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The Bboy Look – Meeting up with Streetdance Center Salzburg

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In the beginning of my photography career I was shooting a lot of breakdancing and really enjoyed to do so. The Hip-Hop culture in general has always had great impact on me and the creativity and love that goeas around it. For some reason I didn’t get the chance to shoot a lot of bboying in the past few months so to be involved in such a project again was a blessing.

I was more than happy to join the newly formed crew of Streetdance Center Salzburg and gladly also to cooperate with local brands of Esteem and Cherry Pickers as they contributed the Hip-Hop fashion and accessory for this shoot.

The goal was simply to create cool crew photos with a sharp and stylish bboy look – how cool can a briefing be!

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We found a cool looking parking deck in Salzburg and decided to capture the entire shoot on top of that location.

I wanted to keep things simple and used mainly only one broncolor move light to combine with the sunlight. Also this enabled us to move faster and get different shots done in lesser time.

For the majority of images I choose the Para 88 to generate a edgy fashion look but also not to have too harsh shadows on the dancers faces. It seemed the best solution as well to cover wider areas when the crew was spacing out a bit and as well to have a more softer and flattering light for the girls in particular.

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I also brought some confetti, smoking stuff and a glass bowl for playing around and we ended up having loads of fun with those toys.

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Fun always seems to be the key for freeing everybodies minds and make the creativity flow, so most of our ideas, angles and perspectives we made up on the go and just pushed eachother to end up with cool photos and great memories of that day.

One Light:  Para 88 powered by battery pack Move 1200 L, BTS 

One Shot – Danny MacAskill in front of the Solar Eclipse

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I came across a photo where someone had used a long (around 1000 mm) lens to capture a mountain biker in front of a full moon. Then about a year later, I found out about the upcoming solar eclipse, and thought about doing the same thing, but also light up the rider, instead of just having a black silhouette.

I contacted Red Bull UK and Danny MacAskill, and they were excited about the idea from the go. We ended up searching for the right location for over ten days, there were always things like elevation or not enough distance that got in our way.

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Then, on the day before the eclipse, and with time running out, we found the perfect spot. I could move all over a mountain slope to get Danny to align with the sun. It was a rainy day, and the sun was invisible, so we didn’t even get to see where exactly the sun was.MakingOf

On the morning of the eclipse it was horrendous weather. Rain, wind, mist, clouds, everything but sun. About an hour and a half before eclipse time, all of a sudden the clouds started to part, and we ran to the location. A jump was quickly dug, and I had to dig a hole to put the Move in, because there was no room to put the flash on a light stand.


We ended up getting one chance. So we ended up with one photo. The most rewarding photo I ever took.

Move on full power
The lighting part of the solar eclipse shot was very complicated. First I had to make the flash fire from a distance of 272 metres, this meant I used a transceiver relay to make it fire. Then of course I didn’t know what exposure times I was facing, the lens I was using was so long (800 mm) that it focussed on the area right around the sun, compared to a regular 24 mm I often use.

That meant that I was using 1/250th to capture the flash, on ISO 50, and I would have to open or close aperture to get the right exposure. Usually this is a simple task, but now I had to also adjust the settings on the Move. Dave Mackison helped me out by being on the radio next to the flash the whole time, and I would basically tell him how much power the flash should have.

As soon as we did a test though, it became clear we needed full power, and the Move stayed on full power for the whole shoot. I ended up using F 29 to get the correct exposure.

More about outstanding photographer Rutger Pauw
http://www.rutgerpauw.com/portfolio/

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Learn how to combine flash light and continuous light to get Motion
Impressions of broncolor workshop “Move around Hong Kong” and more

Lux et Filum – A Contemporary Vision of Caravaggio

Narcisus liberato (Narciso)

LUX ET FILUM | Monica Silva

The photo does not call up the past (nothing Proustian in a photograph). The effect it produces upon me is not to restore what has been abolished (by distance, by time), but to attest that what I see indeed existed…” Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida

This quote starts the preface of Lux Et Filum, a photographic project by Monica Silva, inspired by the great Caravaggio. Caravaggio was one of the leading artists during the Renaissance; he masterfully portrayed the society of his contemporaries through careful observation of the human state, both physical and emotional. He is known to have had a formative influence on the Baroque painting. Lux Et Filum, (Latin for Light And Canvas), is not only inspired by his most famous works but reinvents them, by placing them at the center of a simple question: How would these same paintings be portrayed today?

