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Shoot the Clowns: Circus Circus in London – Light: Move and Flooter


by Miss Aniela

It was in London, back in 2011, that our FSE events first began. These days, we find ourselves doing about one a year in London, usually every February. This year we wanted to return to the location we’d used in our very first FSE: the sprawling and popular MC Motors. It has so much to offer and we felt like we’d only touched the surface.


MC Motors is seen everywhere in magazines and TV – so popular these days that it commands a high price, so we hiked up the entrance price for this shoot. And then with our stylist Minna we decided on a theme: Circus Circus. We’d never done this theme before, it was different from our usual thing, yet flexible enough to accommodate everything from feminine to quirky and in between. It would go perfectly with the props littered round MC Motors, which included massive flashing letters and fairground toys, as well as plenty breathing space with simple, stripped back textured walls. Places sold out quick, and we were secure to start spending on styling.circus_2

Setting the brief

Above is our moodboard. On the right are images of MC Motors. On the left are various Pinterest visuals that ranged across 5 different identifiable Circus ‘types’: doll, clown, burlesque, pierrette and ringmaster.

We designated styling budget and hatched a plan for 5 different sources of styling: (1) theatre costumiers; (2) designer loans; (3) a on-set ‘guest’ designer with their styling assistance; (4) our own self commissioned outfits.

We looked carefully at the looks in the moodboard and the details that made up each outfit. The tights, the shoes, the fabrics, every little element that made up the whole look… what did we need to make something close to these looks? If we wanted to commission our own clothes, we had to get started on that as early as possible to give enough time.

Making the looks

In the moodboard above, the bottom left shows a woman in a catsuit, over which other elements are hung. So we decided a set of catsuits would be a good start for the styling stock. We sought out someone who could produce the catsuits. We licensed a set of Circusy-themed vector images from a stock site, textured them in Photoshop to give them an aged, stained look, and had them printed onto catsuits. These worked out very well in the shoot.


In addition to the catsuits we wanted to make our own Circus theme garments. So the next thing we did was to hunt out Circus-theme fabrics off ebay and other online sources: sequin-laden, diamond-patterned harlequin, and other assorted crazy styles. We purchased a set of dress patterns (that is, sewing instructions) from shops online, and supplied these to our seamstress Tina along with all the fabrics. Crazy baggy pants, a sequin-encrusted jacket, and sparkling loose pants. (Unfortunately in the end, several of these pieces weren’t quite right. They were too clown-Circusy; they needed an element of feminisation to work. This part of the styling was a gamble – but we can adapt them for another Circus shoot in the future.)

Once our self-designed stuff was all underway, we looked next to designers. Matt discovered a costume-making, burlesque dancer who both performs and styles: Talulah Blue, and asked if she’d come down to London to assist Minna in creating 2-3 looks with the models each day. This would contribute strongly to the ‘burlesque’ element of the circus theme, and with her many fine accessories, Talulah turned out to be a massive strength on the shoot.


We had a prolific Danish clothes designer long confirmed, though unfortunately it did not work out with timing for the shipping for this shoot, but we were thankful we had lots of other options. We sourced a set of crazy shoes from the ineffably bizarre Natacha Marro, and this was perfect for the Circus theme. Usually on our shoots we have so many voluminous long gowns that shoes are peripheral, but we knew the Circus shoot that shoes were massively important – colourful and sculptural and as good as we could get, so this was a coup.


Lastly, a portion of our budget was designated for theatre rental. We took a visit to the National Theatre with stylist Minna to see what Circusy stuff we could find, and were surprised to come out with a rather ample rail including feathery capes, weird waistjackets, ringmaster jackets, various ruffs, and ancient dilapidated corsets… Happy that our styling stock for this shoot was going to be reassuringly chocker, we’d spent the most ever on styling for a London FSE, meaning we weren’t going to see much profit but we’ve always been the type to go overboard…


We wanted to go crazy with hiring props too, but budget was at a limit, but at least we knew the location already had a selection of oversized quirky and glitzy props. I did, however, grab a ringmaster drum from the Theatre props department, and Matt purchased online huge red and white pieces of fabric that we could hang from the ceilings to provide extra Circus-esque shooting options.


