Commercial « Jurgen Doom

Roger

30 August 2012 om 13:50 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,fotografie,Portrait

These are the shots I finally made after I used my brother as a stand-in for a few tests shots (see previous post).  Roger is such a shy person and I was only allowed to photograph him whilst he was reading his newspaper ….

 

Roger

 

Roger

Ranger Quadra – first impressions

18 October 2011 om 11:13 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,corporate photography,Flashlight,Gear,Ranger Quadra,Uncategorized

For a very long time I’ve been wondering whether I would buy a Ranger Quadra, Elinchrom’s portable flash set.

I’m known for my ability to pull of almost any type of lighting at any type of location.  OK, there are limitations to what I can do and often those limitations are often due to the maximum amount of power of my flashes.  Since I’ve always got 5 SB900 Nikon flashes in my bag, I’m not that often confronted with aforementioned power limitations.  By adding another flash I can often solve the problem instantly.  Furthermore, with Nikon’s ability for high-speed sync, which allows one to photograph beyond the flash sync speed and use large apertures, I wasn’t really convinced that an additional flash set that hasn’t got these abilities, such as the Ranger Quadra, would add much extra value to my gear (and ultimately my photography).  Lastly, when I knew I would need a lot of power, I would simply take my studio lights (Elinchrom as well) on location.

And that is just what sometimes created problems, as not all locations would have a “mains” to plug in my studio flash set.  In adition, lugging around with 3 flash heads and stands is not always possible/desirable.  Have you ever tried boarding a plane with a studio flash set?  I wouldn’t want to dream of trying to do this.

So, enter the Ranger Quadra.  I had a first good look at it at Photokina in Cologne last year (September 2010) and decided against it.  Too big to be small, too small to be big was my impression.  But somehow the Ranger kept coming back in my mind, especially when I was out there, photographing in bright daylight ….

Eventually I decided to bite the bullet and give in to what I should have done a long time ago and bought a set consisting of two flash heads, two batteries, two stands and two flash adaptors (so I can use my studio soft boxes, snoots and grids on the Ranger as well).  I was also adviced by the people at Servix, where I bought the Ranger, to buy two extension chords of 5 meter, in order to be able to put both flashes as far as 10m apart from each other.

I started experimenting with the Ranger at home, in studio, which is a safe environment.  I photographed a few friends who where so kind to sit for me for a portrait session.

 

portrait with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

portrait with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

portrait with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

 

I then started using the Ranger Quadra for commercial assignments.  When I started out taking these images, I quickly realised how easy it was to use the Quadra on location and how powerful they are.  Really loved to work with it.  Images were made for a construction company (Suerickx group, consisting of Icopan, Cosenco and Building Services).

 

Corporate shoot with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

Corporate shoot with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

Corporate shoot with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

Thanks to the Ranger I was able to fully control the lighting and keep the contrast in perfect balance.

 

Lastly, I’d like to share an image taken for a accountancy firm Moore Stephens Verschelden.  I had to photograph the CEO in a setting of containers.  The brief was to photograph the person in the environment, with the environment prominent in the photograph.  The CEO was lit by 1 flash head.

Corporate shoot with Ranger Quadra Elinchrom by Jürgen Doom

 

Could I have done these shots with my Nikons SB900?  Probably yes.  Was it easier to photograph them with my Ranger Quadra?  Maybe, maybe not.  Was it comfortable to photograph this with the power of a Ranger Quadra?  Absolutely yes!

So, in brief, the bottom line is that from now on I don’t leave the house without a small case, consisting of two flash heads and a bag of stands, which allows me to work very comfortably on location. And comfort comes at a price, which I’m happy to pay for when it comes to lighting …

 

Real estate photographer in Belgium.

It’s a tough life for any real estate photographer in Belgium.  Have you ever checked the photography on a Belgian real estate website already?  Apalling, to say the least.  That’s because people in Belgium don’t understand the importance of marketing and the power of images and photography.  The general idea in Belgium is that you’d rather do it yourself and not spend any money on it.  Consequently, the photography on the websites doesn’t show the full potential of the place you’re trying to sell, so you’re not getting the attention the place deserves and in doing so, you potentially loose a lot of money on the sale afterwards (which would make up for the cost of a photographer).  Why people do this really beats me.  I’ve written it down in this blogpost, where one sees the “before” and “after” of a house that went up for sale at at much higher price than initially planned – and was consequently sold at that price because it drew a large crowd of people coming to have a look at it.

