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The cordless Siros L – Fitness Test Shoot in Brooklyn New York

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by Erik Valind

On paper the Siros L reads like the perfect blend of legendary broncolor speed and control, married with all the power and portability an on-location photographer like myself could want. To really put it to the test I setup a whirlwind shoot on the waterfront of Brooklyn New York. Together with an incredible athlete for my model we focused on seeing just what this new monolight was capable of.

Quality / Compatibility
The first and arguably most important thing to look at was the quality of the light. With the Siros L’s exposed flash tube it is compatible with every modifier in the broncolor lineup and is designed to evenly spread out and fill each modifier for optimal light quality. I chose to use the Beautybox  for our first series of portraits. Nothing beats the Beauty Dish quality of light in a package that breaks down to easily travel with! Adjusting the power of the Siros L remotely using the RFS transmitter allowed me to quickly shoot at various apertures for creative control of the depth of field as well.

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LightingSetupFlash Duration / Recycle Speed
In my eyes the next feature I wanted to look at really sets the Siros L apart. And that is its speed. It has both an incredibly fast flash duration and recycles very quickly for a battery powered unit. Anything this light touches is frozen in the frame.

To evenly illuminate the model I used two Siros L strobes here, each with an L40 reflector to concentrate the light for more output and a longer throw. After activating SPEED Mode on each of the strobes we got to shooting! I had the model running along with two assistants tracking his movements while hand holding the Siros L’s on either side of him. I was blown away by the results!! The Siros L recycled fast enough to keep up with the multiple shot burst mode of my DSLR, and the light was so fast they froze the model in mid stride in every shot.

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Combine that with the mobility that allowed my assistants to literally run around the streets effortlessly holding the lights, I was sold.

Power
The final thing I wanted to look at was power. At 800 ws the Siros 800 L is one of the most powerful battery powered strobes on the market. Power is important to photographers for a number of reasons. It allows you to compete with the sun on bright days, it gives you fast recycle times when used at less than maximum power, and the extra power helps when using large modifiers with multiple layers of light absorbing diffusion material.

In this last setup all of the above came in handy to make the shot. I used a 5′ Octabox with a grid to really enlarge and soften the light source for this portrait. With all the diffusion and grid it soaked up a lot of light, so having the extra power in the Siros L was clutch. Then I placed the model with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in the background. To make sure that the bridge wasn’t too blurry and out of focus I needed to turn up the power to get an exposure around f/8 or f/11. 800ws easily got me there.

All this time we were competing with the bright existing ambient light.

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The Siros L is even better in practice than it is on paper. I’m excited to make this my go-to light for on-location photoshoots. Make sure to checkout the video for more images from our shoot that day!

Optional BTS Pulled From Video

Check out more Shooting stories with the Siros L
Ferrari and Ballerina in the desert using the Siros L
Ultimate Mobility Power and Control with the Siros L

About Erik Valind
Erik Valind is a freelance photographer, born and raised on the Florida beaches, now living in New York City. Specializing in commercial lifestyle photography and environmental portraiture – airy and energetic imagery defines the style and vision of this top pro photographer. Inspired by the form, activity and diversity of people, Erik has lent his expertise to shape the public image of numerous personas and national brands.  Erik also shares his visual approach, techniques and passion for photography internationally as a speaker at major photo conferences, as an author, and online as a CreativeLive and KelbyOne instructor.

http://erikvalind.com/

Siros L – Battery-powered Studio Quality in 800 and 400 Joules

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With the Siros 800 L, we have succeeded in producing one of the most powerful compact devices currently available on the market.
The Siros 800 L is, like the somewhat smaller version, the Siros 400 L, a true genius in offering discerning photographers optimum lighting both indoors and outdoors.

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Siros L – optimum lighting, compact and mobile

The Siros L is broncolor’s new battery-powered compact device, which provides ambitious professional photographers with the opportunity to enjoy the perfect lighting, be this in a mobile form in the studio, or for external shots – offering both very fast, and also long, flash durations.

The device has the most up-to-date lithium ion batteries – thanks to this, the device can achieve 440 flashes at full power; and the lower the power, even more flashes are available. The battery-pack can be used over a very wide temperature range from -10° to 60°C (14° to 140°F). Once its power has been used up, it can be completely recharged in only 75 minutes, allowing just two batteries to be switched and recharged during a shoot if there is a power supply available.