The first on our model line-up was redhead Kim, flown in from Milan. Next we sought Sanna and Kristina, the blonde duo who modelled for us at Belvoir. Then we hooked out new models: Lucy Feng, smoky-eyed Asian model. Anne Winterburn with a quirky unique look we thought was perfect for Circus. Olivia, ‘cutesy’ brunette would be our 6th backup/bonus model for Saturday, and the bonus ‘model’ for Sunday would be AbnorMalik, mime artist performer whom I met through a tweet.


Makeup & hair

Tati Zarubova, our long-time FSE favourite was booked in for both days to do voluminous hair. Anne Veck was on board for one day, bringing some wigs. Dave Noble booked in for the other. We got Grace Gray and Morgan Defre on board to do makeup. Far from our usual requested simple ‘dewy’ makeup, we wanted all guns blazing with something crazier, from overblushed doll cheeks to sequined eyelids. We gave the HMUA team some prior guidance, and of course the moodboard, but they largely improvised to provide each outfit with an appropriate look. 



Now to put it all together, and as I always say, make Matt’s months of planning worthwhile!

This FSE worked in traditional format: 2 photographers with 1 model for an hour, 5 hours total with lunch in the middle. I shot alone, with right-hand-man Tim, and Matt on hand when he was not helping someone else. Baby Lilith, who was 10 months old at this point and starting to crawl, would be either exploring the dirty floor or in a crew member’s arms transfixed by their necklaces. As always on an FSE, the mood is relaxed so there was plenty time for me to set up, think, try options, and then of course have Lilith latch on just as I was about to start shooting…

Camera & lenses

For all shoots I was working with my Nikon D810 and alternated between 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. I wanted to pump some ‘painterliness’ into the images afterwards, but this time I was not putting too much pressure on myself to get images with lots of space for Surreal Fashion composites. The outfits were so OTT they were ‘enough’, so perhaps instead I could concentrate on images for that ever-important part of one’s portfolio that attracts client work.



On this shoot in particular we had plenty of constant light and haze. Littered around the five sets were our Lupolux LEDs and HMIs, accompanied by another broncolor HMI pumping out a moody ambience of stagecraft underneath the shuttered ceiling. At other times we opened up the shutters for natural light.

We had our broncolor strobes, Move 1200 L kits. And also, for the first time we were shooting with a broncolor Flooter – the largest Fresnel spot of the broncolor line. It’s effectively a hybrid between a strobe and a HMI light. This has a large, variable light angle with a “homogeneous light distribution”, making it a versatile spot.  We situated the Flooter into the main hall area.



We shot Kristina, below, in her ringmaster look, standing by our draped fabric ‘curtains’, lit by the Flooter. By focusing the light it gave a perfect, moody look that I was able to manipulate further in Photoshop to enhance the cinematic appeal. A lighting diagram is unnecessary – it was simple, a Flooter positioned in front of Kristina slightly off centre, no gels for this one.

In post, I played with exposure brushes to exaggerate the slightly ‘dappled’ light already in the image.  I wanted the final image to look almost poster-like, rich reds disappearing into background shadow, splashes of light bringing out the pop of her lips and glitter of her dark heels.


THE RINGMASTER / Model: Kristina Vaiciunaite / Jacket and headpiece: National Theatre / Red choker: Della Reed / Shoes: Natacha Marro / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Anne Veck / Makeup: Grace Gray / Production & photography: Miss Aniela. Nikon D810 w/ 70-200mm lens & broncolor Flooter. 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO64, 70mm


THE RINGMASTER: Portrait. / Model: Kristina Vaiciunaite / Jacket and headpiece: National Theatre / Red choker: Della Reed / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Anne Veck / Makeup: Grace Gray / Production & photography: Miss Aniela. Nikon D810 w/70-200mm lens & broncolor Flooter. 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO800, 116mm.


We pumped out haze with the HMIs, which picked up a sparkle of dust in the air, bringing an interesting in-camera texture to some shots, as below.