Characters and poses remain the same, but the subject matter is transformed into a 21st century setting. The chiaroscuro (light and shade) Caravaggio was known for, allows characters and objects to emerge from darkness. In Silva’s interpretation, non-contextualized backgrounds are replaced by uniformed pastel tones and solid colors, keeping the original functionality of the background; to leave the actors suspended in vague places, describing them simply by objects and furniture in the composition.

Sacro Pasto (Cena di Emmaus)

We got to know more about Monica Silva and Lux Et Filum:

Could you share a bit about yourself and your career?

I fell in love with photography before I really knew what it was about. Growing up in a poor neighborhood of Sao Paulo I never had any cultural feedback. By chance, I discovered the magic of photography using a friend’s disposable camera and Polaroid.
At first photography was just a hobby. I acquired my first film camera when I moved to London to study in 1986. After studies I moved to Italy, where I live today. I started as assistant director for world-renowned commercial directors, which was also my way into photography. I got to meet the right people on set, which was a huge benefit when I decided to focus on photography full time. I grabbed my portfolio and applied for jobs with all major newspapers. At the time I did not even know how to use a flash system, but I knew I had to believe in myself before others would. I have been a professional photographer ever since, and I am proud to have worked for international brands like Sony, BMG, Universal as well as photograph for institutional clients and reportage publications. My work has appeared in leading magazines and newspapers like Max, Vanity Fair, Sette, El Pais, Panorama Travel, Style and many others.
In 2008 I felt the need to do something for myself, without business obligations. This desire led to my first fine art photographic exhibition called “Life Above All“. The collection was based on the book “The Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters and ended up being the key to a whole new world of photography for me, and further led to a series of exhibitions; On my Skin (Bologna 2010), My Hidden Ego (2011) and The Butterfly’s Fall – Postcards from Tokyo (Milan, 2013) and now LUX ET FILUM.

What would we, as the viewer, need to know about the painter and the idea behind the final project?

Lux Et Filum – A contemporary vision of Caravaggio“, comes from a need to create something that could go beyond photography. My dream was to return to my hometown, Sao Paulo, with something special. I wanted to show the skills and achievements I’ve obtained away from home. I’ve spent hours and hours studying Caravaggio, which in my mind is the number one Baroque painter. He is said to be the very first photographer in history because his images have a unique reality to them. Perhaps because he loved to use real people in his paintings; prostitutes in sacred images, homeless as saints, powerful men and ordinary people from the streets, recreating the contemporaneous idea of his time.
The project was born from a question: “If Caravaggio lived in our time, how would his masterpieces look?” I did not want to make exact replicas of his much loved chiaroscuro, I just wanted to get inspirations from his works, to photograph my personal reading of our time. I wanted to capture the nuances and the refined beauty of Caravaggio’s brush strokes. So with “The Musicians” I didn’t envision the same 4 handsome young boys but I saw a Chinese girl as Cupid. And “St. Jerome” is no longer an old man but a young man with dreadlocks, he is a modern street artist. In “Supper at Emmaus”, I captured my idea of religion, as seen in Caravaggio’s version, with Christian, Islamic, Jewish and a Buddhist models in a peaceful and friendly dinner without disputes.

Pituresque (San Gerolamo)

The exhibition in Sao Paulo is planned to go beyond displaying the photographs, can you elaborate on what is going to happen?

The idea of the exhibition is to create an emotional experience for the visitors. With support from the very talented video artist Giuseppe La Spada, we arranged interactive stations with each photograph. The visitor will walk among large prints and build up individual emotions only to finally end up in a room where they will be the main character, acting as a video director in their own studio adding their own effects to the images. The final result should be an explosion of sounds and images, which will amuse and amaze the viewer.

What did the Phase One equipment you used in the project bring to the images?

This whole emotional journey for the exhibition, due to the size of the prints, was only made possible with the Phase One camera system. The first part of the project was shot with an IQ180 digital back, 80 megapixel full-frame 645 with a 80mm f/2.8 LS lens. This was for the portrait of the Italian pianist Stefano Bollani who posed in a classic portrait. This is the only chiaroscuro styled image in the project. I shot tethered at ISO 35 to see the image in “real-time” on the monitor, it looked like I had two Bollanis on the set, it was more than amazing. The second stage of the project was shot in studio with different models. This was shot with the legendary P40+ digital back and a 75-150mm lens. This camera performed impeccably, in some cases it seems like the subjects are about to pop out of the prints, but I have to be honest it has nothing on the performance and quality of the incredible IQ180 digital back.