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The Siros L uses our patented ECTC technology, which has already been used in the well-known Scoro and Move generators – thus, Siros L has flash durations of up to 1/19’000 s (t0.5) and, of course, a guaranteed constant colour temperature over the entire control range.

All the Siros L’s functions are easily and remotely controlled by the “bronControl” app, which establishes its own WiFi network; this then allows the control of several devices by means of a smartphone or tablet. In order to ensure that the photographer knows which device he is currently addressing, the devices all have different LED colour codes – this ensures that the Siros L is easy to use, both indoors and outdoors.

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Thanks to its compact size and battery-operation, the Siros L is absolutely ideal for outdoor use. It can, of course, also be used in the studio where it can be easily integrated into existing broncolor studio equipment.

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The 25-watt LED modules offer a bright modelling light with a colour temperature of 3000 K, matching the colour temperature of the halogen modelling lamps of the Siros mains powered units.

In addition to the 800 J version for photographers who refuse to compromise in respect of power, there is the Siros 400 L version which is somewhat smaller and lighter and thus offers about 50% of the energy of its bigger brother.

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The Siros L can be used with the entire broncolor light-shaper range. Many light-shapers, such as softboxes, open reflectors and especially Paras, are parabolic and can only guarantee an optimum light output and quality if the light source is placed as close as possible to the focal point in the interior of the reflector.

This is why, with the Siros L, broncolor has deliberately opted for an external flash tube, providing perfect lighting.

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The Siros L will be available in shops from 1st July 2016.

Would you like to know more? Please visit broncolor’s website at www.broncolor.com.

broncolor Siros Kit Reviewed and Demonstrated by Rob Grimm

by Rob Grimm

Recently I have been working with the broncolor Siros 800 Kits. Let me first say that I have had broncolor lighting in my studio for more than a couple of decades.

All of that Equipment still works today; you can smash it, but it won’t seem to die on it’s own. And monolights have always been a part of my equipment pool. Monolights in a studio you ask? Yes, I have found that not only are they great tools to use on location but they work well in many studio situations.

broncolor might be changing the game here a bit with the Siros Kits. In testing out the equipment, I found the lights to be useful in the studio as well as on location. The Siros is light enough where I can fly it above my set on a boom, something a photographer might never do. And because I can use the bronControl App, I never have to move the light, or ask an assistant, to change any of it’s settings. The Siros also saves room in the studio by not needing floor packs. Best part for me, all of my existing light modifiers work with the Siros, including in my Para 88.

Going on location with the Siros is pretty easy. The kits are self contained, click together and are easy to throw in my car for the next location. In addition to keeping the location set compact, I also found that I could keep the location more organized since the kits are well organized.

Personally, I have always found having monolights very useful, even mainly as a studio shooter. The Siros Kits are versatile, well balance and easy to use. Their technology is advanced yet intuitive and approachable. And it’s broncolor, so I know it will be kicking around my studio for the next few decades.Siros Kit 2 Final JK 2000x2000


About Rob Grimm
This is no nutshell, but this is why I make images: I am a dynamic individual; a photographer, a father, a furniture designer, a husband, a yoga nut, a devoted friend, a soccer coach, a little brother and lover of a warm brownie straight from the oven. I’m a momma’s boy and forever grateful that she gave me a Kodak X-15 camera at the age of eight to document a family trip. I have crossed the frozen Baltic Sea in a snowmobile and have camped on the beaches of Mexico. Lived in Europe, got lost in Paris and made it through CU Boulder in four years. I have seen the Italian countryside in the spring, spent the holiday season snowed in at a cottage in Austria, aimlessly wandered the streets of London and marveled at the architecture in Barcelona.

Having a camera in my hand makes me thoroughly happy.

Berlin’s Goldwell Color Zoom Competition – Slow Motion Clips with Flash Series

The collection trailer for Mario Krankl’s show in the Goldwell Color Zoom Competition in Berlin is characterised by a lively mix of style elements and contrasts.

Gigantic hair volume is interrupted by punky elements or a few bright colour accents. In our video, we were looking for a reaction which we could pick up and which would support this style clash.

This resulted in our taking unusual ways in the technical implementation and, alongside our broncolor HMI light, we used the familiar Scoro generators with Pulso Twin Heads (which we knew from photography) as the film lighting. Flash series with a sensational 50 flashes per second even offered us the option of moderate slow-motion clips with a flash.