THE CLOWN / Model: Anne Winterburn / Jumpsuit by Miss Aniela / Waistcoat, cuffs and ruff from the National Theatre / Choker by Della Reed / Shoes by Natacha Marro / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair by Tati Zarubova / Makeup by Grace Gray / Production & photography: Miss Aniela. Nikon D810 w/ 70-200mm lens. 1/160 sec, f/3.5, ISO800, 70mm. Lupolux HMI.

And then – shooting with bonus ‘model’, mime artist AbnorMalik was a special treat, especially as I don’t often give myself the chance to shoot men! I shot Malik with two models: first, Lucy, below, in the upstairs ‘bedroom’ set, and then with Kristina in the broncolor Flooter set-up, further below.


THE DOLL / Model: Lucy Feng and AbnorMalik / Dress: National Theatre / Headdress by Clea Broad / Shoes by Natacha Marro / Tights and jewellery: stylist’s own / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair by Tati Zarubova / Makeup by Morgan Defre / Production & photography: Miss Aniela. Nikon D810 w/ 24-70mm lens, broncolor Para 88. 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO400, 48mm. broncolor Move 1200L


Now the set-up with the broncolor Flooter, same as shooting The Ringmaster further above, but this time instead of moody low-key shots we adjusted the light to create high-key shots…


THE DANCER / Model: Kristina Vaiciunaite / Headdress & underwear: Talulah Blue / Shawl: National Theatre / Shoes: Natacha Marro / Necklace: Della Reed / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Dave Noble / Makeup: Morgan Defre / Production & photography: Miss Aniela. Nikon D810 w/ 24-70mm lens, broncolor flooter. 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO64, 32mm.


THE DANCER / Model: Kristina Vaiciunaite & AbnorMalik / Headdress & underwear: Talulah Blue / Shawl: National Theatre / Shoes: Natacha Marro / Necklace: Della Reed / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Dave Noble / Makeup: Morgan Defre / Production & photography: Miss Aniela. Nikon D810 w/ 24-70mm lens, broncolor Flooter. 1/125 sec, f/7.1, ISO64, 66mm.

This blog post shows just some of my finished images, as there will be more to come, so be sure to follow my Instagram. I’ll finish with some more BTS!



Pic by Tim Matthews

 12806054_10153430589802061_5457295117081902252_nAre you my fairy godmother?

circus_24 circus_25

CREDITS / WITH THANKS TO… All our participating photographers: Greg, Breanne, Jeiran, Gina, Donna, Tatyana, Isaac, Lis, Rachel, Tim, David, James, Gary, Mark, and Jonathan Models: Kim, Anne, Sanna, Kristina, Olivia, Lucy & AbnorMalik Designers/wardrobe/styling: Minna Attala, Natacha Marro, Clea Broad, Della Reed, Jolita, National Theatre Makeup & hair: Grace Gray, Morgan Defre, Tati Zarubova, Anne Veck, Dave Noble Assistants: Tim Charles Matthews; Helen Iles & Hannah Draisey The friendly folks at Castle Gibson! Broncolor, Lupolux Photo, Nikon, Manfrotto, ThinkTank Photo

I’ll end with a fantastic picture by James Goodchild which was shared by Solis Magazine:circus_26

About Miss Aniela
‘Miss Aniela’s colourful, often surreal images are cerebral and sexy, intimate and public, all at once’ (American Photo)

Aniela is the middle name of Natalie Dybisz, a fine-art fashion photographer based in London, UK. Originating as a self-portrait artist in 2006, Miss Aniela’s work has been exhibited internationally and featured in numerous media including NY Arts, El Pais, ALARM Chicago, Vogue Italia and BBC.

broncolor – My favourite gear for Horse Photography


by Eva Frischling

Animal photography is something very special – especially for me, a total horse fan and animal lover.

Ever since I can remember, I have taken photographs of horses in their stables. In former years, as a little girl, it was more about snapping photos with an incredibly slow digital camera – now, it is highly professional work together with the animals, the owners, me and my unbeatable equipment.

Again going back a few years when, thanks to a special payment I received during my apprenticeship, I was able to afford my first reflex camera; it did not take long before I went on my first horse-photo workshop because, above all, I wanted to photograph my beloved horses.

However, I found out quite quickly that this is not quite so easy. In order to get that perfect photograph, one has to be able to handle the animal, foresee what the horse will do next and, at the same time, instruct the owner in what he or she needs to do and, last but not least, use the camera technology correctly.