Bacco Tabacco et Venere (Bacco)

What has the reactions been to the project?

I’m very proud of the feedback I’m receiving from my peers. We are creating a wall where art and literature representatives can leave their reactions to the project, and I am so happy with the success of the responses so far. I am especially honored by the feedback from the cultural patronage of the Government of the State of Sao Paulo who guarantee the moral and cultural importance of the project by declaring:  Lux Et Filum, “a project of great importance that contributes to culture’ spreading.

If we allow the medium of photography to replace art in some of its functions,

it will be soon supplanted or completely corrupt […]”

Charles Baudelaire

Monica Silva used broncolor Equipment like the Para Reflectors or the Scoro and the Pulso-Spot 4 while shooting for the Lux Filum Project.

 

Lux et Filum is now visible at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura San Paolo, Brazil from March 17th until April 17th 2015.

 

Monica Silva

Monica Silva

On Para 177 you can rely – ESCADA Luxury Fashion online: Spring Collection 2015

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My contract for Escada (Design und luxury Fashion online) was for the Escada Spring Collection 2015 and took place in the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich.

I wanted to use the Para 177 because it was said beforehand that it could be, that I would need to photograph individual, but also four models together, and with the flexibility of the Para, it was the perfect choice for me for this job, particularly as I wanted to show the great quality and detail from the materials, this meant that there was clearly no way past the Paras.

I set a diffuser stage 2 in front of the light to make it a little softer, whilst still achieving the 3D look.

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Performance is important in such jobs, you need equipment upon which you can rely. The Scoro is a safe bet for me, I know the device works and delivers, and it gives me a certain sense of security on the set.

I set the main light slightly frontally from above – this is my favourite position – and in order to evenly illuminate the entire staging, I brightened the two sides up with two more flash heads. To the left, I worked with a reflector which flashed at the wall and, to the right, I worked with the broncolor Softbox 120 x 180 cm
Due to space constraints, every centimetre had to be used. The floor was white and thus sufficient light was reflected back. We had a great international team with Veronika Heilbrunner as the stylist, Hannes Schuller as the set-builder and fabulous models like Emma Oak and Franzi Müller, as well as the Escada Team.Foto03Photographer Alexander Palacios
It is the mixture between rigor, technical craftsmanship and talent which make Hasselblad Junior Winner Alexander Palacios a great photographer. He brings in unique figures and creative settings, which he combines and presents in a fresh and hip style. Fascinated by shapes and movements, Palacios tries to capture through the lenses the sensibility of people and places which surround him.
http://www.alexander-palacios.com/

My Hidden Ego – The Psychology in Portrait

myhiddenego_results09“The real task of a portrait is to bring out the psychological truth of the subject.” Nadar

I am often asked to do workshops but I am always very reluctant about it because I put so much effort and research that this is not at the end a day or two but at least 10 days of commitment.

I set out to do one in the Valentine’s Day because I thought it was the perfect day to learn more about taking care of ourselves. Right, because photography and my studies on the psychology in portraiture has the intention of going deeper on the idea of being a photographer, deeper on the idea of knowing ourselves before facing our subjects with a camera. There’s a lot more about it, more then just a click in the camera.

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So this last course was particularly intense, beautiful and full of emotions. We were all bound in a single circle, eager to learn, to go beyond the impalpable. The participants were very special people, for their curiosity and willing to get involved, to discover a little more about their souls.

I will not do another course in a short time but I’m glad I did it again, the experience enriched me further and allowed me to leave a seed that will slowly grow within the participants heart, helping them to see beyond the thread of the invisible or at least, the awareness of it.

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I thank you all for your participation and confidence and hope to have you by my side in the next adventure which will be yet this year in Sao Paulo, Brazil and in Venice, September, at the Tre Oci Foundation.
 May the light be always your traveling companion, and may you can write beautiful stories through it.

