What’s your favorite Light Shaping Tool?

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Lighting tips

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© Ki Price, © Miguel Jacob, & © Roy Rossovich

Photography is light. In order to capture the feeling you are trying to convey, you need to be able to shape light. We asked 8 photographers to choose their favorite light shaping tool and explain what they like about it.

Profoto offer an array of Light Shaping Tools that enable you to be more creative and to turn your ambitions into reality. Whether shooting commercial ads with complex multi-flash setups or portraits using only a single monolight, all photographers aim to recreate a certain feeling when capturing an image. And that feeling is determined by the light. The fact that light is important for the outcome of a picture comes as no surprise to any committed photographer. In fact, photography means “drawing with light” in Greek. But in order to draw with light, you need to be able to control it – that is what light shaping is all about.

Just as a painter uses different paint brushes, a photographer needs different light shaping tools in order to create different lighting effects. With the Profoto OCF Grids you create dramatic and focused light, with the Magnum Reflector you shape with power and finesse, and with the Hard Box you create the hardest light possible.

We asked 8 photographers to choose their favorite light shaping tool and explain what they like about it.

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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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Rising Light: Yael Pachino and the Art of Food Portraiture

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Rising light

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© Yael Pachino

© Yael Pachino

Rising Light is an article series highlighting promising photography students from all over the world. This month we introduce Yael Pachino, at Hallmark Institute of Photography, Massachusetts, and her mouth-watering photography.

Baltimore native Yael Pachino is big on food. Not eating food per se, though she does admit to it, but photographing food. And she’s good at it. Very good.

Yael is currently a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. She fell in love with Hallmark after spending a day touring the facilities. In particular she was impressed with the number of portrait and still-life studios the school maintained along with an incredibly well supplied set of cameras, lenses, and lighting that was hers to utilize. Add to that an amazing faculty to get encouraged from while learning how to capture pictures of food that make you want to eat the page.

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Think outside the softbox

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Fashion photography, Lighting tips, Off-camera flash, RFi, The light shaper

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The fact that the softbox is such a common tool doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with it. To prove this we asked Andrea Belluso to do four different fashion setups using nothing but softboxes.

We all know the softbox. When it comes to Light Shaping Tools, it might very well be the most popular and most widely used. But the fact that we see it and use it so often can sometimes make us forget what a versatile and creative tool the softbox actually is.

First of all, there are many different sizes and shapes of softboxes to choose from. Secondly, you can position and direct the softbox in many different ways, which will create very different lighting effects. Put it to the side of your model. Put it above. Direct it straight at your model or feather it and use the fall off. Almost anything is possible with a softbox.

To prove this we asked light shaping guru Andrea Belluso to do four different fashion setups using only softboxes in an out of the box kind of way.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Andrea came up with four unique solutions. He tethered up with his Phase One XF and TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed and set to work. He used the softbox as side light, he used the softbox as top light, he used it to create a hard light, and he used it as back light to create an even softer light.

How did he do it? Keep reading and we’ll go through each setup one at a time.

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What’s the difference between using a green gel and no gel?

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

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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 green gel and no gel.

In my last post, I detailed the process of using color correction gels to match the colors of various light sources. It that case, we matched the flash (which is a slightly blue light) to overcast daylight (which is much more blue). Then we went the opposite direction and intensified the blue in the sky, by using a warm gel on the flash. If you haven’t read it, take a look, it is worth the read.  Throughout the shoot, we nailed four variations that were are great, so the selection between them would be based on individual preference.

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