portret « Jurgen Doom

Model photography – shoot with Sylviane Alliet – last setup

3 February 2011 om 10:54 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,fotografie,photographer,Photography,Portrait

To end the shoot with Sylviane Alliet, a TFCD project in which we took a number of types of pictures we wanted to make  but that we can not always do so when working for an assignment, we we decided to end the day with some images that had a rougher look.

Therefore we went to the “basement” – yes, I can say that I spent some time in the basement with Sylviane – to find a background that matched the character role that Sylviane was playing.

The “industrial background” is illuminated with a Nikon SB900 flash with a CTB filter (to get a cooler atmosphere), while Sylviane was lit by a Nikon SB900 through an umbrella.  If I’m not mistaken, I even made it a little warmer with a quarter CTO. Sylviane is also lit from behind, to create some backlight. The result is shown below.

What have we finally learned from this and previous shoots.

1. that it is possible to use a backpack of equipment (Nikon D3s, 4 SB900 flashes, stands, umbrellas and gels) at a location and still get different setups that are fundamentally different

2. that working with a professional model is just fantastic

3.that  you do not need much material to make different kind of images

4. that occasionally doing a TFCD is great fun in order to try a few things with or without great results

At the end of the day both Sylviane and I were ready for the scrap heap, but we were pretty happy with the cooperation and results. There are now plans to do something similar, but in an outdoor location …. and I am already looking forward to it!

model photography
model fotografie – shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie - shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie – shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie - shoot met Sylviane

model fotografie - shoot met Sylviane
model fotografie – shoot met Sylviane

A cover by surprise

2 February 2011 om 12:13 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,fotografie,Photography,Portrait

Usually you know in advance that you can go shoot a cover. The editor would typically call with the question that photographers really love: “would you like to photograph  X, Y or Z, preferably in a vertical format, as it is for the cover”.

Er, yes, even love to. I will even say more, you can call me every day with these kind of questions!

No, all joking aside, when I get this kind of questions I’m actually really happy, as it is an added bonus and a way of appreciation for the photographer.

When shooting the portrait below, however, I was not told that it would end up on the first page of the magazine. Not that it would have made any difference in the shooting, but I would certainly have been a little more nervous had I known that the photograph would have been for the cover.

And look, apparently the picture was good enough – to my great surprise and joy – to feature on the cover page!

Nevertheless, the picture was taken on a dark and rainy Wednesday night in a tiny house. The person is highlighted with a “flash through umbrella”, while the background is illuminated with a flash with CTO filter (you get the impression that there is a small lamp- light. There is also a light there, but that would never light enough on the photograph. hence the flash). D3s Nikon, Nikkor 85mm. Controlled flash with the Nikon CLS system.

portret fotografie - cover voor OKRA
portret fotografie – cover voor OKRA

At the inside of the magazine, another shot out of that series was also used.

portret fotografie - cover voor OKRA
portret fotografie – cover voor OKRA

And lastly, there was a shot of a farmer, which I took during a snow storm.  I put him inside, in a tiny cold room, in order to get some of the texture of the wood.

portret fotografie - cover voor OKRA
portret fotografie – cover voor OKRA

Model photography – shooting with Sylviane Alliet part 3

1 February 2011 om 11:10 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,fotografie,Gear,Photography,Portrait

Being able to shoot a professional model such as Sylviane is always a lot of fun for a photographer. By working with someone who knows how photography works and how to behave in front of the lens, the photographer shouldn’t ecnounter too many difficulties any more in order to make good images.

This is of course partly true, because for the setup for our third part of the shooting session I was still a looking for atmosphere, lighting, composition and artistic interpretation. The “Yogaposes” that we had in mind were not so simple to implement, and many artistic and technical constraints made this - certainly for me - the hardest of the four setups that we’ve done.

