Using Strip Softboxes To Create A Dramatic Portrait on Location

Written by Andrea Belluso on . Posted in The Light Shaper

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Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of a recent shoot to share some of the knowledge he has gained over the years. This time he brings strip softboxes to a murky hangar to shoot an elegant yet dramatic portrait of an old friend of his.

Flying gliders and taking pictures are two of my greatest passions in life. Being able to combine these two passions is even better! So, needless to say, the day I photographed my old friend and flying instructor Peder Ek (who also happens to be a great photographer) at our flying club was a pretty awesome day at work.

As if that wasn’t enough, I wasn’t just taking Peder’s portrait. At the same time, I was also shooting the finest aircraft we have at our flying club – the two-seated glider Dou Discus. She is such a beauty!

Right from the start I knew I wanted the image to be an elegant and timeless yet dramatic portrait of an experienced pilot and his beloved flying machine. In short, I wanted something that made Peder justice. He is a thoughtful and straightforward kind of guy. The image should be the same.

So how did I do that?

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“The Light Shaper” Battles the Forces of Nature with Flashes and Collapsible Reflectors

Written by Andrea Belluso on . Posted in The Light Shaper

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Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of a recent shoot to share some of the knowledge he has gained over the years. Today, we join him on a challenging on-location shoot where the forces of nature seem to conspire against him.

There are days when the whole world seems to smile upon you. But there are also days when the forces of nature seem to conspire against you. This shoot belongs in the latter category…

The shoot was done at Långtora Airfield outside Stockholm, which is the airfield where my gliding club is based. The look we were going for was a modern version of the flying ladies of the 1940s. Quite a few of the classic Hollywood stars flew gliders. The particular glider we were borrowing for this shoot was used by the Danish air force during the 1940s to train fighter pilots. Some people at the club claim that the gilder was once flown by Greta Garbo. But that fact is still to be verified…

Lighting-wise, we planned to shoot with sunlight and Collapsible Reflectors only. I wanted a subtle and natural backlight in the images, and Collapsible Reflectors are great for that. The fact that Profoto offer ten different Collapsible Reflectors in six fabrics (black, white, silver, sunsilver, gold and translucent) would be helpful, as that allowed us to create different light characters and moods by simply replacing one Collapsible Reflector with another.

That was the plan. But as it turned, the forces of nature refused to cooperate. Read More

Why Every Photographer Should Bring Their Umbrella Indoors

Written by Andrea Belluso on . Posted in The Light Shaper

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Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of a recent shoot to share some of the knowledge he has gained over the years. This time he brings his Profoto Umbrella Deep indoors for a stylish portrait of a British gentleman.

A couple of months ago, I shared with you a shoot I did for Pall Mall Barbers, one of the oldest and most respected barbershops in London. Today’s shoot was done for the same client. But this time they wanted the model portrayed in more relaxed kind of environment.

After giving it some thought, I decided to keep things simple. We brought the team and our model Knut to Story Restaurant just across the street from the Profoto office in Stockholm to shoot Knut relaxing in their lounge with a cup of tea in his hand.

The same thinking went into our choice of equipment – keeping it simple. So, we brought two B1 off-camera flashes, an Umbrella Deep Silver L and an Umbrella Deep White XL.

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Spice Up Your Lighting with the WideZoom Reflector

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in The Light Shaper

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Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of a recent shoot to share some of the knowledge he has gained over the years. This time he shows us how to use the WideZoom Reflector in a creative, out-of-the-box way.

I was recently approached by the staff at Klassik Magazine asking me to do a fashion story based on the official trend forecast for 2015 stating that India will be a great source of inspiration. I gave the brief some thought and realized that I wanted to shoot different kinds of images but with a consistent look and feel – as one normally does in an editorial fashion story. I also knew I wanted a hard light with a lot of contrast and dramatic shadows.

There are a number of Profoto hard reflectors that can do this. But for this particular shoot I chose the WideZoom Reflector. The WideZoom Reflector creates a wider, more even light than any other Profoto hard reflector. For this reason I often use it as a background light. But on this shoot I decided to use it in a non-traditional way. I used it as a sidelight. This allowed me to create the heavy shadows I needed, while at the same time spilling some nice light onto the background. Also, using the same Light Shaping Tool in different ways for different shots would help me achieve the consistent look and feel I was going for. Read More

Hard, Punchy Light at the Boxing Club with the Magnum Reflector

Written by Andrea Belluso on . Posted in The Light Shaper

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Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. He has shot everything and everyone from supermodels and celebrities to fashion, beauty and stock photography. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of one of his most recent shoots. This time he creates a hard and punchy light with the Magnum Reflector!

“Capture the essence of a classic yet modern and active man.” That was the brief I was given by advertising agency JU’NK, who had been hired by Pall Mall Barbers, one of the oldest and most respected barbershops in London, to promote their new line of products.

The first thing we did was to look for a model. Finding a British-looking man with just the right attitude in Sweden was not the easiest thing to achieve. But the second we met male model and rock star Knut, we knew we had our man!

The image was shot in one of Stockholm’s oldest boxing clubs. There is a deeply rooted boxing tradition among British gentlemen, so we figured the location would fit the brief perfectly. But there are certain challenges with shooting at a gym. Gyms are quite sterile, brightly lit environments, so creating mood and atmosphere is not an easy thing to do.

As always, I solved this by bringing my own lights, in this case three B1 off-camera flashes and three Magnum Reflectors. Read More