The BTS video shows a few impressions of the production and the RED Epic Dragon camera, with its X synchronisation, which was used. Thus, we did not even need additional equipment, but only used the Scoro’s built-in programming options and an RFS transmitter.

In a mix of continuous light, clean synchronisation, strobe and rolling-shutter effects in the various takes, entirely different and surprising image effects delighted the challenging specialist audience in Berlin. Incidentally, with a ‘6K’ resolution, one can create impressive prints.

Photography continues to constantly transform and we are happy to have a partner in broncolor with whom we can meet the ever evolving demands.

Denise & Ulf Krentz have been living and working together for 16 years. Passionate about beauty photography, in the 2011 broncolor calendar they direct cosmetic beauties within artistic compositions of colour. Denise Krentz: “Beautiful women in extraordinary make-up and hair styles are a special and rare sight. I enjoy working with exceptional make-up artists and hair stylists and would like to thank them for the good cooperation at this point. We did not intend to have any link to reality in the motifs of the calendar. We experience reality every day. I like the timeless glance of the models in an artificially created environment. Our photographs picture human soul and the interplay of distance and approachability.”In her photographs, aesthetics is the most important subject. She searches for unfamiliar viewpoints – reduced or bright and colourful, either by the means of light or in combination with the unusual work of the stylists. She creates unique pictures possessing a high grade of memorability.

http://www.krentzphotography.com/

Five new talents become part of broncolor Gen NEXT

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Now in its third edition, the broncolor Gen NEXT photography project has once again named five young creative talents as competition winners.

Over the next three years, the winning photographers will each be supported with broncolor equipment valued at US $24,000. In addition, as Gen NEXT ambassadors they will be able to showcase their work through broncolor’s worldwide channels and on the project blog site: gennext.broncolor.com.

For almost two years now, Gen NEXT ambassadors Lara Jade (US), Benjamin Von Wong (CAN), Dustin Snipes (US), Jason Jia (CHN) and Manuel Mittelpunkt (GER) have already experienced the world of opportunities offered by the program. As 2015 Gen NEXT winners, Anita Anti (UKR), Cristina Otero (ESP), Gonzaga Manso (ESP), Lauri Laukkanen (FIN) and Yulia Gorba¬chenko (UKR) have been sponsored for almost a year. As prize winners in the first two installments of the photography competition, they were able to complete many compel- ling projects which can be viewed on the gennext.broncolor.com website.

The winners from the first two rounds of Gen NEXT will now be joined by the this year’s ambassadors David Sheldrick (UK), Natalia Evelyn Bencicova (SK), Jvdas Berra (MX), Lara Zankoul (LB) and Justin Lister (US), whose outstanding portfolios were chosen as the best from among top-class submissions from across the globe.

A native of London, David Sheldrick (UK) grew up in Europe as well as in Asia. With a background in the scien- ces and fine arts, he picked up his first camera at the age of 18 and decided to devote himself fully to photo- graphy during a three-year stay in South Korea. He assisted and worked at various Korean studios and with this experience then completed a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion. In photo- graphy I am ultimately interested in people, regardless of whether I am shooting fashion, landscape or food. The continued exploration and documentation of the human condition is what I wish to pursue.

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Natalia Evelyn Bencicova (SK) grew up in a huge housing complex in Slovakia. The only view she had from her apartment was of the windows of other people. It seemed like hundreds of identical screens but always with a different story. As a child she used to observe all these people through these rectangular frames and wondered what was happening behind the walls of the building. I imagined the whole apartment, the entire reality, and my fantasy was always expressed in pictures. Bencicova now studies photography and fine art at the University of Applied Art in Vienna. In my work I am trying to pursue that point where the commercial and the artistic conver- ge, focusing on a conceptual as well as visual aspect of photography. “My main role is to create a whole world and for a moment transform idea into reality. At the age of 19 I decided to capture my vision and truth through the eye of a camera and share it with the world. I have never stopped to this day.”

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Jvdas Berra (MX) was born in Mexico and is a self-taught fashion and fine art photographer based in Los Angeles and New York. “Photography is my passion, my life itself, the air I breathe and the light with which I can create windows to other worlds full of beauty and perfection.” His photography has been published in Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and is often chaos, is instinct. I consider myself a lucky person. In this almost 5-year career I have been able to meet won¬derful people who have helped me achieve my goals. The credit is not all mine, it is the whole team of people who have supported me with their specific talents.”