The images were created with 3 or 4 flashes (in Sylviane’s living room), which in our first series of images were positioned so that I wanted to create a a dark and intimate atmosphere. But as Roeland on his blog a while back so well put it, the result was ultimately not entirely as I wanted and I did not immediately see many solutions to  quickly improve things. Frustrating!

yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn

Therefore we decided to change the whole look and feel of the image by turning everything around (angle, orientation, lightin, mood, etc  ….).  Hey, it’s our party and we cry if we want to!

yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn
yoga, wellness & zenn

The result was much more pleasing and we ultimately got some interesting and good shots out of it.

But watch this space, for our last series of shots we’ll go “down and dirty”!

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

A cover photograph, aka the Christmas cover

7 December 2010 om 13:02 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie advertising,Flashlight,Photography,Portrait

As a photographer, freelancing for magazines and art-directors, you have to be both very adaptable and flexible.  Take this cover photograph for OKRA as an example.  The art-director wanted a photograph for the december issue, which had to have a connection with Christmas, but the image shouldn’t be an obvious christmas photograph either (tree, lights & presents). Fine with me.

In addition to that, they suggested a photograph of a mother with baby (you see the Christmas link here) in a Christmas atmosphere.  So, they said, the photograph should have some connection with the time of the year, yet don’t go all the way ….

OK, fine, I’m up for a challenge.  Photography in itself is a challenge, so why not make it more challenging.  Anyway, I set out with my gear, but I had additionally taken some christmas lights as well, hoping to incorporate it somehow in the photograph to have a visual link with Christmas.

The location where we set up the photograph was a simple home living.  I asked to close a dark brown curtain (wouldn’t you want more light, sir? No, thanks), which I would use as my background.  With the help of a few clams I attached the christmas lights to the curtain and switched them on.

Then I had to position the mother and baby in such a way that they were nicely framed by the curtain and Christmas lights, in order to have a balanced photograph.

Next thing I did was to set up 2 Nikon SB900 speedlights, main light coming from camera left and softened by an umbrella, and one coming from behind mother and baby, directly aimed at them (for separation).

The most difficult part of this whole exercise however was to balance the flash light with the Christmas lights.  Too much flaslight would kill all ambiant light, including the Christmas lights at the back.  Too little light would have meant that the ambiant light would overpower the strobes, whereby the dark background would have become light.

So after this execirse, I could freely photography my subject, with this as a result.  The image looks like it was lit through a big window (which it was not).

Thanks to the people at OKRA for such a wonderful response to this image!

OKRA Christmas cover photograph

OKRA Christmas cover photograph.

Cover photograph for Sporta Brochure: which one would you choose? Cover A or cover B?

15 September 2010 om 10:46 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,Photography,Portrait

As a photographer, trying to satisfy the needs of your clients, it is sometimes a difficult exercise to meet your clients view with your own.  However, as a professional photographer, creating images that have a high impact, you want to deliver photographs that your clients can use and not only what you think your client should use.

During the assignment for Sporta – a centre that provides training facilities for all sorts of athletes in varying disciplines – I photographed many setups and situations, one of which we thought would be useful for the cover of the brochure.  But when it eventually came down to choosing the cover photograph, it proved to be more difficult than expected.

My opinion was fairly clear from the start on how I saw the cover photograph (but my opinion doesn’t count), but even the art-director’s opinion wasn’t 100% on par with the opinion of the board of directors.

Eventually, the art director came up with 2 versions of the cover, which are listed below.

Which one would you choose and why?  Cover A or Cover B?

Please leave your comments in the comment section …

Photo A

Suggestion A for the cover of the Sporta Centrum Brochure.

Suggestion A for the cover of the Sporta Centrum Brochure.

Cover B

Suggestion B for the cover of the Sporta Centrum Brochure.

Suggestion B for the cover of the Sporta Centrum Brochure.

Workshop flash photography

2 September 2010 om 10:56 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,Gear,Photography,Portrait,workshop

I’ve always wanted to pass on knowledge.

When I was a kid, I wanted to become a teacher.  Things turned out differently, as I studied engineering.  I ended up “consulting” in the building industry, which was mainly a “teaching” job.  After I switched to photography – something I’m so grateful for – I still had the urge to share my knowledge about photography with other people.