Nevertheless, there are still people who see the value in real estate photography.  Notary/solicitor De Jonghe from Ostend contacted me in order to photograph an Irish Pub with hotel right in the heart of the city.  So I went down to the “Celtic Ireland” in the Langestraat in Ostend to photograph the interior of the pub and the hotel.

Amongst the most important parts of a pub the counter for sure is one.  In this Irish pub the counter was a beautiful but humongous one that had to be lit in a professional way.

So, by just using available light, this is what showed up on my screen – an underexposed image with a few spots of light.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie

By adapting my shutter speed I tried to draw-in more available light in order to establish my basic exposure.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie

Lastly, I placed a few flashes (type Nikon SB900 speedlights), in order to open up the dark areas in the scene, thereby creating a warm atmosphere.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie

The same technique was used to light a part of the pub with very little available light.  The first (mainly backlit) shot shows a rather dull image.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie

But with the use of carefully placed speedlights (there are 4 in this particular image) you can create a much more interesting photograph.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie

All the above images have been made and post-processed without the use of Photoshop.  But sometimes it just is too difficult to get the image right in one shot, especially when you’re working within time constraints and with limitations of gear. I usually carry about 4 to 5 flashes around, but for this particular shot it would have been very time consuming and technically not so easy to create the image in-camera.  So I opted for the photoshop route. That meant that I had to shoot the overhead stained glass – which was much brighter than the interiour – seperately from the interor and then ultimately combine both images in photoshop to create the final image.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie – finale foto

Lastly, I’m posting a few extra shots of the interior.  If you’re interested, the place is up for sale and will be sold on the first of June 2011 in Ostend.

vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie
vastgoedfotografie

Al images are made with Nikon D3s and a Nikon 24mm PC (Tilt-Shift) lens.  The flashes (Nikon SB900) are used through the Nikon CLS system.

In a next blog post I will show the hotel rooms.

Corporate portrait photography for MBS

7 March 2011 om 14:52 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Commercial,Flashlight,Gear,Photography,Portrait

As a corporate photographer, operating in Belgium and in particular in the Brussels area, I’m often confronted with different types of locations and surrounding in which I have to come up with images.  For the Manpower Business Solutions shoot, this was also the case.  We had agreed to meet up with the “models” – the staff at MBS – in a house near Overijse in order to create corporate portraits of them that were to be used on their brochures, flyers and advertising material.  I would bring all the necessary elements such as backdrops, studio lighting and gear to create the photographs and had asked my make-up artist Ans Brugmans to do the make-up on the models.

But what I hadn’t “budgeted” for was my health. The night before the shoot I became ill, even in such a way that in the morning – the photo shoot was planned in the afternoon – I phoned my colleague Evi and asked her if she could assist me and perhaps take on the shoot herself (with me directing a bit).

Luckily, during the course of the day I recovered somewhat so that I eventually managed to do all the photography myself, but I was more than happy to having Evi, my last-minute assistant, to lug around with gear and stuff …. Hey, that’s called “emancipation” ….

So what we did was basically a few corporate portraits, a group photograph and an outdoor group photograph of the whole team.  For the image I took inside, I set up a white studio background and used my studio lighting (Elinchrome RX600) with 2 softboxes and a gridded backlight. For the image outside I only used my Nikon SB900 strobes, triggered by Pocket Wizards.  The portraits were photographed on a Nikon D3s, the group shot on a Nikon D3x.

Despite me not being 100% – although I gave it all – we came up with some interesting photographs and I have just been sent the pdf’s of the publication in which the photographs are being used.

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

The outside group shot looked like this.  Because of in-house decisions, the images had to be delivered in black and white (as with the above images).

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Portrait photography for MBS

Corporate photography – or how to make photos to meet your clients needs

4 March 2011 om 14:47 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Commercial,corporate photography,Flashlight,photographer,Photography

As a corporate photographer, specialising in business to business photography, you need to be able to produce photographs that meet your clients needs.

In this particular case, the people at bakker asked me to come up with a series of photos for their new website.  They had photographs on their old website, but those were stock images bought from an image bank.  They wanted the same look and feel of what they had on their old site, but instead of “generic” photos of models, they wanted to use their own people (in fact, the staff and partners).

So what the client basically wanted was to have images that were fairly evenly lit, with relatively clean backgrounds that breath professionalism.  All the shots were to be made at their offices in Antwerp.

I had Ans Brugmans with me as my make-up artist and Jasmijn assisted me with the photography and lighting.

During the course of the day, we did about 8 completely different setups, having to change the lighting each and every time. Within each setup there was often room to move around and play with different compositions.

