Raising awareness on-location

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in On location, Portrait photography

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© Stephanie Diani

© Stephanie Diani

Last year we introduced you to some of Stephanie Diani’s arresting imagery. This year, the awareness campaign Faces of Humanity caught many a photo fans’ eye, and the observant Profoto blog reader also spotted that it was Stephanie providing the dramatic portraits. We had a chat with her to find out how she did the different on-location shoots.

Portraiture photographer Stephanie Diani really has a knack of finding how to tell a tale with her work. In her expressive and vivid portraits she is able to isolate that little something in the poses of her subjects. So when Getty Images asked her to do a shoot for the Canadian Red Cross, highlighting humanitarian field workers, she instantly knew what kind of story she wanted to convey.

“The art director at the Canadian Red Cross and I discussed what we wanted to achieve. Our artistic goal was to create images that engages the viewer and introduced them to the aid workers’ field of expertise. I wanted them to share the feeling of accomplishment that humanitarian work engenders,” says Stephanie.

The photographer explains that in order to achieve the look and feel she was going for, not just light but lighting was essential.

“We lugged 250 lbs of gear across Canada,“ Stephanie claims. Among that were three Profoto D1 Monolights, two Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flashes, and a large variety of Light Shaping Tools.

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What’s the difference between a white and a silver beauty dish?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each articleresponds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt explains the difference between a white and a silver beauty dish.

In my last post, I showed you the difference between a bare head flash and a white beauty dish. A beauty dish creates a directional, but soft light by increasing the relative size of the light and by blocking the original light source and forcing the light to spread evenly around the entire modifier. You probably already know that the relative size of your light determines how soft the light will be, but there are other factors that change the quality of that light. One of those additional factors is the surface of the light modifier itself.

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What’s the Difference Between a Bare Head and a White Beauty Dish?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each article responds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt explains the difference between using a bare head and a white beauty dish.

Photographers instinctively know that a soft box creates soft light, it’s in the name for heaven sake! But the reason is sometimes less obvious to some. If you already know the answer to this quiz, don’t worry, we will get a little more detailed in a moment. The sun (less than an inch in diameter in the sky) is a very hard light and creates very hard shadows, but a 4 foot softbox, placed next to your portrait subject will create soft, beautiful light.  Take that softbox a few hundred yards away from the subject (if the strobe was strong enough) and that light would feel a lot more like the hard sunlight you so desperately want to avoid. Simply put, the quality of light (whether a light is soft or hard) depends on the size of the light to the subject.  No matter what light you have and what modifier you are using, the closer you bring the light to the subject, the softer it will become (even if it is also becoming more powerful in the process).

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What’s the difference between using CTO gels and CTB gels?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each article responds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt shows how to achieve different effects with CTO and CTB gels.

Color of light is a critical part of photographic lighting, but most photographers do not pay much attention to it when using flash. Each light source has a particular color cast to it, which is why your camera has white balance settings. When you choose the proper white balance for the color of light you are photographing, the color in the exposure will be neutral, and look correct. In mixed lighting conditions, where you have multiple colors of light, the light you white balance for will be neutral, while the other light will end up either too warm, too cool, too green, etc. In most cases, you will have one primary light source and color and if you want to keep your image color neutral, you will need to alter the color of your flash to match it. This is where color gels come in.
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Rossella Vanon gets creative with the OCF Gels

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Fashion photography, Off-camera flash, Portrait photography

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© Rossella Vanon

© Rossella Vanon

Flash is an essential part of light shaping, but to catch the right feeling in your pictures you cannot always solely rely on light. With the OCF Gels you can shape light in color and create the mood you are after. To show an example, we asked fashion and beauty photographer Rossella Vanon to get creative.

Lighting and color has always been important ingredients in Rossella Vanon’s photography. Her delicate and dreamy, yet bold and rich look and feel has awarded her international acclaim in just a few years.

“I always prefer the look of gels used subtly and in a targeted way to when the colors are allowed to take over the entire image, uncontrolled,” says Rossella. “However, it tends to require the use of more light sources and certainly more time positioning and figuring out a balance between the place and intensity of all sources.”

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