmed with a Phantom 4K with the French DOP SELIM ZOUAOUI, specialist for high-speed shots. Editorial shooting means little time and no budget and this is why one has to work with a light and straightforward light set-up.
The concept for Narcisse was classical studio mode on light Grey.
We only used 2 lights for this:
The new FT system from broncolor, an HMI 1600 light mounted in a Para. Strong flat light bounced onto the silver matt surface. With the focusing rod, the light can be either concentrated or widely spread over the screen. This creates an extremely beautiful, even matt gloss on all the surfaces, such as skin and fabric.
The structure remains unchanged without burning out, but is still bright with a perfect contrast value.
The HMI broncolor 1600 PAR / Open Face – same strength as the FT system, but the light can be used with barn doors and direct lighting. There are a variety of PAR lenses for focusing and modelling.
The equipment was set up in 20 minutes, no light change, no electric or honeycomb grid were necessary. Despite the high-speed settings (lots of light and flicker-free), these lights were perfectly strong enough to create the sharp and contrasting look, soft skin tones and fine gradients on the background.
The light is neither too bright, nor too hot, for the model to pose near over a longer period. No problems with flickering, or with unusual frame-rates (we shot from about 500-900 FPS variations).
Damien Krisl Paris based director Damien Krisl discovered his love for motion pictures as he realized that producing moving imagery gave him the opportunity to breathe life into his dreams. His skills in making fashion and advertising films are the result of his passion for filming, editing and composing. His art enables him to create beautiful new worlds and dimensions that originally only exist in his mind. Damien has a unique way of bringing fashion and film together.
The number of requests I get from ad agency and brand clients asking me to combine stills and motion production on the same shoot has gone through the roof in the past couple years.
It’s driven partly by technology (the fact that still cameras now do video pretty well) and the fact that the platforms on which many brands are advertising (social media, online etc) have a huge focus on motion content. As a result, clients are asking for both still and motion on most shoots. It’s not always possible for a whole bunch of reasons (technical and practical) but, if they follow a few key rules and partner with the right content producer, the results can be really great.
I’m very particular about the quality and style of light I use and when you boil it down, both photography and motion is about telling stories with light so, I put a lot of thought into how projects get lit. One of the biggest obstacles to converging stills and motion is that it takes a lot of pre planning to be able to use the same lighting for both stills and motion. Moving pictures don’t require as much light in general as a stills shoot does so, walking into a set and shooting stills of what you see when it’s been lit for motion can be a real challenge, especially when the client needs the stills at F11.
The other issue that comes up is that motion light is a lot more forgiving. Your eye can rest on a still image for a long time and thats when things like harsh light, hard shadows, color shifts and exposure issues become obvious. In a broad sense, lighting for stills has to be softer and more controllable. With motion, the images are moving and these issues are less obvious because the viewer is usually following a story and is less focused on the details of the visuals in a micro sense.
I’ve been looking for a simple solution for a while now that enables me to create an acceptably soft and controllable light with enough punch for stills but that runs continuously for motion. As well, stills generally just don’t have the people resources on set that a film shoot does so, everything has to be more portable and easier to set up than most of the high production motion gear. I’m used to broncolor Paras from shooting fashion and have always loved the quality of light and controllability I got from these tools so, when the local Bron rep told me he could now drop in an HMI and allow me to dial the power up and down with minimal color shift, I had to try it.
These videos and stills come from a project for a sports drink company where we created both stills and motion content to tell the story of a boxer. Since the ask was both stills and video and the subject and locations were more moody and dark, I felt this would be a perfect opportunity to try out the Para/HMI combo and in the end, it was. We only used 1 Para for the whole shoot and alternated between a couple different HMI’s before landing almost exclusively on the 800 watt version. We were able to easily move the light around and adjust it to create the moody feel I was looking for in the final output.
One of the things I like about continuous lighting is that you can readily see what’s happening and what effect any changes you make have on the final product so, I’m excited about the possibilities of setting up shots on set and not having to relight each time for stills or video independently and I really like the quality of light I get from the Para.
About Dan Bannister
New York and Toronto based commercial photographer and director specializing in advertising, fashion and portraits.
It’s been an agonisingly long wait for personal work opportunities this year. While I welcome the busy year commercially, my personal portfolio has ultimately suffered because of it. Desperate to break some ice, and chasing a couple of leads – I finally managed to piece something together. Quick and simple!
Behind The Scenes
The premise was to create a really simple, home studio style portrait; but shot in a way inspired by the look of oil-paintings in the past. I remember during my conference tour in Madrid last year, I stopped by some local art museums and felt incredibly inspired by the look and feel of the time. This has been sitting on my to-do list ever since.
Ryan Rikic modelled with an outstanding custom outfit by Prince Armory, and wielding props made by Infinite Bladeworks. Tahlee assisted with the props, lighting and styling. The backdrop image was a cheap eBay purchase, and required a bit of retouching to fix visible creases and folds.
As lame as my garage may look, I was armed with some great new gear to play with. This year I’ve made the switch to broncolor lights,after making a new endorsement deal with the Swiss manufacturer.
Full disclosure aside, I had already tested them well on a billboard shoot for Jaguar recently, as well as my car photography tutorial with RGGEDU in the United States. This LARP armour shoot gave me an opportunity to test them out on human subjects again, after my new Octabox had arrived from Sun Studios Sydney.
The key was to have really consistent, quality light, and being able to easily control the settings of the light whilst I worked on refining the formula.
