Light Shaping Tool of the Month: Magnum Reflector

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fashion photography

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@Ab Sesay

Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools. (If you want to browse through previous articles, click the Light Shaping Tool of the Month banner on the right.) This month we talk to Ab Sesay about one of his favorite tools: the Magnum Reflector.

Ab is a commercial advertising photographer based in New York. After more than ten years in the industry, Ab has shot pretty much everything, but it’s often people photography that gets his creative juices flowing.

In addition to freelancing, Ab also works as Creative Director at Profoto US. As such, he is sometimes asked to shoot with a particular Light Shaping Tool to show its unique effects and benefits. The image in this article is the result of one such assignment, and the tool in question was, of course, the Magnum Reflector.

“The assignment was simple,” says Ab. “Show what you can do with just a single Magnum. My response to that was to do a shoot where I’d try to imitate the effect of the late summer sun when it’s about two hours away from setting – low enough in the sky for the light to have some direction, but high enough to still be at full intensity.” Read more

XinZhao Li’s Rare Portraits of the Tajik People

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait photography

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Tafline Laylin at the Green Prophet website has written a short but sweet article about Chinese photographer XinZhao Li, who recently travelled to the remote region of  Taskurgan to document the Tajik people.

“Taskurgan is an unforgiving place,” writes Tafline. “Located at 10,140 feet in the Pamir mountain range on the borders of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, close to Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, this small autonomous Kashgar Prefecture county in Xinjiang, China is cold, the winters are long, and food is hard to come by. But out of such a place emerged a fascinating culture. The ethnic Tajiks and their simple, tribal way of life are not well known to the outside world, however, something that Chinese photographer XinZhao Li sought to change.”

XinZhao used a large-format Hasselblad and Profoto lighting to create her beautiful portraits.

Click here to read the article.

The see the entire portrait series, click here.


Wendy Hope’s Cascading Hair Beauty Shoot

Written by M. Gertz on . Posted in Beauty photography

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Wendy Hope beauty shoot

Samantha Xu of MUSE NYC | © 2012 Wendy Hope

Beauty, fashion, and celebrity photographer Wendy Hope combines her sense of fun and whimsy with a super precise and detail-oriented lighting style to create images of unusual beauty. How do you turn hair into a cascading waterfall? Read on for her account of a recent beauty shoot.

The inspiration for this shoot was to create compelling, iconic, advertising-style hair images for my portfolio. I’ve been collaborating with hair stylist Keith Campbell and we wanted to shoot a highly exaggerated, long, clean, and classic straight hair look with multiple highlights and shadows. We also wanted to create an image where the hair appeared to look like a cascading waterfall… of hair. I wanted viewers and potential clients to think, “Wow, that’s amazing, how did they do that?” Read more

Katie Thompson’s Shattered Mirror Portraits

Written by M. Gertz on . Posted in Portrait photography

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Katie Thompson - Mirrors

Mirrors | © 2012 Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson is a fashion and portrait photographer working between Chicago, Illinois and Rochester, New York. Her photography is whimsical, imaginative, sometimes darkly humorous, and always beautifully lit. Here, she shares some beauty shots, with a reflective twist.

This shot was done as part of a series of images I’ve been doing that use mirrors and reflections. I’ve always been interested in the idea of self-perception and body image, so I’ve been experimenting with different ways of visually showing that concept. In these images I wanted to show a distorted perception so I took a more minimalistic approach and used carefully placed mirrors to reflect the woman’s face. I’m really interested in fashion and beauty photography so I wanted to create something that was still beautiful but had at least the hint of a darker undertone. Read more

Master Series: Greg Heisler on Photography Techniques

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Videos

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Every few months, Profoto has the pleasure of interviewing an accomplished and highly regarded photographer to bring you their passion and knowledge of light shaping. This collection of interviews makes up the Master Series.

The latest addition to the Master Series features New York-based photographer Gregory Heisler, renowned for his technical mastery and iconic Time Magazine covers, to name just a few examples.

In this third video Greg talks about the importance of not relying on proven techniques. He also talks about the importance of finding your own expression.

“The last thing you want to think about when taking a picture is other pictures,” says Greg. Solid advice.

The fourth video will be posted in two weeks. In case you missed the first or the second video, they are still available here and here.

You can see more of Greg’s work at his website. He is also a frequent Twitterer.