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Lara Zankoul (LB) lives and works in Beirut. As a child she was intrigued by photographs she saw in magazines. She went over the details and setups sometimes for hours on end, in order to understand how a picture emerged. It wasn’t until the age of 21 when she bought her first professional camera that she even considered pursuing her passion for the arts. After photography courses, online tutorials and many hours of reading manuals, now six years later she has made herself a name as a fine arts photographer with an emphasis on the conceptual/surreal style. “I love challenging myself and pushing my own boundaries. One of my main aims is to create surreal pho- tography without any photo manipulation. I believe that a smart concept and a well-studied lighting setup are crucial to the success of a photo.”

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Justin Lister (US) has had a passion for image-making since he was a young child. “I would spend most of my day drawing pages from my favorite comic books or characters from my favorite movies. I found photography at a young age, but lost touch with it somewhere along the way.” After a major health scare he realized that life is too short not to pursue his dreams: traveling and photography. And so Justin absorbed everything he could about lighting, photography and image-making. To this day he has never lost the passion to learn more and push him- self. He describes his work as being “Cinematic portraits. My images tend to be dark and moody and I often use multiple lights to achieve this look. I love how with lighting and compositing I can make any image I can imagine.”

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Follow how the new and previous winners continue to develop and what exciting projects they carry out with their new equipment provided by broncolor at gennext.broncolor.com.

Balloon Explosion – Cut-Off Technology to Freeze

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Today’s blog contribution is about explosions and how to catch or freeze these in a photograph. When I used to work as a photographer for broncolor, I had the opportunity to experience a great deal and to develop workshop examples. One of these self-developed examples, and actually one of my favourites, is the Watersplash. Participants in Asia will know of this example, and I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to everyone who took part.

I had always envisaged making a series of these explosion photographs. I had the RGB colour model in mind. I already had blue for this, i.e. the water. I then thought that I could realise the green with powder – the principle with this is the same.

If you want to freeze fast movements, it is important to have a short exposure time. In the studio, it is known that the shutter speed cannot be changed very much, so how do I do this? Right, broncolor is known for the patented cut-off technology in which a flash duration of up to 1/10,000s is reached. To achieve such a time, the time is changed from opt to min on the power pack’s menu. As I personally use the Move, my minimum time was 1/8500s. Incidentally, we are talking here about t0.1 and not of the meaningless t0.5. Thus, there is hardly anything which cannot be frozen. As you can see in the images, every detail is sharp. The water, for example, looks almost like glass.

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My series is realised with balloons, i.e. a simple balloon is filled water and powder. Thanks to the law of inertia, when this balloon is exploded, the content remains, to a “certain extent”, in its original form – the timing is crucial, however.

Right, let’s start at the beginning. We filled a balloon with powder and, at the moment of bursting this balloon, the flash has to be triggered. Have you ever tried to do this at exactly the right moment? If you can manage this, then you are either incredibly gifted or you were, quite simply, really lucky!

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So that you don’t all have to rely too much on luck, there is another way of triggering the flash. Many photographers use a light barrier to capture a falling object at exactly the right point, for example. However, with a balloon, it makes sense to use a sound trigger. Thus, in effect, the flash is triggered together with the explosion. Exactly what we want. Or nearly, in any case. You see, when the flash is triggered together with the explosion, the balloon is still in the picture and a maximum of one hole can be seen in it – this is why the triggering of the flash must be a little delayed. A delay can be programmed with the Scoro. With the Move, I had to programme the delay of the sound trigger. I found that 0.02s worked very well. One can find just the right moment!

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The lighting itself was relatively simple. You can see it well with this balloon. I wanted to slightly emphasise the round shape with the light in order to give it depth, and this is why I set an edge from behind with a softbox. From the front, I had a second softbox as a skin light. As the powder reacts to UV, I also used the UV attachment from the front to enhance the colours. The powder was actually normal, green powder, which is used in the Holi Festivals.