After an incredible amount of practice and graduating as a communication designer, I became a freelance photographer. It was clear right from the beginning that I would dedicate myself to photographing horses.

At some point, I saw a picture of a horse against a black background and thought to myself: “Wow! That is beautiful! I would like to offer my customers something like this”.


Since I had only worked with available light up to this point, I had to familiarise myself with the subject of studio photography and was soon confronted with the question of which equipment I would like to work with.

Since time immemorial I have had a fundamental principle: Either do it properly, or don’t do it at all…


With the studio equipment, I wanted to make sure that I bought the perfect system straight away, one which I would still be able to use in 15 years’ time, and not one that I would buy from a provider only to realise that, not only did it not meet my requirements, but also that I would find myself in the situation of having to spend money on the wrong equipment again and again.

I actually came across broncolor through the master photographer’s course and was immediately taken by the Para; this really is the perfect light-shaper for photographing large animals which do, after all, not necessarily stand super quite on one spot, but tend to move around a bit. I ended up buying the Para 220, together with the Move kit and some light shapers.


I most love using the Para (as a main light) when photographing the horses. It is wonderful because it has great light distribution and puts every horse in a beautiful light. As a hair light I use a Striplight. The Move generator is perfect for my work because I do not have to look for a socket first, but can set-up my studio where it is easiest for me and the horses to photograph. Further advantages are the short shutter speeds, the incredible battery performance, the charging times and the extremely high quality of the entire equipment, and this combined with expert advice from the entire broncolor team.

For me personally, there is only broncolor in the field of studio photography, as I just cannot imagine a better partner in my work – everything always works perfectly and the equipment works as precisely and neatly as I do.

Eva Frischling
Qualified Austrian Photographer

Eroica Primavera – Sandro Bäbler’s Vintage Portrait Series


In the spring, in the heart of the Toscana in Buonconvento, not far from picturesque Sienna, fans of vintage cycling meet at the Eroica Primavera.

The race route is actually signposted all year round, Eroica has become an institution for everyone here in the region and, for many, participation is a must, even if only as observers.

Dressed in vintage outfits, they come from near and far, from Italy and the rest of Europe. Some even travel with the Eroica around the world – in the meantime, the race now takes place in eight countries.

However, the original is the Eroica in the autumn. Together with our broncolor Moves, we paid a visit to its little spring sister in Buonconvento. Right in the middle of the route, we set up our Pop-up-Move-Studio with two sets (dark background for full-body and groups/light background for close portraits).


Once again, we are glad that we are not dependent on electricity and that our Moves are reliably at our sides. With only one battery per generator, we were able to shoot for the entire afternoon and take some portraits of Eroica participants.


Eroica – a brief description, off to the Vintage in Buonconvento

It is early in the morning, about 6am, on the 1st May 2016 in Buonconvento. All dressed and ready, everyone accepts their race numbers. A happy crowd of laughing people, a feast for the eyes for vintage and bicycle fans. The space between the number hut and the starter cord fills up and participants fiddle one last time with their lovingly put-together outfits – this is a see and be seen event. There are no winners as such, this is all about pure joy, about food, drinking wine and coming together.


Thus, the start of the race is not about a “scramble” and an “Ellbögle” (elbowing) but a comfortable ride off into the sunrise. Accompanied by vintage cars for the first few metres, the drivers lose themselves in the expanse of the dusty roads of Tuscany. The route winds through the beautiful Tuscany hills and up and down past olive groves and cypress avenues. Nature’s crisp and fresh green palette shows itself from its most beautiful side.

When watching the riders, one does sometimes get a trifle queasy as they tear down the hills and their old bicycles shake and rattle, but they make it through. Not for nothing are small first-aid points available at regular intervals. The wine is not blameless in this either. However, the refreshment points, which alternate with the first-aid points, are richly provided. A Tuscan land of plenty, so to speak, and no, no, the food is not eaten whilst riding, the bicycle is “parked” and life is enjoyed with Bruscetta, red wine and a chat.