I used my studio lighting (Elinchrom RX600) in conjunction with my small portable Nikon SB900 strobes in order to create the look we wanted.  All images are photographed on a Nikon D3s.  During the day I only used 2 prime lenses.  One was a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens and the other was a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens).  I prefer to work with prime lenses over zoom lenses because it is sharper, has a higher contrast and is generally much lighter than have zooms.  On an assignement like this there is no need to work with zoom lenses as you have both your lighting and setup under control.  Framing the image is just a matter of moving forwards or backwards in order to compose your image.

Of course, all images were photographer in the RAW format and post processed through Adobe Lightroom.

The images are now used on their site, which looks like this (at www.bakker.be) and which looks stunning (see screenshots below).  Website made by Van Katoen (Damien Dubois).

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Corporate photography for bakker.be

Photographers, are they perverts or hard workers?

26 January 2011 om 11:44 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,fotografie,Photography,Portrait

I get the next question or comment every now and then:

“Wow, being a photographer is really cool. All those handsome models to take a photograph from. All these naked women in front of your lens. All those photographs of nude models …. Have you ever ever felt the urge to uh, to uh …. .. And what does your wife think of this, all that female beauty, within your reach? “.

Well, what does my wife think of that?

Well, firstly, being a photographer is indeed really cool. For years I worked hard (I repeat, “years of hard work”) – after years of study in addition – to get where I am now, a professional photographer who was initially interested in photography and who has finally been able to make a living out of being a professional freelance photographer  (and in the process lost a hobby, but that is more than made up by my interest in music, playing guitar and wine, but this whole aside).

Secondly, we, freelance photographers, photograph certainly not every day (professional) models – unless it is your specialization and shoot nothing else but fashion and models. But there are not many photographers who do that.

In my line of work I photograph just about everyone, young and old, beautiful and ugly (whatever “beautiful” and “ugly” may mean), thick and thin, sympathetic and downright boring or annoying.

Thirdly, you will not believe it, but if I had a supposedly “smart” model to photograph (with or without a little or no fabric to the body), or if I have to take pictures of a series of potted plants, or pack shots of cosmetics or construction workers on a wharf, or architectural photographs in a modern building, or ….. in a way that remains more or less all the same to me. The same, you say? Indeed, the same, namely “how do I compose my image “, “how do I adjust my exposure’, “how do I guide the model”, “what background I choose”, “what angle do I choose,” “what does my customer want”, etc, etc …. As a photographer you are busy thinking about all those things at once, leaving very little brain activity remaining for pervert thoughts or comments, in order to get your subject between the sheets.

And that’s often the tone of the comments or questions from people when they talk about fashion photography and model photography.

Really, people. As a photographer, we are really busy with our profession. We work really hard to make images for customers with the intention that customers use the images to their case forward.

And the last thing we think about is to get the model in to our bed.

And my wife’s happy with that!

Model photography – model shoot with Sylviane Alliet part 2.1

24 January 2011 om 11:01 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Camera,Commercial,Flashlight,fotografie,Gear,Photography,Portrait,Software

In the previous blog post about the shoot with Sylviane Alliet, I talked about the images we made in the doctor / dentist / assistant / medical sphere.

Because we don’t  take pictures with a model and the right attributes every day to (especially in the medical field), we decided to quickly do a few shots of Sylviane against a different background. That way we could get some extra mileage out of the attributes.  We did this by simply moving the flashlights to another location (right around the corner from our previous shots), with as a result a set of pictures which breathed a totally different atmosphere.

The pictures were taken with 2 Nikon SB900 flashes in slave mode, triggered by a Nikon SB900 on camera - the Nikon CLS system. One flash was standing outside, behind the door, the other stood between between the photographer and Sylviane, but aimed at a corner in the room. In other words, the light was “bounced” or reflected by the white walls and ceiling, so to get an even lighting over Sylviane.

All photos were taken with a Nikon 85mm prime on f2 (because I simply liked to workon f2. Nah).

The result looks like this (images post-processed in Lightroom 3.3).

Shoot with Sylviane - medical

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

From here on I added some warmth to the image by placing a full cut CTO gel over the outside flash.  Hence the impression of sunlight coming through the door and the warm atmosphere.

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Shoot with Sylviane - medical theme

Next blog post will be much more “zen” … promised!

Model photography – shoot with Sylviane – part 2

19 January 2011 om 21:19 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Camera,Commercial,Flashlight,Gear,Photography,Portrait

In my previous blog post I talked about the shoot with Sylviane. The purpose of the shoot was to further the portfolio of both Sylviane and me with work that usually doesn’t fit in commercial work.