– Move 1200 L
– MobiLED
– Softbox 30 x 120 cm
– UV attachment
– Camera + Zoom Lens

As you can see, I now have the image of blue and green. Red is therefore still missing. That’s why I’m still looking for a great idea as to what could be even more interesting to explode in a balloon. Comments will therefore be warmly welcomed as a comment on this post. The idea, which I will implement at the end, will be rewarded with a great broncolor coffee mug. In addition, the winner will be announced in my next blog post. I am really very curious to hear your ideas and suggestions.

The comments feature is available for suggestions and questions or you are, of course, welcome to contact me directly via fabio@gloorious.com. I am happy to help. Have a good day and until next time!

Yours, Fabio.

Portrait Shoot utilizing the Power & Range of the Siros 800 Kit

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When buying strobes people mainly look at one number, the maximum power number, which is measured in Watt Seconds (ws) or Joules (j). This is perfectly natural. When talking about cars, maximum horsepower gets throw around a lot. After all we’ve been conditioned by marketers to want the fastest, most powerful toys out there. For good reason too, if you need to over power the sun for a portrait out doors, then you’ll need all the power you can get from a strobe.

Over the years I’ve used a number of powerful strobe systems and while the maximum power is necessary when using large modifiers, small apertures or when overpowering daylight; I’ve found it to be a hindrance at times as well. All strobes have a set power range, and on many strobes it’s a rather limited range at that. So if you have a whopping 1200ws to 2400ws on the high end of the range, you’ll usually have a low end of the range that’s still up there in power. Beyond the max power of a strobe make sure that you look into the kind of range it has as well.

For this reason I’ve had to travel to many shoots with both studio strobes and a bag full of small flash. Why would anyone need LESS power in a flash? What’s wrong with too much power? Two big things jump out as an environmental portrait shooter. It prohibits you from blending your flash with dim ambient light, and it also stops you from using your fast prime lenses at wide-open apertures like f/1.4 and f/2.8. Even when bottomed all the way out, some strobes still overpower the shot, and in the past I’ve had to bring out my tiny small flash and speedlights in those instances. That was until recently anyway!

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I’ve been shooting with new broncolor Siros 800 kit and it has proven to be versatile enough to fill both roles, in one sleek package. Lets look at a couple images from a recent shoot of mine with a documentary filmmaker in Brooklyn, NY. The first setup took place in the subject’s living room. His Shepard Fairey mural struck me as a great backdrop for the first portrait and I liked the ambient light coming from the two wall light fixtures flanking either side of the mural. I wanted a decent amount of depth-of-field to keep both his face and hands in focus, so I dialed the aperture down to f/8. You can see in the BTS photo that I modified my main Siros 800 with the included 2’x2’ softbox and even applied a warming CTO gel to the light, inside the box… so for anyone keeping track, the Siros has to expose for f/8 after going through a gel and the double diffusion of a softbox, all of which eat up light output. Needless to say I was thankful for the strobe’s 800ws max power here. Even when powered up, the fast recycle time allowed me to shoot at a quick pace to capture various expressions. The second Siros in the kit was used as a low fill light and to add a catchlight to the subject’s eyes. I then slowed down my shutter speed to allow the ambient background lights to become brighter in the final exposure of 1/60 sec f/8 ISO 400.

For the next shot we went outside onto the balcony. The walls were neatly textured with a wood paneling and lit by a single outdoor tungsten wall lamp. It looked neat to the human eye, but would be very dark to expose in-camera. The high ISO performance on my Nikon D4s is astounding, so we decided to make an environmental portrait out there using just the single tungsten bulb to light the scene. We ended up wide open at f/2.8 and ISO 2000 to get a proper exposure. I then wanted to add some fill light in from camera left. But with the camera lens wide open and a high ISO like 2000 anything more than candlelight might overpower the photo. Knowing that the Siros 800 has a huge power range we dialed it down 9 whole stops from 800ws to a minuscule 4ws… that’s WAY below the power of a common speedlight. After bouncing it into the wall of the apartment it turned out to be the perfect kiss of fill light needed to balance out the shot.

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Finding a strobe like this with a lot of maximum power, combined with such an incredible range, and a low minimum power setting allows you to carry less gear while shooting in varied lighting conditions. This became incredibly apparent to me after this shoot. The Siros 800 has the power to shoot through large modifiers and under bright conditions, but will also power down to play nicely when working with low ambient light and wide-open apertures… The best of both worlds! I’m looking forward to sharing more photos and BTS action on future shoots with this great kit.

Click here to go to Erik Valinds Website

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