Irwin Wong, the RFi Speedlight Speedring and the Blogging Jogger

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto RFi Speedlight Speedring Irwin Wong  IRZ4598 600x899 Irwin Wong, the RFi Speedlight Speedring and the Blogging Jogger

©Irwin Wong

Tokyo-based photographer Irwin Wong claims he shoots portraits like a kid collecting baseball cards. For him, it is all about meeting colorful characters and documenting the experience with a powerful portrait.

“I get a huge kick out of seeing what all sorts of different people are like,” says Irwin. “Through my job I get to meet people from all sorts of different walks of life. I’ve met homeless people, rock stars, the yakuza, etcetera, and 99% of the time they are happy to let me into their lives enough for a photo to be taken.”

So, tell us about this particular experience?

“These shots are part of my portrait series Gaijin, featuring foreigners with interesting, unconventional jobs living in Japan. The strangely dressed man is Joseph Tame. He wears that outfit and blogs live while running marathons or jogging around Tokyo. That is why he has all those iPhones and iPads with him.

“While having a coffee with him in order to prepare the shoot, Joseph mentioned that every single time he jogs in that outfit, without fail, he gets stopped by a police officer who wants to know what he is up to. So, besides the fact that I thought seeing a man dressed like a nut being questioned by the police would make for a humorous scene, I also felt that a lot of non-Japanese living in Tokyo would be able to relate to that scene, as there is this underlying perception here that the police keep a special eye out for foreigners.” Read More

Light Shaping Tool of the Month: RFi Speedlight Speedring

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools (previous articles can be found here). This month we talk to Turkish portrait photographer Maneki Neko about the new RFi Speedlight Speedring.

As you might know, Maneki Neko is the name of the Japanese figurine cat that is said to bring good luck to its owner. But luck had nothing to do with it when we decided to send our new RFi Speedlight Speedring to the Turkish portrait photographer with the same name. We simply loved Maneki’s work and were curious to see what he would create with this new tool.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to not only show something from myself but also from the beautiful city of Istanbul where I live,” says Maneki. “In addition, I wanted to show the portability of the product, so shooting outdoors on the streets of Istanbul seemed like the perfect thing to do!” Read More

Jeremiah Stanley Brings the New RFi Speedlight Speedring to a Rodeo in Florida

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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On October 1, Profoto released a new speedring that makes the RFi softboxes compatible with speedlights of most brands. Jeremiah Stanley brought it with him to shoot some cowboys at a rodeo in Florida. Here is his story.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Florida”? We are guessing it is not cowboys, right? But that is something Jeremiah Stanley wants to change with his most recent portrait series.

“A 45 minute drive from where I live there is a small town called Williston where the western culture is very prominent, “ says Jeremiah. “People wear cowboy hats, there are tractors on the roads – they even have rodeos, which obviously isn’t something you’d normally associate with Florida. So, the idea was to go to this rodeo, set up some seamless and take some nice portraits of these nice people and this fascinating culture.”

Jeremiah had already started planning the shoot when he stumbled across our blog post asking for volunteers to try a not yet released Light Shaping Tool for speedlights. The announcement sparked Jeremiah’s interested, and the email he sent us sparked ours. Two weeks later he arrived at the Williston rodeo with the then yet to be released RFi Speedlight Speeding and a brand new Softbox RFi Octa 5’ in his bag. Read More

Neil van Niekerk Shoots a Vintage Motorbike in an Alley

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto Blog Neil van Niekerk NV2 5812 vintage Neil van Niekerk Shoots a Vintage Motorbike in an Alley

©Neil van Niekerk

Ok, so it is not the first time we highlight a post on Neil van Niekerk‘s wonderful blog, but as long as he keeps serving us gems such as this, we will happily pass them along to you guys.

This time Neil takes us behind the scenes of a recent shot for his upcoming book on portrait photography 60 Portraits.

“I photographed a few sequences of John and Barbara with this motorbike, using different setups,” writes Neil. “I liked this dramatic series the most, with the light from behind casting a shadow in front of them. I wanted the light to etch the frame of the motorbike and side-car, without revealing too much detail – I wanted this to be a portrait of John and Barbara.”

Neil needed only two lights to achieve this effect: an AcuteB2 equipped with a Magnum Reflector and a D1 equipped with a Softbox RFi 3×4′.

Head over to Neil’s blog to learn how he did it. You won’t regret it.

Martin Häusler: Overpowering the Californian Sun

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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R5 final 01 Martin Häusler: Overpowering the Californian Sun

©Martin Häusler

Martin Häusler was born in Germany, but somehow ended up in L.A., shooting larger than life celebrities in his glossy yet gritty signature style. One of his most recent shoots was with rising teen pop outfit R5, fronting Ross Lynch from Disney superstar factory Austin & Alley.

“The client wanted to show that R5 is a Californian act, so choosing an outdoor location at sunset felt like a natural thing to do,” says Martin. “To make the band look cool and bit more rock, I came up with the idea of shooting them next to a classic old American car. Yes, I know it’s something of a cliché, but teenage pop groups are cliché. You’ve got to give their fans what they want, right?”

In terms of lighting, what did you want to achieve?

“I wanted to have the low Californian sun as my back light, as I think it creates such a nice vibe, plus it looks really cool when it shines through a person’s hair from that angle. I also wanted a hard front light and a couple of highlights and hotspots to emphasize the car, the shoes, and etcetera.” Read More