Every new day is a new challenge for a photographer. Will it be a portrait, sports, fashion or something else completely? And no matter what that day brings, it must always end in the same way – with a great shot. Follow acclaimed fashion and portrait photographer Andreas Lundberg over one week as he tries out the new Profoto D2 – the world’s fastest monolight – and see how he overcomes his challenges. Tuesday he spent shooting still life in high speed, giving fast food a totally new meaning.
The Profoto D2 is designed to be the fastest monolight in the world. And with speed comes versatility. For Andreas Lundberg, renowned fashion and portrait photographer, speed is more than the ability to freeze a moment. Every day he is challenged to act fast, deliver fast and capture fast. Every day he needs to move faster, deliver more and take his images to a new level.
“I’m the kind of person that feels that life is too short not to try out new things,” he says.
This Tuesday, Andreas was asked to do something he had never done before. At first it sounded like a normal portrait shoot, but then his client came up with an arty idea. His client was a famous chef and restauranteur who wanted conceptual images to use as decoration in his restaurants. So they decided to throw food in the air – up, down, in any direction – and freeze it in super sharp detail.
Since the images were going to be used both in print and on the restaurants’ website they needed to be extremely sharp, conveying the true color of the food and letting the texture of each ingredient shine. They wanted every element captured in beautiful light, highlighting drops of water, flying eggs, oysters and powdery flour.
“I don’t know who the crazier is – the client who came up with the idea or me for accepting the challenge!” Andreas laughs.
Capturing flying liquids, powdery flour, and shells requires excellent precision. Andreas, who started of his career as a sports photographer, explains that compared to shooting action or sports photography this demanded much better timing.
“A good sports photographer knows how to read and follow a moving subject. You time your trigger by reading the movement. The kind of timing this shoot required was more about communication between me, my assistant, and the chef throwing the food.”
Since a shoot like this can be quite messy you do not want to have to retake shots too many times. Neither did they have an endless supply of food so they needed to get it right in the first few chances. You really do not want to waste too many oysters.
The portrait shoot had a pretty straight forward setup. Andreas used a D2 Monolight and an Umbrella Deep Silver XL with a diffuser. The light quality of that combination is second to none.
Andreas relied on the speed of the D2 for the food shoot:
“Knowing that I have a flash system that can deliver lots of speed makes me relax so I can focus on what’s in front of the lens. In fact, I don’t think I would have taken this job if I didn’t have the D2s to rely on.”
As side lights he used two of the monolights, equipped with Softbox RFi 1×4’. He fitted the softboxes with Softgrids to restrict the light spread and generate contrast. As main light he set up a D2 with a Softlight Reflector White and put it in Freeze Mode.
And perhaps most important of all, he made sure to cover the floor.