Dancers

What I like about dancers is their control over their body.

It’s amazing. I can’t even touch my toes… The thing is the mix of a person + a shape + a light. And when on stage you can add music.

I am looking for models based in Vienna (TFP or Payjob if qualifications justify the costs) who can dance (ballet or modern) for shootings.

Joe McNally is a great photographer and he has shot many dancers. I have found a video in the internet with many of his pictures.

Enjoy!

More to come…

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Sport Photog’hero!!! Mister Dave Black!

Dave shows how to shoot motocross! Enjoy!

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Jean Turco

Looking for book about light in studio, I have discovered a french fine art photographer named Jean Turco. He is a master of BW nudes and portrait.

Check it out!

http://www.artmajeur.com/fr/artist/jeanturco/collections

More to come…

PS : sorry guys for not posting so much this week, but I have heavy cold since monday and had to go to work anyway since I am on business trip next week… I will do my best to catch up!

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Models and lights around the clock ! :-) (Not Safe For Work)

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About Nude Photography and the Story-Telling

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Easy and effective setup, Version II

Hi everyone!

How is it going? I have noticed some interest about my shot with gel on location and I thought I could give a little more information.

How do you get a shot like this one ?

  • Use gels
    Use an orange gel on your strobe. The one I used is from a DJ Shop. Then set your white balance at 3200 and it would do the job. If you shoot RAW, you can adjust any way in Postproduction. The good way to go is to use a grey (18%) card if you want to have a natural light at the spot the model hold the card. In my shot, I did not use a card since I was not looking for a natural feel.
  • Use a light meter
    It’s easy : enter the Iso, aim it to the light, Flash, read the f-Stops, adjust and/or set you cam. Done. No need for 10 or 20 test-shots. One is enough with this piece of gear. Old fashioned? Well, I have a crazy agenda, so if it helps me to be quick, I don’t care if I am old-fashioned or not.
  • Find a location, find a model and find a style
    Shitty location = shitty shot. Get the best you have and don’t expect people to be indulgent. They don’t care if it was not possible to put the thing away from the frame or if the car behind could not be removed. It simply does not interest anybody. So get the right place when you shoot. Same thing applies for models and style.
  • Play with S-speed
    S influences the amount of available light. Your limits are overexposure and 1/250″ (=sync speed of your camera).
    If you have set the strobe at ƒ8, then measure the light with the lightmeter. Let’s say you get 1/125″. This means at 1/125″, the available light will be perfect caught in your cam. Then go for a faster time, your model will still be shot at ƒ8 and will be perfectly lit while the available light around her/him will get darker.

Okay, enough for today, you get the idea! If you have any questions just drop me a line.

At the lake!

Shot at ƒ14 – 1/160″ – ISO 200 – 70mm
Strobe : One maxilight to get a lot of power to counter fight the sun with an orange gel

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Seen in the New York Times!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/03/magazine/01-brown-sisters-forty-years.html?_r=0

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Small Setup for Great Effect

Actually this is exactly what I need for many reasons : I like being quick when I am shooting friends and relatives since they are not as patient as TFP-Models (by the way I am in Vienna, so if you are a model – male or female – let me know!) or paid models, I have to be quick and here is an easy way to achieve this.

What do you need?

A fancy background + a nice pose + hair + dress + make up + a reflector… In other words, you need a way to get a nice light when there’s none. It was harsh light so I had to go in the shade, where the light is flat. Hum… So you need to bring some light into the picture, and this is where my reflector really helps : I set it on a light stand on a special grip. I aim it at her and I am done. I only then have to lead my model.
Kärnten SEPT 2014-159-Bearbeitet Kopie
I loved the lines of the background, it emphases the belly’s curves somehow!

more to come!

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Play with colors, gels and White Balance!

Kärnten SEPT 2014-847 Kopie

One strobe, one orange gel, one light-balance set at 3200°K and a wonderful model.
No PS added. Only a hair of “clarity” in Lightroom.

Enjoy!

More to come…

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Why I Love My Vacations

Needless to say it’s because I spend time with my wife and my daughter.

I don’t need to go very far away from home to have fun and to enjoy not being from 8am to 5pm behind my desk. In fact, I am so much on business trips that I almost feel the need to stay home just to remember where my base is so to say. Of course, my wife feels different so we have made a gentle agreement : we go where she wants to (as long I have nothing special against the chosen destination) but once we are there, we just enjoy the day, we don’t spend too much time on driving around and we make pictures.