These new Siros L 800 monolights support WiFi control with my tablet. A couple of swipes with my fingers and it was easy to find that right balance with the lights. These lights are lithium battered powered, so I really look forward to using them on talent outdoors.
All in all, this shoot took about an hour to setup, an hour to shoot and an hour to retouch. Ryan received a link to the edited photos before they even got home. A really simple shoot, but a great first test shooting talent with my new lights and modifiers.
About Easton Chang Based in Sydney, Easton Chang is three time Australian Advertising Photographer of the Year through his portfolio of advertising car photography. His recent list of clients include Cadillac, Mazda, Ford, Hugo Boss, Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Audi, Hyundai and Porsche.
With over one million followers of his work on Facebook, Easton’s work and style has become incredibly viral and prominent in the social media community.
A tribute to life After almost a year of hard work and planning the Why Ride Project is nearing completion!
It all started in April of 2015 when, photographer Lucho Vidales began preparing a personal, project in which he wanted to collaborate with Martin Postigo, a talented biker from Argentina.
They planned a shooting at a series of empty water dams and reservoirs located in the south of Spain, between Malaga and Granada. The trip was delayed several times, because an opportunity arose to photograph the project with a medium format camera.. By the time they received their equipment and everything was ready to go it was early November.
Then, just over a week before the trip, the world was shaken once again by vicious and coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris. They were the deadliest in France since World War II, and the deadliest in the European Union since the train bombings in Madrid, in 2004. The assailants killed 130 people, 89 of whom died at the Bataclan Theatre. Amongst those killed there that day were Mathias Dymarski – an accomplished biker and close friend of Postigo – and his girlfriend, Maurie Lausch.
Only several months earlier, Mathias and Martin were riding together at many of the same spots that were chosen for the shoot. The project, which initially lacked purpose beyond a group of talented guys simply sharing their passions for arts and sports at a series of epic locations, was completely transformed in light of this tragedy.
“I called Martin, not sure what to expect, but he chose to move forwards with the project. We arrived on Thursday, the 19th and began shooting the following morning. Days passed and I was very happy with the material, but when Martin left a message for Mathias on a wall at one of the sites, I began to realize he was paying his friend a tribute through our project.
I instantly felt profoundly connected to him and the way that he reacted to the situation – deciding to continue with the project despite regrettable circumstances. Seven years ago I too lost someone close to me, but instead of letting it destroy me, I discovered my passion for photography, and it took me to where I am today. “
– Lucho Vidales
During the past year the Why Ride Project has amassed an enthusiastic team of volunteers who have helped develop it into a full-scale charity venture. The project evolved into an independent, multi-part project, which includes:
– A collection of photographs shot on a medium format platform, taken by Lucho Vidales at a series of empty water dams and reservoirs located in the south of Spain, between Malaga and Granada. Lucho Vidales is a sports and lifestyle photographer. Born in Argentina in 1991, he’s travelled extensively throughout Europe and South America while working closely with a numerous companies including, Red Bull, broncolor, F-stop Gear, and Black N Rad Barcelona.
– The making-of/behind-the-scenes of the entire shoot captured by Xue Gil. Xue Gil is a friend of Lucho Vidales, fellow photographer and filmmaker.
– And an exhibit, which will take place in Barcelona on November 17th at La Milagrosa in Barcelona.
La Milagrosa is located at Carrer Sant Antoni Abat 7, in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. The expo is open to everyone from 18:00 to 23:00, where the final images of the trip will be displayed as large prints, available for sale. Additionally, the expo will feature a screening of the video, a lottery, and refreshments. All profits from the event will be donated to Proactiva Open Arms, a non-governmental, non-profit organization from Badalona whose main mission is to rescue refugees from the sea that arrive in Europe fleeing wars, persecution or poverty. We have decided to donate to refugee related efforts because these members of our global community continue to pay the highest price for terrorist attacks and the crisis in the Middle East.
“Proactiva specializes in surveillance and rescue missions of boats carrying people who need help in the Aegean and Central Mediterranean sea, as well as raising awareness of all the injustices that are happening which have been untold.” The organization is a member of the International Maritime Rescue Federation, making them the only full member from the Spain.
“Why Ride was a great opportunity to do something productive with our passions and everyone involved in the project showed that. We want to keep pushing this further; make Why Ride as big as possible, to create a lasting impact and perhaps even develop it into an annual project and encourage others to follow in our foot steps. I think in this we have an important lesson to teach others. Too often challenges and losses are viewed as an excuse for failure or as a way to justify unproductivity and idleness. Martin’s dedication reminded me once again that the worst obstacles and hard times that life throws at us can lead to great and inspiring outcomes if we can find it in ourselves to focus our energy in the right ways.”
– Lucho Vidales
The reality is that any one of us could have found ourselves in the dark situation Mathias and Marie faced last November in Paris. Real change begins with displaying positive attitudes and actions on a daily basis; the kind that gave rise to Why Ride, which grew from a group of friends simply sharing their passions into an amazing opportunity to do some good. It’s a heartwarming example of young people coming together to do what they love while spreading awareness and giving aid and to those who need it most.
Please join us November 17th at Carrer Sant Antoni Abat 7, between 17:00 and 23:00 for an unforgettable evening where art and sport combine to share with you a unique project that became a tribute to life – to those who lost their lives due to senseless hostility, but also to those who spend their lives spreading love and kindness. In a world that is constantly being ripped apart by our differences, it is important to recognize the ways in which we are all the same and to treat each other with the dignity, compassion and respect that everyone deserves regardless of religion, race or gender, which were so violently disregarded that day in Paris.