How Jonathan Menga Used Flashes and Smoke Machines to Make His Neighborhood Park Look Like a Forest

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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One day when Jonathan Menga was out walking in his neighborhood, he fell upon a baseball park he hadn’t really noticed before. Jonathan’s mind started working. Soon, he had an idea. With a clever use of gelled flashes and smoke machines, he would be able to turn the small park into something else. 

A few days later, Jonathan returned with a model, an assistant and a make up artist. In his gear bag was two Profoto Acute2 packs, two Acute/D4 Heads, a speedlight, a Softlight Reflector and a bunch of colored gels.

“I wanted these forest photoshoot images to have some sort of mood to them and give off a story,” writes Jonathan on his blog.

Jonathan had some help from the weather conditions. It was a cloudy day and the trees were dark. The mood was further enhanced by the gelled flashes and the smoke machine that Jonathan had brought.

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Light Shaping Tool of the Month: ProFresnel Spot

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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©Xerxes Lorenzo

Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools. This month we talk to photographer Xerxes Lorenzo about his go-to movie star light: the ProFresnel Spot.

The Profoto ProFresnel Spot is a huge Fresnel lens that can be mounted directly onto any Profoto head, such as a Pro Head Plus or a Pro-B Head Plus. The ProFresnel Spot also fits on and works splendidly with any compact unit, such as the D1 monolight or the B1 off-camera flash.

Being a Fresnel, the ProFresnel Spot creates what you might describe as your typical movie light. You get a directed, almost horizontal light spread that is perfect for fashion and product photography. The ProFresnel Spot can also be used to create a softer and more even light by simply sliding the tool back on the flash head.

It is for these exact reasons that Houston-based photographer Xerxes Lorenzo is a big fan of the ProFresnel Spot. Claiming to draw his inspiration from Japanese anime culture, Xerxes enjoys creating beautiful fashion and beauty shots with a subtle touch of darkness.

“I’ve never been a big fan of diffused, soft lighting,” says Xerxes. “I was always more interested in recreating the look of natural sunlight. So, I did some research on how to get that typical hard studio light and learned that Fresnel lenses are the answer. Fresnels were evidently what they used in the classic old Hollywood films. But they used them with hot lights. I wanted the same tool but for my Profoto flash heads. That’s how I came across the ProFresnel Spot.” Read More

Flash Photographer Tobias Björkgren Tries Shooting with Collapsible Reflectors Only

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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©Tobias Björkgren

Winter is coming to Stockholm. Every day we’re getting less sun hours. So, what to do when you got a bunch of new Collapsible Reflectors to try out? Well, you go to Spain, of course! That’s what Tobias Björkgren did.

While in Spain, Tobias did two fashion shoots for two different brands. He did one shoot for Swedish designer Frida Ahlvarssson’s label Ahlvar and one for the conceptual brand NHORM. The shoot for Ahlvar was done in the afternoon in Cartagena with the town’s beautiful architecture as backdrop. The shoot for NHORM shoot was done in the countryside in the setting sun amongst red colored sands stones.

Tobias, who usually shoots with Profoto flash packs, says he enjoyed the simple yet creative approach that shooting with the Collapsible Reflectors only brought.

“It was real treat,” he says. “I usually work with at least one but often several flash heads. Being able to create any light you want is, of course, an incredible thing. But it can also be a bit bewildering to have all the options at hand. It’s easy to get lost in technology. Shooting with Collapsible Reflectors only resulted in a different workflow. I found myself being more spontaneous with my model and my light. I was never afraid to try a new angle or just take a few steps around the area and quickly set up a new shot. Needless to say, they were also very easy to travel with.”

Below are the final images and two behind-the-scenes videos from Tobias’ trip to Spain – one from Ahlvar shoot and one from the NHORM shoot.

If you want to see even more Tobias work, check out his website.

If you want to learn more about our Collapsible Reflectors, click here.

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Miguel Jacob’s Elegant Fashion Shoot

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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©Miguel Jacob

©Miguel Jacob

Canadian fashion photographer Miguel Jacob was asked by luxury clothing company Marlowe to do something elegant and sophisticated. Keep reading to learn how he did it.

Miguel Jacob was born and raised in Lima, Peru, but has lived in Canada for many years now. Here he has grown to become a sought-after fashion photographer. Some of you might have seen his work for brands such as Sears, Universal Records and Warner Bros. Others might recognize him from being a guest photographer on America’s Next Top Model as well as on Jay Manuel’s Style Her Famous.

Miguel has made a name for himself as a photographer with a knack for creating cool and sophisticated images in which light plays a central role. It was for this exact reason that luxury-clothing company Marlowe contacted him.

“Known for their singular vision of understated elegance and sophistication, Marlowe is a brand with a strong history and brand identity,” says Miguel. “In shooting the clothes, I wanted to evoke the elegance present in the fashion photographs of Horst P. Horst and George Hoyningen-Huene as well as the Hollywood portraits of George Hurrell. It was of the outmost importance to create imagery that was timeless and modern without seaming nostalgic.” Read More

Fashion Photography with the Nokia Lumia 1020 Smartphone

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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“We already know that Nokia Lumia 1020 takes great pictures when you’re out and about, but how does it perform in studio conditions?”

That was the question that the people at Nokia asked themselves. To learn the answer they contacted their camera expert Ari Partinen and his colleague Marko Saari, who organized a fashion studio photo shoot with a Profoto D1, the good old ComPact, an Umbrella XL and the HR Softbox 1.5×3.5′.

So, what do you think? How does the Nokia Lumia 1020 perform in studio conditions? Leave a comment below!

Head over to the Nokia Blog for the full story. Read More

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