Posts Tagged ‘Light Shaping Tool of the Month’

Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Snoot

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Commercial Photography

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Profoto Light Shaping Tool Snoot Jonathan Menga cover 600x407 Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Snoot

©Jonathan Menga

Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools. This month we talk to Canadian photographer Jonathan Menga about a simple yet fun and creative tool: the Snoot.

The Snoot is such a simple design that it is easy to overlook the possibilities it brings. The Snoot is basically just a metallic cone that you attach in front of your Zoom Reflector with the help of the Grid & Filter Holder. Unlike most hard reflectors, the Snoot has a black, non-reflective inside and a bunch of angled corners designed to prevent the light from bouncing around inside it. This means that the Snoot prevents any reflected or diffused light from hitting the subject. The only light shining through its opening is the direct light coming straight from the flash tube. This results in a direct and hard light with a very limited light spread.

This can be used for a great number of things. Some photographers use it in a more subtle way. For instance, they might want a certain detail highlighted in their product shot or the darker parts of a portrait, let us say the hair, slightly brighter and more detailed. But there are also photographers like Jonathan Menga who use the Snoot in a way so that its effect becomes directly visible. Check the first image above. Notice something strange? Yeah, how come the stripes are fading away in the guys face? Right, that is the Snoot in action! Read More

Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Umbrella Deep XL White

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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Profoto Umbrella Deep Zhang Jingna Motherland Chronicles 44 Germaine II 600x785 Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Umbrella Deep XL White

Germaine II | ©Zhang Jingna

Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools. This month we talk to Zhang Jingna about one of our most recently released tools: the Umbrella Deep XL White.

The umbrella is one of the most popular Light Shaping Tools out there. No surprise there. Umbrellas are affordable, easy to work with and very easy to transport. What’s not to like?

Profoto offers twelve kinds of umbrellas in two shapes: deep and shallow. This article will focus on one of the deep models: the Umbrella Deep XL White. The deeper shape is designed to give you better control of the light spread. It also allows you to focus and shape the light by sliding the umbrella shaft in its holder. Put together, the umbrella’s size and smooth, white fabric creates a large, soft and very even light source. But again, the light is surprisingly controllable and shapeable, thanks to the umbrella’s deeper shape.

In short, it’s a straightforward tool that you can do a lot with. Zhang Jingna’s images are a clear evidence of that. Just consider the fact all the images in this article were shot with just a single flash: a D1 monolight equipped with the Umbrella Deep XL White.

“Last year I launched a personal project of mine called Motherland Chronicles, a series of fantasy-inspired portraits” says Jingna. “A Prayer, Germaine II and Tabitha are all taken for this series.”

Jingna has her roots in China and Singapore but is now based in New York. She spends most of her time shooting fashion and beauty for clients such as Montblanc, Canon and Mercedes Benz. She’s also published in the international editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and L’Officiel on a frequent basis. But it’s not all work. Sometimes she does stuff just for the fun of it. Motherland Chronicles is an example of just that.

“I had a certain illustrative look in mind for this project,” says Jingna. “To achieve that, I needed a very soft, even light source. That’s why I’ve been working with the Umbrella Deep XL White. I generally enjoy working with umbrellas. I find that setting up and packing away softboxes can be pretty tedious. Umbrellas are a great substitute, especially for on-location shoots.” Read More

Light Shaping Tool of the Month: ProFresnel Spot

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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Profoto ProFresnel Xerxes Lorenzo xlorenzo7 600x900 Light Shaping Tool of the Month: ProFresnel Spot

©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

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

Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Collapsible Reflectors

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion Photography

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Profoto Reflectors Frederico Martins Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Collapsible Reflectors

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 Portuguese fashion photographer Frederico Martins about our brand new Profoto Reflectors, released only yesterday!

Born and raised by the owner of a clothing store, fashion is not only Frederico Martins profession. It is in his blood. Today, he is an awarded fashion photographer who counts renowned publications such as Vogue, Elle, Maxim and GQ among his clients.

Frederico started his career shooting surfers, and ever since, he enjoys using the elements of nature and available light to his advantage. This is also the reason why he prefers working with reflectors.

“Working with reflectors is a more natural approach,” says Frederico. “You can forget about batteries, carrying heavy equipment and adjusting the color temperature. You get a natural look and feel with very little effort.” Read More