The race lasts a whole day and, not until the late afternoon, do the first cyclists, quite possibly already a little tipsy, trundle in to pass the finishing line where, during the race, the supporters have been entertained with festival activities, including a giant vintage bicycle market. In the evening, there is a giant pasta party, just genuinely Italian!


ICONS broncolor Prize “Light” – Exhibition Outdoors “Festival Images Vevey”


Jojakim Cortis & Adrian Sonderegger won the broncolor Prize – “Light” at the Grand Prix Images Vevey 2015/2016, on the Théâtre de Verdeure.

Vevey to invest in its Image(s) in 2016
For the fifth time under its current guise, Festival Images transformed Vevey into a real “city of images”. Confirming its status as Switzerland’s first Biennale of visual arts, the festival presented original installations by international artists and up-and-coming talents in unexpected places, indoors and outdoors, providing a genuine large-scale, free of charge photographic experience for all visitors.



About ICONS from Jojakim Cortis  & Adrian Sonderegger
Icons questions the power of photographic images, at a time when all sorts of special effects are possible thanks to digitalization. Since 2012, the duo has recreated some 30 historical images in their workshop in Zurich. They begin by making models that recreate famous photographs. They then widen the field-of-view to reveal their fabrication secrets, showing tubes of glue, cutters, paintbrushes, drills and lighting devices. Visitors are led to reflect upon the construction of these images, which are now part of the collective memory.


To produce these sophisticated images the artist duo used exclusively broncolor light. Read the previous interview and see the final results from Cortis & Sonderegger here

Red Bull Illume 2016 winners announced – Overall Winner Lorenz Holder

Lorenz Holder / Overall winner, Masterpiece by Yodobashi category winner and Athlete's Choice winner / The Art Institute of Chicago Lorenz Holder crowned Overall Winner for a second time

The winners of the world’s greatest action and adventure sports photography contest have been unveiled at a spectacular Winner Award Ceremony in Chicago, USA.

The best action and adventure sports photographers from around the globe were celebrated in Chicago on September 28 as the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016 Overall Winner, 11 Category Winners and Top 55 finalist images were unveiled. broncolor offered to every Winner the new battery monolight Siros L.

Next to winning the Masterpiece by Yodobashi and Playground categories, German photographer Lorenz Holder also took the top spot for the second time running. His atmospheric shot of athlete Senad Grosic riding his BMX across a bridge in Germany received the most votes from the panel of 53 respected judges. In addition to the Overall Title, Lorenz’s winning image also took home the coveted Athletes’ Choice Award.

The Winner Award Ceremony was held at the Art Institute of Chicago and hosted by television personality Tina Dixon and snowboarder Louie Vito. It also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the prestigious contest with many guests from the photography industry and sports scene, such as BMX athlete Senad Grosic, freeskier Johnny Collinson and Red Bull Illume founder Ulrich Grill.Red Bull Illume / Wrigley Square

Following the announcement, the award-winning photographers were able to see their images displayed on illuminated 2x2m lightboxes at the opening of the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour 2016. This unique nighttime photo exhibition will travel to cultural hubs and hotspots around the world for the next two years.

The tour will stay in Chicago until October 9 where visitors can enjoy the world’s best action and adventure sports images for free. To showcase the amazing imagery in a unique way, the exhibition will only be open after the sun goes down, between the hours of 6:30pm and 10:30pm. After Chicago, the tour will head to Toronto, Canada, Yonkers, NY and San Francisco, CA. Further tour stops will be announced on shortly.

The exhibited photos are the Top 55 images which of course include the 11 Category Winners as well as the Overall Winner. The winners are:

Close Up: Denis Klero, Russia with his black and white shot of climber Rustam Gelmanov showing his chalk-covered hands in Fontainebleu, France.

Energy: Luke Shadbolt, Australia for his black and white image showing the power of nature. Surfer Renan Faccini is set against a huge swell in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Enhance: Dean Treml, New Zealand and his image of cliff diver Jonathan Paredes jumping from the 28 meter platform on the roof of the Copenhagen Opera House during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, 2013.

Lifestyle: Jody MacDonald, Canada with her mesmerizing image of her brother Ken MacDonald sitting atop a train during their adventure through the Sahara Desert.

