Tim Flach: A Walk on the Wild Side

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Battery-powered Flash

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Springer and Pheasants e1318330284532 Tim Flach: A Walk on the Wild Side

Springer and Pheasants | ©Tim Flach

Shooting animals is one of the toughest assignments a photographer can get. For Tim Flach, however, it is not only a full-time profession, but also a creative expression and a forum for debate.

The extraordinary thing about Tim’s images is how they make you think and feel in equal measure. He is rarely as interested in explaining things as he is eager to ask questions, and the animals he depicts usually come across as both wild and strangely humanlike.

“I suppose humans don’t tend to pee or shit in the studio quite so often,” says Tim. “But when it comes to lighting the set and stylizing the picture, I often use the same methods as any portrait photographer would. I’m interested in the human aspect and the human space that animals occupy. That’s why.”

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Marcus Bell: Feeling Special on a Special Day

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Battery-powered Flash, Wedding Photography

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1MB5733 work2a TanyaA e1316507712449 Marcus Bell: Feeling Special on a Special Day

©Marcus Bell

Being rewarded for your efforts is a nice thing. Marcus Bell was recently reminded of this, when he made it on to American Photo’s prestigious list Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World.

“It’s an amazing honor,” says Marcus. It’s like our own little Oscar’s for wedding photographers. I’m really excited!”

Marcus has earned his stripes. In fact, he has been working as a wedding photographer for more than 13 years, but judging from his palpable enthusiasm, the job has just gotten better by the years.

“I don’t even think of myself as a wedding photographer,” says Marcus. “Still, that’s what I end up photographing most of the time, because it’s what I love. As a wedding photographer, you get to be a part of all these amazing moments when people celebrate with their family, their friends and the people they love. There’s so much emotion. It’s like a treasure chest for a photographer, really.”

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Quincy Dein Shooting in Hawaii

Written by Profoto Blogger on . Posted in Battery-powered Flash, Hot Photography, Sports Photography

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Jesse Richman Kite Beach Maui Quincy Dein Shooting in Hawaii

©Quincy Dein

Hawaiian photographer Quincy Dein reached out to us to share his use of Profoto gear. What follows are his words.

When I set out on this project, my goal was to capture windsurfing and kiteboarding in a new and dynamic way. I wanted a fresh look, something different than blue water, sun, and waves. For inspiration, I looked to the snow and skate industries which have a long history of using studio strobes to light up the action.

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On set with DC Chavez – Part III

Written by DC Chavez on . Posted in Battery-powered Flash, Lighting Tips

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A 3 1/2 hour traffic-filled drive, 2 cups of coffee and 2 hours of waiting on set followed by 30 minutes to set up, take photos, tear down and leave the facility. Another day shooting photos. icon smile On set with DC Chavez   Part III

I met up with the Rockstar / Etnies Ford Fiesta at an undisclosed location on set of an undisclosed TV show. This vehicle is piloted by Tanner Foust- three-time X-Games Gold Medalist, two-time Formula Drift Champion, stunt driver, host of Top Gear USA etc. In 2009 Tanner even bested that one German F1 driver Michael Schumacher in the Race of Champions. Basically if it has 4 wheels, Tanner has driven it- faster than pretty much anyone. I was hired by one of the race team sponsors to shoot this rally car for a poster for the upcoming Global Rallycross Series. The assignment sounded easy enough. Drive to the middle of nowhere, wait until the TV show got done with the car and shoot a few frames in a unique location.

The building was built over 3 years ago as a hub for a large logistics company, but when the economy turned south, they bailed on the project. Bad for them, great for photographs. The location itself was insane- two football fields long by two football fields wide of untouched warehouse. Tanner sent me a photo of the warehouse the day before as the sun was setting—golden light streaming through the back windows of the empty building. I was excited to take advantage of the glowing ambient mixed with the cold concrete and metal beams.

tanner foust ford header On set with DC Chavez   Part III

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On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Written by DC Chavez on . Posted in Battery-powered Flash, Instruction

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BTS AASBO HEADER On set with DC Chavez Pt II

“How quickly can you get done with these photos? We have a long drive ahead of us…”

My FAVORITE words to hear at the start of any shoot. The reality is, it happens all the time. Working with race cars, teams and drivers is an absolute dream job and I am so thankful to be a part of it on a daily basis, however, it does have its drawbacks.

I spent last Friday out at Willow Springs Raceway to shoot the Team Need for Speed Scion tC drift car. This was the last test day before the first race of the season 3 days later. During a normal testing session, time is always working against the photographer as the teams work feverishly on their cars trying to optimize setups for an upcoming race. Most of the time the team has been up all night wrenching on the car to have it prepped and ready to go for the following track day. Cars don’t always arrive on time, they break, they crash or the team needs more time to get the vehicle race ready. At the track tension is high, the sun is intense, food is typically scarce and like any competitive team, winning is the main priority. Quite honestly, the photo shoot is the last thing on the team’s mind.

