Silver & Light, Part II

Written by Ian Ruhter on . Posted in Silver & light

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Even though every Profoto product was designed with a purpose, we encourage and support creatives who find new ways of using them. Ian Ruhter is one of those photographers. Ian uses powerful Profoto strobes to rejuvenate the old wet plates technique . He is currently traveling around his home country, photographing the places and the people who live there in this never-before-seen fashion. We will follow him on this journey in a series of articles, written by Ian himself. This is the second part of his story.

Our objective with the Silver & Light project is to travel through America and photograph the people and land. As I was searching for subjects and locations to shoot, I almost overlooked what was right in front of me. One of my childhood friends has a daughter named Madison. Most would say it is a miracle that Madison is with us today. These are the types of stories that we are searching for.

I wanted the Madison shoot to reflect her spirit. I decided to use bubbles because they are so delicate and fragile. They blow carelessly in the wind. The way a child does.


©Ian Ruhter

©Ian Ruhter

©Ian Ruhter

In order to capture this image, we used four Profoto Pro-B3’s and two ProTwin heads for our key light, two Profoto Pro-7B’s were used for the rim light, and for the fill light, two ProDaylight HMI’s were used.

The ProDaylight HMI was the missing piece to the collodion equation. The HMI light combined with the strobes gives me a significantly faster exposure time. Collodion film is rated at ISO 1. Not only is it a powerful lighting source, more importantly, it gives your photos a cinematic look. The beauty of these lights is you can go from shooting photos to video instantaneously.

In addition to the photos we make for this project, we also create a film about each of our subjects. For the Madison shoot, we were finally able to execute an idea that I had for over a year. We knew we could use the camera truck; I like to refer to it as the Time Machine, as a motion camera. We set up a series of 8×10” white plates and hung them from the ceiling and created a mobile. As we close the door of the giant camera, the room was flooded with images spinning around in a 3-Dimensional space. This gave us the ability to capture moving images in a way I never thought possible.

The Time Machine was created based upon the idea that I would be able to capture images the way I see them in my mind. When I close my eyes and dream, I see images in 3-D. I am able to move freely within this space and view the images from all angles. This camera works in the same way. Because I am able to stand inside the camera, the image surrounds me. I am now able to consciously see images from all angles.

Written by Ian Ruhter
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©Ian Ruhter

©Ian Ruhter

©Ian Ruhter

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