That’s how I started to do workshops in photography, with a special emphasis on flash photography (together with my partner in crime Piet Van den Eynde, who’s the benchmark when it comes down to teaching about Lightroom).

And that’s exactly why the “Nationale Vereniging van Beroepsfotografen” (National federation of professional photographers) contacted me to conduct a workshop for their members.

So I organised an afternoon of going through my recent portfolio, thereby explaining how I photographed the images and how the lighting was done.  An interesting exercice, both for me (because I sometimes had to reverse engineer my own images) as well as for the participants, providing enough questions to fill a book on flash photography.

After that we went outside for a  demonstration of flash photography in the field (that’s what one does during workshops on flash photography, not?).  We went to a nearby underpass (I have loads of them in the neighbourhood) were the light was rather dim, but where we had a bit of grafity.

We picked Carl as our ad-hoc model.  Carl is a fantastic photographer with loads of experience and a master in lighting.  I just count my blessings Carl lives about 2 hours drive out of where I live (and the fact that Carl mainly works in a studio environment also helps).

So, both myself and Carl were challenged.  Myself, because I had a master in photography in front of my camera and Carl, because he’s much more comfortable BEHIND the lens in stead of in front of it!

Nevertheless, I tried to explain to the participants the different stages in the lighting setup that one can go through.  So we started with a simple setup, which is an Nikon SB900 flash to camera left, on a stand and shot through a shoot-through umbrella providing the key on Carl’s face.  On camera right, behind Carl, is a bare flash (also Nikon SB900) with a full-cut CTO as a kicker light, enhancing the separation between Carl and the background.

Carl, during a workshop on flash photography, lit by 2 SB900 speedlights

Carl, during a workshop on flash photography, lit by 2 SB900 speedlights

By adding a third SB900 with a red filter, aimed at the background, we created a more dramatic portrait.

Carl, lit by 3 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 3 Nikon SB 900 flashes

To demonstrate how to add another color into the mix, we aimed a fourth SB900, with a light green gel, on the the wall as well, opposite from the red spot.

Carl, lit by 4 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 4 Nikon SB 900 flashes

We wanted to emphasise the green even more, so we replaced the light green by a dark green gel, which resulted in the next image.

Carl, lit by 4 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 4 Nikon SB 900 flashes

In order to demonstrate the versatility of working with small flashes out in the field, I asked Carl to turn 90 degrees to his right.  I also switched positions, slightly adapted the direction of the flashlights and photographed Carl against a backdrop of houses and sky.

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

By readjusting the kicker light, coming from behind (camera left) you can create the illusion of a setting sun behind the subject.  This is what we wanted to demonstrate with this image.

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Or, alternatively, changing the white balance of your camera in conjunction with the creative use of color gels creates this moody, late night atmosphere – a minute after the sunset image ….

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

To wrap up the workshop, I demonstrated  the difference between 1 flash and the use of 2 flashes, one of which was provided with a red gel.  The clue is that the red only (or predominantly) shows in the shadow areas, created by the main light on camera right.

Carl, lit by 1 Nikon SB 900 flash

Carl, lit by 1 Nikon SB 900 flash

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

Carl, lit by 2 Nikon SB 900 flashes

I’ve always wanted to pass on and share my knowledge about photography, so if you’re interested in a workshop about photography or a workshop about flash photography, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m available for workshops and  teaching world wide.

Workshop flitsfotografie & lightroom

20 August 2010 om 09:43 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Flashlight,workshop

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom


Voor de 4de keer hebben Piet van den Eynde van “MoreThanWords” en mezelf met succes de workshop flitsfotografie en lightroom georganiseerd (From speedlight to lightroom), waar we de basisbeginselen van flitsfotografie op locatie, alsook een initiatie Lightroom3 geven.

Piet neemt in de namiddag vooral het gedeelte “Lightroom3″ op zich – Piet is expert, expert en euh … expert op het vlak van lightroom, en bij uitbreiding beeldverwerking”, waar ik in hoofdzaak het woord neem bij het eerste gedeelte van de dag, namelijk het “speedlight” gedeelte, oftwel het gedeelte waarin toegelicht wordt hoe je met losse reportageflitsen (die dingen op batterijen, dus geen studio flitsen) op locatie toch beelden kan maken die het gemiddelde ver overstijgen.

