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.”
These images were all shot with the ProFresnel Spot. Can you tell us a little about them? Why and how were they shot?
“These images are part of a personal project I did quite recently. In other words, they were not shot for a client, which means that I had better control of the final result. The goal was to create a set of simple beauty type images with a tad bit of darkness to them. I choose to work with spot lighting to achieve this effect. In fact, I generally enjoy working with spot lighting, as it takes away what’s not needed and provides a straight focus on the emotion the model is conveying.”
Why was the ProFresnel Spot your pick for the shoot?
“The ProFresnel Spot is actually the only modifier I have in my arsenal that can produce this kind of very focused, very directional light with a quick fall off to dark shadows. So it was an easy pick!”
How did you set the lights?
“All images were shot with an Acute2R 1200 and a single Acute/D4 Head, equipped with a ProFresnel Spot. I approached each image in pretty much the same manner. First, I asked the model to stand far enough from the backdrop for the background to disappear. Next, I set the main light to the side of the model and adjusted the light spread by sliding the ProFresnel Spot on the flash head. I then did a few test shots and fine-tuned the light accordingly. After a while, I got a good feel for the sweet spot and adjusted everything on the fly almost by feel. I also had to adjust the height of the stand a couple of times depending if the model’s were standing up or sitting down, but apart from that, I used pretty much the same setup for all shots.”
You seem to be quite familiar with the ProFresnel Spot. Any word of advice to those who have not used it before?
“Well, the ProFresnel Spot isn’t the lightest modifier out there, so you need a strong and beefy stand to hold it. In this case, I used a C-stand, but I’d actually recommend using a rolling stand, so that you can more easily reposition the light while making adjustments. Finally, I’d recommend working with a powerful modeling light, preferably 250W or higher. Being able to actually see what you’re doing just makes everything so much easier.”
Below are a few more images Xerxes shot with the ProFresnel Spot. To see even more of his work, check out his website.
The hair and makeup in this images was done by Sara Eudy, Kaelen McDonald and Isabella Victoria did the modeling, and Isabella’s styling was done by Jessica Kay Keller.
Click here to learn more about the ProFresnel Spot.