November « 2010 « Jurgen Doom

Dean Collins on Lighting – light and photography

19 November 2010 om 17:59 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Uncategorized

Dean Collins was a master of photography.  He knew exactly how light behaves and – more importantly – how to control light.

In this video he explains the principles of lightins and how to create a 3-dimensional image (4 diminsions in fact).  Sometimes he goes fast, but in this 7 minute video he explains what makes a 3D image by using a light meter in order to create specular highlights, diffused values and shadow area’s.

His joke about the couple of mixed races who are going to get married is so witty and lastly his comment about shooting Ekta or negative film is painfully accurate.

Architectural photography, the strobist way.

18 November 2010 om 11:34 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Architecture,Flashlight,Gear,Photography

As a photographer, you want to explore every possible solution to a problem.  While I was doing architectural photography – photographing the interior of a dormitory – I was confronted with rather drab lighting inside.  Also, the sun was shining outside (it was a hot summer day) but was at the “wrong” side of the building, so it didn’t shine into the room that I had to photograph.

A room with a view - using the strobist technique of off-camera flashes to light the inside of a room.

The solution that came to my mind was to light the room with small strobes (Nikon SB900 flash light) in order to create a type of lighting that was more appealing than the available light (or the light that comes from the artificial light in the room, eg light bulbs, fluorescent light, etc ….).

Firstly, I used pocket wizards to trigger my flashes, as the Nikon Creative Lightings System (CLS) wouldn’t have worked well in this particular case.  You need a direct line of sight in order the flashes to trigger.

Secondly, I had my camera set at an exposure whereby I had a rather dark image (ISO 200, F/9 at 1/250 gives a grossly underexposed image) at the inside of the building, but it did match the ambiant light outside pretty well.

Thirdly, I positioned a flash (Nikon SB900) outside with a full cut CTO gell over it, in order to simulate the warm rays of a rising sun.  You can still see a bit of the flash at the far corner of the window, which adds to the feeling of a rising sun.  That flash casts the long shadow of the chair and table and is the key light to the image.

Lastly, I had to bring in extra light in order to lift the general feel to the image.  So I positioned an extra flash to get some light in the ceiling and some general fill to the entire frame.

The result is a double spread in the Sporta magazine , showing the viewers a room the invites to be staying over at their accomodation.

A room with a view - using the strobist technique of off-camera flashes to light the inside of a room.

A room with a view - using the strobist technique of off-camera flashes to light the inside of a room.

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,


Advertising photography – location shoot for Sporta

10 November 2010 om 12:45 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Commercial,Flashlight,Photography,Sports

In a previous post (see here) I wrote about the assignment for Sporta, for which I had to photograph the new brochure showing the different types of sport- and accommodation facilitie.

Now that the brochure has been released, it is time to show some images in their context. I’d like to show the image that I used in a previous blogpost as it has been used in the brochure.

More to come!

Image as used in the brochure.

Image as used in the brochure.