Masterpiece by Yodobashi
: Lorenz Holder, Germany showing Senad Grosic ride his bike over a bridge in an autumnal Gablenz, Germany.

New Creativity: Ale Di Lullo, Italy for his fun shot of Aaron Chase riding his mountain bike on the windshield of a NYC cab.

Playground: Lorenz Holder, Germany showing BMXer Senad Grosic ride a rusted viewing platform in Senftenberg, Germany.

Sequence by Sony: Daniel Vojtech, Czech Republic with his shot of Flying Bulls pilots Miroslav Krejci, Jan Rudzinskyi, Stanislav Cejka and Jan Tvrdic in Jaromeř, Czech Republic.

Spirit: Dean Treml, New Zealand for his image showing kayaker Josh Neilson being supported by fellow paddlers Barnaby Prees, Sam Sutton, Tim Pickering, Ben Brown,

Jamie Sutton and Jaren Seiler after a bad landing off Matze’s Drop, Storulfossen, Norway.

Wings: Micky Wiswedel, South Africa with his shot of climber Jamie Smith mid-fall as he attempts a new route on Table Mountain, Cape Town.

New for 2016 was the Mobile Category. It was won by Vegard Aasen, Norway for his black and white mountaineering image taken in Hakuba, Japan.

As the Overall Winner, Lorenz Holder received a €40.000 voucher from Yodobashi as grand prize, a Sony α7R II and a Sony RX1RM2 camera with a full set of lenses, a GTechnology G-Drive ev RaW SSD and a broncolor Siros Kit.

Category Winners / Red Bull Illume 2016 / The Art Institute of Chicago

The Top 55 finalist as well as Top 275 semifinalist images can be seen on and the Red Bull Illume social channels. The Top 275 images have also been published in a sleek, limited edition Coffee Table Book that can be purchased at

Stay tuned, soon we will tell you more about the Live Seminar with Gen NEXT ambassador Dustin Snipes, which was hold just before the Unveiling Event in Chicago.


BACKSTAGE at CHERRYROCK016 Portrait Series


by Jay Hynes

For the past 5 years I have shot a backstage portrait series for Melbourne’s only street Music Festival, CherryRock. CherryRock is held in Melbourne’s world famous AC/DC lane.

On the shoot day, I don’t have a lot of time with the bands. I shoot them immediately after they’ve played, so there’s always time pressure. I shot everyone on both white and black leaving myself the option to choose the best shot of each. I used a two broncolor Move kits. The key light was a P70 reflector with a flag in front it.  I also had a subtle fill from a 75 Octabox directly behind it. The back light was a broncolor 150 Octabox. And the black was a piece of black foam core between the back light and the subject.


There’s a very limited amount of room backstage, and with the lighting set up, the subject is in a tiny spot. There’s no room for extension leads and power cords in the backstage area, therefore, I decided that the Move kits would be perfect. Even though they are traditionally used for location work, I’ve found they are incredibly useful for studio type shoots, or when you have to create a studio out of nothing. Once the kits were set I didn’t have to touch them. The consistent output and reliability allowed me to concentrate on getting the best out of each subject. [more…]

broncolor HS function makes it possible


by Jessica Keller

My challenge was to capture some images outdoor with only one light source and the Para 88. Before every photo shooting I ask myself, what do I want to get out of this shoot, what is my concept? I strongly believe that a concept should be preconceived and, if successful, understandable in the completed image.

It was clear that I wanted to create a powerful/expressive portrait outdoor. The location needed to be well searched and add to the whole atmosphere of the shoot. This time my model needed character, strong expressions and power – I was simply looking for a very fit and ambitious person. Amie was more than perfect for this shoot. Going through her wardrobe I quickly realised that even her clothes will match my idea and complete the whole image as such.

Without light I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal, so setting the right light, from the right angle, choosing the right light shaper were the most important factors to capture my photograph.

I had to deal with uncontrolled conditions and controlled conditions. Sunlight is hard to control, but I tried to use it in the best possible way to enhance my concept. My controlled light source was a Siros 800L and the Para 88 shaped the light. My goal was that the sun illuminated the one side of the model and the Para 88 was responsible for a spot like illumination. [more…]

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