For the second set of photos, we moved to a dental and medical practice. Well, in our imagination anyway, because in reality it was in Sylviane’s kitchen. We made a series of photos taken in  an environment of a dentist, nurse and surgery and the atmosphere had to refer to a doctor / physician.

The photos are all taken with a Nikon D3s, a 50mm and 85mm (both f1.4) and 3Nikon SB900 flash, controlled via the Nikon CLS system (flash on the camera that controls the other flashes). Behind Sylviane you see a white box / cabinet with glassdoors, which could perfectly serve in a medical practice, especially when you photograph them with large aperture. The colors in the photographs are from color filters that are placed over the flash heads.

model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie
model fotografie

Real estate photography

10 December 2010 om 13:10 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Architecture,Camera,Commercial,Flashlight,Photography,real estate photographer

Real estate photography – or how to use photography to sell your property.

Recently I was commissioned to photograph real estate – a house –  in order to use the photographs to sell the house.  The brief was easy and simpel: make this house look good on photographs, so we can attract potential buyers.

The owners of the house had tried to photograph their place, but without much satisfaction.  Hence their question for professional images.

In order to lift the whole look and feel of the house, I used Nikon SB900 flashes, CTO gels and pocket wizzards (to trigger the flashes).

In the following series of images the difference between the amateur in pro images should be fairly obvious.

Take this shot for example, together with the one following.

With a little help from you friends, this photograph can be changed into something appealing, with loads of warm golden light, a crisp sharp look and verticals that remain, well, vertical  …

The entrance to the house looks more or less like this …

… but, with some decent photography and carefull use of flashlights can also look like this

or like this

and the fully equiped kitchen ….

may look more appealing when photographed in another way, like this

or alternatively like this

And yes, the house has a bedroom, but due to the fact that one needs a decent wide angle, the owners didn’t dare to take a photograph.  But I did.

The light falling onto the bed is actually flash light, with a CTO gel, coming from outside.  Fill in flash was also provided, to lift the general look and feel of the bedroom.

The house was sold within a week at a price higher than the asking price.

Need I say more.

Using Nikon SB900 speedlights for creative photographic lighting

12 November 2010 om 13:16 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Camera,Commercial,Flashlight,Gear,Photography,Sports,Uncategorized,workshop fotografie

As an advertising photographer, creating images for clients that will make their products look good, I try to be creative with my photography and my gear.  Let’s look at an example.

Image of a gymnast.

Image of a gymnast.

Imagine a huge indoor sports hall.  Imagine the yellow/green illumination these sports halls typically have and that cast an “ugly” type of light on the subjects (which you don’t want, you want your subject to look good).  Imagine the cluttered background one usually gets in such sport halls, which will destroy the impact of the image ……

Situation - available light.

Situation - available light.

As a photographer I try to overcome problems – let’ call them challenges – instead of creating them.

When I had to photograph a young sportster, doing all sorts of neck-braking, leg-twisting, arm-bending exercices on a gym device, I had to be creative to get a shot of it that could be used as a double spread in the brochure.

Firstly, I figured I wanted to eliminate the natural lighting of the sports hall.  Using a shutter speed of 1/250th at ISO 100 on a Nikon D3x (24Mpix) was good enough at f 4 to eliminate the ambiant light.  That means, if you would not use flash, you would end up with a dark (black) image at these settings.

Next step was to bring in the Nikon SB900 speedlights.  I used 3 of them.  The main flash comes from directly above me (on-axis with the lens) but shot through a softbox in order to soften the light.  It provides the main light for the subject, but because we are working very close to the subject and far away from the background, that light doesn’t reach the background, so it remains black (or under exposed).

The last step was to position two SB900 speedlights behind the subject, at either side of the girl, and aimed towards her.  Those light provide the rim lighting, which make her stand out from the background even more.

The image was ultimately used as a double spread in the SPORTA brochure as shown above.

All shots were taken on the Nikon D3x, using a 85mm f1.4 lens and using the Nikon CLS lighting system.

Alternative image of the gymnast.

Alternative image of the gymnast.

Nikon CLS system is a fantastic system to work on-location.  It’s versatile, works well, easy to handle and learn and enables a photographer to be very flexible in his work and quickly adapt to different situations and lighting conditions.  I use it all the time in my photography.

If you want to learn it as well, I run workshops on photography and flash photograph (also for users of other brands).

More to come,

Jürgen

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