Author Archive

Snakes in a Studio. In Andrew McGibbon’s Studio, to be exact.

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Animal photography

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Profoto Andrew McGibbon Snakes in a Studio 4 600x399 Snakes in a Studio. In Andrew McGibbons Studio, to be exact.

©Andrew McGibbon

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Like putting snakes on colored pieces of paper and photograph them slithering away.

That’s what South African photographer Andrew McGibbon did. And the results are awesome.

But Andrew didn’t do it just because it looks cool. He thinks the snake has been given a raw deal and wanted to show the unfairly treated animal in a new light.

“The venomous, cold-blooded rattling, hunting silently and striking suddenly – there is no room to teach that they are simply animals looking to live and defend from attack, when the symbolism is so dark and alluring, says Andrew.

“These images, then, are a result of my attempts to break down our suppositions of the animal. Photographed with warm light on bright colours, I am looking at their enchanting beauty and design, and their vulnerability, as creatures simply existing outside of the buckling pressure of the evil they are meant to represent.”

Well said. Head over to Andrew’s Behance page for the full story.

Neil van Niekerk on His Favorite Light Shaping Tool: the Softbox RFi 5′ Octa

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Lighting Tips

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Profoto Neil van Niekerk Softbox RFi John Carter 167 final 600x399 Neil van Niekerk on His Favorite Light Shaping Tool: the Softbox RFi 5 Octa

©Neil van Niekerk

Photographer Neil van Niekerk has a great blog. If you haven’t checked it out already, you should. It’s a great place to learn about lighting.

One of Neil’s most recents posts is titled “my favorite light modifier” and is basically a long love letter to the Softbox RFi 5′ Octa – a large, octagonal and extremely versatile softbox.

“When I first unfurled that thing in my studio, my reaction was, “holy crap, this is huge!” writes Neil. “My studio is 1000 sq ft, which is large, but you know, that’s also not that large. I was wondering if I should just return this to the camera store, and whether my 3×4 soft box would suffice.

“Then I started using the 5′ Octa softbox, and something clicked for me – one more thing fell into place for me in my understanding of light. My reaction turned from that perplexed, “holy crap!”, into a “holy smackeroni!” when I realized that the 5′ Octa is probably the single most versatile piece of lighting gear in my studio!”

Head over to Neil’s blog for the full story.

How to Use Backlight to Photograph Glassware

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Product Photography

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How to use backlight to photograph glassware Taka Kawachi 1 600x382 How to Use Backlight to Photograph Glassware

©Taka Kawachi

The awesome photography site Popular Photography has an ongoing article series called How To, in which photographers are interviewed about the different lighting techniques they use to achieve different effects.

The latest article highlights an ambitious shoot done by New York-based product photographer Taka Kawachi and how he used backlight to photograph glassware for a department store chain.

“For two solid weeks in 2012, Taka Kawachi, a product specialist who works out of a studio in Nyack, NY, shot nothing but glassware for a major department store chain,” writes Peter Kolonia. “Juice, highball, and shot glasses, tumblers, stemware of every size and shape, and, yes, pilsner glasses and beer mugs. If he wasn’t a master of lighting glass at the project’s outset, he certainly was by its end.”

Head over to the Popular Photography site for the full story.

Nature Photographer Jasper Doest’s First Experience with the B1 Off-camera Flash

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Animal photography

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Nature Photographer Jasper Doests First Experience with the B1 Off camera Flash 1 600x399 Nature Photographer Jasper Doests First Experience with the B1 Off camera Flash

©Jasper Doest

Fashion photographers, commercial photographers, product photographers – they all shoot with flash. Amongst nature photographers, on the other hand, the use of flash is less widespread.  But Jasper Doest shoots with flash. And he just tried the Profoto B1 off-camera flash. Here is what he has to say of it, in his own words:  

In the field of nature photography, there’s still some hesitance against the use of artificial light sources. I don’t agree with this. Just as long as you use your flash in an appropriate way.

Try to practice balancing the light on a stuffed animal or a human model. You’ll notice that if you point your flash directly at your model at full power he or she is not going to be happy. It could even cause temporarily eye damage. So be careful with this. Another reason why you do not want to do this is that it creates very harsh flat light. Artificial light is meant to control the quality of light, not as a compensation for lack of light quantity. When you learn how to control the quantity and to balance the light from the right angles you will find that using a flash unit in a natural environment does not cause any problems for you and the welfare of the animals.

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