A typical day at the track is spent waiting- waiting for moment for the driver is free to sneak away, waiting for the car to be done and waiting to get the photos I need. I had planned on shooting the car on the track they were testing on, so I couldn’t set up lighting ahead of time. When the car is ready to go, there is no waiting for the perfect light, you have to make due with what you have and make it happen. You have a team of tired, sunburned, hungry people that want to load up the car and catch up on sleep they missed the night before. 99% of the time as the vehicle gets handed over its followed with the question, “How quickly can you get done with these photos?” Perfect.

I needed to get a heroic shot of the driver, Fredric Aasbo, so while waiting I set up a single Pro Head attached to a Pro B3 and waited until the driver had a free second. Waiting. After one test session they were going to make significant changes to the car, allowing Fredric to have 10 free minutes. I seized the opportunity and had him stand on the mark I set earlier. 4 frames later we were done and this is what we got:

BTS Freric aasbo headshot On set with DC Chavez Pt II

With the headshot out of the way it was time to wait around until we could get the race car on the track. About an hour and a half later the car came into the pits and they said the track was clear for me to set up. First thing I had to do was get out onto the track and figure out how I was going to position the vehicle to take advantage of the ambient light. While the race car was being cleaned, I used my truck as a placeholder. I got a general idea of exposure with my Sekonic L-358 and snapped a photo. Here is what I had to work with for ambient:

BTS AASBO TC AMBIENT On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Ambient Light with Stand in Vehicle

I like to get an idea of where I stand with ambient lighting exposure-wise so I can build upon that with strobe lighting. As you can see I have positioned the car so that the sun is the main key light. I knocked down most of the specular highlights with a circular polarizer, cutting ambient a bit more. I like doing this because the sun fills the largest part of the car while really defining the body lines with subtle shadows and highlights. As you can see from the image, I needed more light in the front of the car to balance out with the side. As I was almost done setting up the Pro B3 1200 AIR, the car pulled onto the track. The timer had officially started ticking- everyone wanted to go home and I was tasked with getting the images done ASAP. This is further proof that you need to have a solid understanding of how to use your equipment so you really don’t have to think about it on set. There is no time to run through multiple lighting schemes, ratios, modifiers… I had to pick my setup and execute as fast as possible.

I directed the car into position to take advantage of the available light and then started metering my fill lights for the front of the car. Here is the setup I used to execute this shoot:

BTS FREDRIC AASBO TC 3 On set with DC Chavez Pt II

BTS- Fredric Aasbo Need for Speed Scion tC

After a few tweaks of the angles of the heads I was ready to shoot.  I chose to use the standard zoom reflectors for a few reasons.  First, I wanted to match the light from the sun – hard and direct.  Second, I could zoom one of them all the way out to provide a fill for the shadow on the drivers side of the car that the sun would normally create.  This spread of that light is needed to be wide enough to illuminate the shadow on the asphalt on the front of the car.  I like to knock down that shadow to make the lighting seem a bit more natural and understated.  After a few adjustments to the light output, I was ready to go. I shot 12 frames on the front of the car and then flipped the vehicle to get some shots of the rear.  Here are the results:

BTS Fredric Aasbo tc 1 On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Fredric Aasbo Team Need for Speed Scion tC

BTS Fredric Aasbo tc rear On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Fredric Aasbo Team Need for Speed Scion tC

With a series of shots of the front and back out of the way, it was time to introduce the driver to the equation. The only change I made was adding a D1 1000 AIR in a gridded softlight reflector to provide some on-axis fill for the drivers face. I powered the D1 with the new Profoto Batpac. Here is a look at the setup:

BTS FREDRIC AASBO 1 On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Fredric Aasbo Team Need for Speed Scion tC

BTS FREDRIC AASBO TC 2 On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Fredric Aasbo Team Need for Speed Scion tC

And the final result:

2011 Fredric aasbo tc On set with DC Chavez Pt II

Fredric Aasbo Team Need for Speed Scion tC

At the end of the day I had snapped off 60 frames in just under 20 minutes. There was a total of 3 different looks of the car at multiple angles as well as a shot with the driver. It was a whirlwind, but thankfully we got everything we needed and the team went home to get much needed sleep. icon smile On set with DC Chavez Pt II The car competed 3 days later and ended up making it to a top 16 finish- a huge accomplishment for a brand new race car. The client was very happy with the images and quickly turned them around to create a poster for race day.

I hope you all enjoy these behind the scenes looks at real world situations. Let me know if you have any questions with anything,