Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. Once a month, Andrea takes us behind the scenes of a recent shoot to share some of the knowledge he has gained over the years. This time he shows us how to use the WideZoom Reflector in a creative, out-of-the-box way.
I was recently approached by the staff at Klassik Magazine asking me to do a fashion story based on the official trend forecast for 2015 stating that India will be a great source of inspiration. I gave the brief some thought and realized that I wanted to shoot different kinds of images but with a consistent look and feel – as one normally does in an editorial fashion story. I also knew I wanted a hard light with a lot of contrast and dramatic shadows.
There are a number of Profoto hard reflectors that can do this. But for this particular shoot I chose the WideZoom Reflector. The WideZoom Reflector creates a wider, more even light than any other Profoto hard reflector. For this reason I often use it as a background light. But on this shoot I decided to use it in a non-traditional way. I used it as a sidelight. This allowed me to create the heavy shadows I needed, while at the same time spilling some nice light onto the background. Also, using the same Light Shaping Tool in different ways for different shots would help me achieve the consistent look and feel I was going for.
The headshot of the model lying on a bed of spices with the Buddha heads next to her was shot with just a single light source: a D1 monolight equipped with a WideZoom Reflector. Shaping the light with the WideZoom Reflector gave me a nice and even light even on the spices and on the Buddha heads.
The same goes for the picture where the model is standing in front of a brown wall, throwing a handful of spices. Once again, I had a D1 with a WideZoom Reflector as my sidelight, creating me a nice and hard but even light on the model and on the spices.
The picture with the model sitting in lotus position was also shot using just a single D1 with a Widezoom Reflector. But in this case the light was positioned above the model. She was sitting very close to wall, and the D1 was positioned just above her, also very close to the wall. This created the shadows that fell nicely on the model and on the background too. As mentioned before, this is far from the wide and even light spread you commonly associate with the WideZoom Reflector. The reason for this unusual effect is, of course, that I placed the light so close the model.
Again, using the WideZoom Reflector as a sidelight or for creating intense shadows and a dramatic falloff is not something I usually do. But by understanding the properties of a certain tool, you are free to bend the rules and use the tool in a creative, out-of-the box way. I believe this kind of thinking is a great recipe for spicing up your lighting. Plus, the job gets a lot more fun when you do not always stick to the beaten track.