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broncolor SIROS monolight
My experience with the kit of Siros broncolor was magnificent and very satisfying. The light is sharp, clear and the use of bronControl’s App with Ipad and SmartPhones makes everything much simpler regarding the management of multiple lights set ups. I can not wait to be able to use them once again in my next Job.

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My Hidden Ego – The Psychology in portrait Workshop – Last February 14, 2015 Still Love Milan
With the support of Manfrotto, Nikon and broncolor.
MODELS: DAVIS S AND USTYNA
MUA: ERICA MANDELLI
SET ASSISTANT: BRUNO CALICCHIO AND DAVIDE ROSSI

MONICA SILVA Brazilian photographer based in Milan, Italy. Works published on RCS Group, Mondadori Portfolio and international Editions. www.monicasilva.it

Dramatic look of Muay Thai Ahtlete Christin Fiedler “Spirit, discipline and power”

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In December I got the opportunity to shoot with amazing Muay Thai athlete Christin Fiedler of Austria. The aim was to create images that are strong and reflect the spirit, discipline and power of this martial art.

Christin is also supporting an initiative of the IFMA (http://www.ifmamuaythai.org) that is called „Strong hands stop violence against woman and girls“ and some of the images were also planned for their support. We were invited by RS Gym in Salzburg to use their trainings facility for the shoot and that gave us lots of space and saved lots of time too.

For the shoot I setup a black background and two Move 1200 L units with three heads mixed with standard reflectors and a softbox. To be able to light up both sides of the athlete I used a 10 meter extension cable for one of the heads.

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As a main light I choosed the Beauty dish with a grid to have more of a spotlight and a dramatic fall off of the light on Christin. The other lights helped to shape the sandbag and also add dimension to the athletes body.

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Usually for this type of studio setups I always try to have an assistant on site especially also to help with special effects like fog, water or anything crazy I usually like to add.

Unfortunately on this day I was left by myself and used the self timer, remotes and fast acrobatic body control to manage all tasks on set. For some of the shots involving water spray or a fog machine I kept the camera on a tripod and fixed the angle and framing. Then I set a timer of 10 seconds and a recording rhythm of 5 images total with 1 image per second.

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That gave me enough time after triggering the camera to get in my spot and start with spraying water or handling the fog machine. As you can see on some of the outtakes I didn’t always get exactly out of the frame but strangely appeared here and there. Mostly difficult for sure was however the timing for Christin to hit the bag in the very moment the camera would trigger the shutter. Eventually after several tries the timing was dialed in and we started to work on details like exact body position, look, special fx…

One of the main shots was planned as a commercial composite and ended up being edited by a retoucher friend from vienna (michaelramhardter.com) – we wanted to create a fire storm action image with a very strong dramatic look but an authentic style. I shot the action on the plain black background and the rest was then added in Photoshop.

It was quite funny to see what you can accomplish in photography even if you are on site all by yourself. There always seems to be a way to make things happen and to find solutions on the go. Therefore I also love the Move Packs, because they allow me being easily able to change setups or locations in no time. For this reason we were also able to save time and to work with some UV light at the end of the shoot and come up with a black and white UV punch photo involving a completely different look compared to the rest of the images.

-Markus Berger

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Boxing Kids in Cape Town

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It`s a shipping container placed behind a shopping centre in Cape Town’s township “Philippi”, the kids come after school to train and learn how to box – for free.

They use this facility as there is really not a lot to do in the area, this facility keeps the children off the streets and they learn how use their time and energy in a positive way. They also learn about rules, boundries, discipline, exchange and respect.

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“I worked with a broncolor Move 1200 L and 2 Octaboxes of 150 cm and 75 cm with light grid. I took a white cardbox as reflector and a black fabric for the background”, says photographer Sandro Bäbler. “I was happy to have the Move with me, as there was no mains supply in the Boxing Club and the battery pack was the best choice I could bring with me.

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The Coach of the Club is working for free and he was very touched by the fact, that someone was interested in his work with the kids and even was found of making a real photo project of it. One week after the shooting we brought the prints to the Club and we offered for every kid a school bag.

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More end results

It was a great pleasure for me to combine this project with a good human action. The happiness was huge and the kids were so proud about the prints hanging in the club and very grateful for the new school bags.

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Check out Sandro Bäbler’s new Website
and navigate through his last extraordinary project SURFERS

http://www.sandrobaebler.com/

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