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

Voor de eerste keer echter werd deze workshop tijdens een weekdag georganiseerd, waardoor we al gauw volgeboekt waren met collega fotografen uit de 4 windstreken van het land (van Kortemark tot Tongeren ….).  In tegenstelling tot de vorige workshop zijn we deze keer niet zo heel lang moeten blijven stilstaan bij sluitertijd, diafragma en ISO, maar konden we vrij snel tot de essentie van de zaak overgaan.  Aan de hand van een heel aantal portfoliobeelden – beelden die ik in de afgelopen 6 maanden voor klanten gemaakt heb – bespraken we hoe die beelden gemaakt zijn, wat de plaats van de lichten was, welke hulpmiddelen ik gebruikte, wat de camera instellingen waren, wat de moeilijkheden waren bij het fotograferen (en hoe ze opgelost werden), etc ….

Na deze interactieve bespreking, die heel veel vragen losweekte en die ons toeliet om een verscheidenheid aan technieken te illustreren en te becommentariëren, trokken we het “veld” in voor een oefensessie – een “hands-on” workshop.  Eerst werd daarbij geïllustreerd hoe je op locatie tewerk moet gaan wanneer je met reportageflitsen een portret wil maken.  Daarbij kwamen zowel camerainstellingen aan bod, als hoe je flitsen instellen, hoe je flitsen aansturen, het gebruik van softboxen en kleurenfilters, etc ….workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

Na een paar setups namen Piet en mezelf dan de cursisten “bij het handje” om zelf een paar setup te laten uitvoeren, waardoor de praktische vragen naar boven begonnen komen.

Uiteindelijk eindigden we de fotosessie met een heel aantal diverse beelden op onze kaartjes, en keerden we terug voor een middagmaal waar we de shoot besproken.

Ondertussen haalde Piet alle foto’s van alle deelnemers binnen in Lightroom en gebruikte die dan voor de namiddagsessie, om aan de hand van die foto’s een initiatie over Lightroom3 te kunnen geven.  Zo konden de deelnemers aan de workshop ogenblikkelijk het resultaat van hun noeste arbeid in de voormiddag bekijken, kregen ze ogenblikkelijk een zicht op hoe snel de workflow binnen Lightroom werkt en hoe de reeds mooie beelden op een heel snelle manier gecatologeerd, geordend, bewerkt en geëxporteerd kunnen worden.

Om een en ander te verduidelijken volgt hieronder dan een bloemlezing van een aantal beelden die ik gisteren maakte.

Heb je ook interesse in zo’n workshop, contacteer ons dan gerust (via de contactpagina van mijn site) of lees er meer over op de pagina over workshops.

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom
workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop flitsofotografie & Lightroom

workshop-sl2lr-63

Portret: cover foto

18 August 2010 om 08:54 door Jürgen geplaatst in de categorie Commercial,Gear,Photography,Portrait

Onderstaande foto werd gemaakt voor de cover van Visie ter gelegenheid van het afscheid van ACW-voorzitter Jan Renders.

Het beeld werd gemaakt op locatie – in de kantoren van het ACW – mbv 3 Nikon SB900 speedlights, met gebruik van het Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System), waarbij 1 flits als “commander” op de camera gebruikt werd en die 2 andere flitsen aanstuurde.  Beeld gemaakt op Nikon D3s, ISO 400, 120mm, F/4.5, 1/200 sec.

Bij het fotograferen moest rekening gehouden worden met de layout van het magazine, waar rechts de naam van het tijdschrift vermeld moet worden (zie beeld onderaan).  Een verkeerde plaatsing van de geportretteerde en de foto zou onbruikbaar geweest zijn.

Jan Renders, voorzitter ACV, voor Visie.

Jan Renders, voorzitter ACV, voor Visie.

Uiteindelijk werd voor een beeld gekozen waar Jan Renders zit.

Jan Renders, cover voor Visie

Jan Renders, cover voor Visie

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