This last week in the south of Austria was a wedding’s present from my parents in law. It was a nice time and the weather was ok, which is important when you shoot on locations.

Photographically, I used this week to see the Bryan Adams series EXPOSED and WOUNDED. I know Bryan Adams for its music and I was very surprised to hear he is shooting for 19 years already. Like Karl Lagerfeld for DIOR, he started to shoot for his own needs, in his case to get nice shots for his CDs. On the way he became a celebrity photographer. I guess being one of them helped him to get in touch with those guys. Anyway, I like what he does. And I was pleased to notice that light-wise his setups are efficient and quiet simple. Less is more. And this lets me remember what Frank Doorhof once said : “First you pay attention to the lights, after a while you look for TFP-models, then you care about the background. then, you learn to care about MUA and hairstyle.” He says that with other words but I guess you get the idea.

I think, the next step is the story-telling, the message you want to share. And that’s the thing, you know how to make pictures, but where should this lead to?

And when I look at Bryan Adams pictures, I get the story, the message, the feeling. The technic is well achieved and is not the main point. It’s not that you say “Wow the lights are so well set!” But you see the pictures and you feel connected to them. I have posted a video about his work in a previous post.

The other thing I love to do on vacation is to read and/or surf to get knowledges on a special subject. I love biographies of famous photographers, I mean you can learn a lot about pictures, the life of a star photog, and sometimes you see them in action and I can get an idea how they light a set. Patrick Demarchelier is a world-class photographer who shot most of the top-of-the-top models, HM the Queen Elisabeth II, Lady Die, and many others… is to be found, for instance, in youtube. Why him? Well, he is one of the bests, he is French (the videos are in English, don’t run away!) and this is “the Patrick” who is called in “The Evil Wears Prada” as the assistent says “I have Patrick!”.

:-) Stop at second 28 and at second 40. Here he shoots with ambiant lights placed very close to the model, maybe an arm away. I guess this is for the fall off.

In my search I have found this one too.

At second 25, we learn a lot of things : He shoots with a softbox from Elinchrom set on a boom. The light aims at her chest but her head is also covered by the light. Angle of the SB to the model is 45°, its distance ≈ 1,5m or 1,7m. Patrick is seating 3m from the model. Background is a white seamless. The paper will reflect some light hitting from the ground and will act as a reflector. Note that the SB is straight in front of her. I see that because of the shadow by her foot. I think a strip light is aiming at the background. But I am not sure. In order to get a difference in terms of fall off or little contrast, Patrick has set a black reflector to kill some light (right to camera). As Frank Doorhof, he uses a light-meter to get a perfect exposure (and to get it quick). Well actually one of his assistants does. By the way, the light-meter aims toward the light while metering.

OK, I won’t describe all I have watched and learned by observing how Masters do shoot, but this is a thing I love to do when I am on vacation.

And, of course, on vacation, I LOVE to shoot. My favorite model is my wife. She is an angel of kindness and patience as well.
So we made a deal : a little shoot every day. BUT, I have to get things ready as much as it gets before we start so she does not get bored by “Euuuh, Darling, I have to figure out where I… hum… Maybe this light should be on the right and not on the left… okay, now let’s make some test-shots”. If I were doing like this, she wouldn’t accept to model. As she now is pregnant, she would just stand up and say “Darling, figure out what you want and then how you get it before you call me, my time is as precious as yours. Let’s try again tomorrow!” This forces me to think a lot before the shoot and this is where metering the light is a big help since, when she appears, it’s all set and I don’t have to think about the technic but only about composition and expressions : the set up is ready. I love to mix natural light with strobe-light. One strobe light mostly. Which makes 2 light’s sources (yes mates, the sun is  light source!)

Most of the time, I am disappointed with my results. But this is how you learn. It’s not that the pictures are bad, but they are almost always different from what I was expecting actually. At this point I would like to thank Scott Kelby for the online classes, Joe McNally, Dave Black and Frank Doorhof for being such inspiring and good teachers. I still have a lot to learn, but when I look back, I see all the way I went and this would have not been possible without these classes and these guys !

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-28 um 13.43.22

 

Winter is coming and I will shoot more and more in the studio.

More to come…

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