Tag Archive for: light

A different background for a totally different look

A Different background for a totally different look

Of course, we all know that changing the backdrop can create a different feel or look. Different backdrop and same styling
But somehow it also always triggers my creativity. We used the same styling.
Model and styling: Nadine
Backdrops: ClickBackDrops
Strobes: Geekoto

Just a backdrop or more?

For me, a backdrop is not just a pattern or something to fill up the space behind the model. I always try to make the backdrop a vital part of the shot. When I want something edgy I’ll often go for a more distressed wall look, when I want something more classical…. mmm maybe something with old curtains?

Well luckily for you guys we did just that with our model Nadine.
We decided to keep the styling and lighting idea roughly the same but change the backdrop.  As you can see even Nadine poses differently. My position is different and the end result is totally different.

Now this might seem logical. But often it’s forgotten that when you really blend background and model together ON SET you get a much more “organic” and “real” result. Not just because the shadow and light play on the backdrop. But also because both model and photographer are “inspired” by the results coming in.

People often ask me if I’m afraid that AI will replace all backdrops?

No, I’m not.
Yes it will replace it for some people, and the possibilities are limitless. But it cannot replace the shadow play, and inspiration the photographer/model experience during the shoot. The shadows could maybe be replicated but you would need a proper knowledge of lighting in the first place and an above-average knowledge of Photoshop to make it 100% convincible.

Let’s first take a look at the first set we did with Nadine.
Different backdrop and same styling. In this picture we use the Black Wash

Buy the ProFabric Black Wash Backdrop in our store (8,92’x8,92′ or 272x272cm)

I just love the way the backdrop seems to add a sensation of movement to the images.
This was shot the day we got the backdrops in so I didn’t use them before 😀

As you can see I played with different looks in tinting, posing, and color/BW.
But there is a certain feel to the images.

Now let’s change to an other backdrop. Same styling, but different look

Now this backdrop is officially unavailable in ProFabric, but I loved it so much they made a custom order on Pro-Fabric (which you can now also order). And as you can see the change is not just the backdrop 😀

Different backdrop and same styling Different backdrop and same styling Different backdrop and same styling, in this case the Theater Curtain on ProFabric

See the backdrops we have in stock. 


Check out the video of a styled photoshoot with Nadine, where I used AI on the backdrop

Read the blog about the backdrops with isolation blankets 

A set built with isolation blankets for… zero

A set built with isolation blankets?
Why not?


Today in the blog some images we shot with our model Trista during a recent workshop.
We recently had the studio roof replaced and of course, that also meant that we have some stuff left, including some isolation blankets.
The moment we saw them we knew we had to do something with them.
We have already built sets with rescue blankets (gold/silver) but these were a lot larger. And in the end, in all honesty, it just didn’t work in this set. But I think they would be awesome as a background for portraits, so I think you will see them again in the future.

Let first, start with the initial setup. We used our movable walls and taped the isolation blankets to it.

a set built with isolation blankets, why not?

As you can see the set is far from perfect, but somehow it also works.
Here I’m using the mirror to mirror the legs and the accent lights, I talk a lot about walking around the model to get a different kind of contrast, here you can clearly see what the angle does on the legs, this is not photoshoped 😀

Of course after that I oped for more close ups, mainly because I didn’t like the set for full bodies.

This I liked a bit better, but I also tried one from the back.
And to be honest I’m still in doubt between the two which one I like most.

move around your model in the set built with isolation blankets

Angles, angles and again angles….

And as usual, always try different angles.
I can’t tell you guys enough how much impact the shooting angle can have, not only in lighting but also with the total way the image looks.
Lower angles will often give a “hero” feel, where higher angles sometimes give a really cool effect.

Adding some color….
Or a lot

After the “standard” setup I opted for a lot more red in the scene.

Now be warned, these images are far from the run of the mill images, but sometimes I just love to go to the extreme sides.
In this case I opened the aperture a lot (to the point of overexposing) just maintaining the highlights in the skin, I didn’t want the skin to overexpose, this often looks awful in color shots, the only thing you could do is convert it to black and white where we are often a bit more forgiving for overexposure. But best is to keep it just below overexpose on the skin, you can always go to black and white later if you want.

Im adding a Rogue omnidirectional dome here with a magenta gel, and although I’m still using the mainlight the red really overpowers everything giving it a totally different vibe.

adding red to a set built with isolation blankets

As you can see by just adding some color you can change the look of our set built with isolation blankets completely. Just make sure the model covers up for certain angles.

Feel free to reach out with questions.
A like and share on social media is highly appreciated.


Check out the short about the rescue blankets 


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Some colourful lights in the set

Adding continuous lighting is always fun

In todays blog post some images we shot during a workshop with out model Trista.
I’m using a mix of strobes and continuous lighting here.

Due to the reflective floor (plexiglas) and the mirror the angles under which you can shoot are slightly limited.
I loved this angle because it adds a bit to the story telling part of the shot.

Hope you like the results.
The set it build with isolation blankets we had left from our new roof instalment.
A good set doesn’t have to be expensive 😀

Over time you will collect things that you can always combine during photoshoot. Some people will decorate their whole house with little sets, in our case we just collect a lot of “junk” at flea markets, attics etc. we are always interested in things we can someday use. The only problem is room.

Always try to see possibilities, like in this set we used the isolation blankets. There were just laying around so why not use them.
I’m pretty sure you have a lot of stuff in your home that would make awesome set pieces.

Build a set for less than $10 and use it many different ways…. yeah I’m Dutch

Of course I would love to spend thousands on elaborate sets but let’s be honest, we can’t.
So it became a challenge to do everything as cheap as possible and maximise the use.
And I think we broke all records with this one.

A while ago you probably saw the blog post about the set we build with rescue blankets, well those blankets also have a silver side.
So today in the blog the results from a recent workshop with our model and awesome stylist Nadine.

During the workshop I gave the attendees a simple, assignment.
This is the set, go crazy.
you have 10 minutes.

Of course I had to put my money where my mouth is, so after the 10 minutes I also did a try.
All the shots you see now are shot within that time frame, if you deduct the explanation of course.

I started relatively simple.

Here I’m using a Geekoto GT400 with the Nanlite Fresnell lens.
The Fresnell has quickly become my favourite light modifier for high contrast images.
I did use Fresnells in the past but hardly during workshops, they were simply put too expensive and I love to teach setups that you can also recreate yourself without breaking the bank. But the Nanlite Fresnell has a super friendly price, so I’ve been using a lot now 😀

Now in this shot you only see one light, but on the side there is a Geekoto GT250 with a rogue omnidirectional dome.
As soon as I turn that one on I have my second set, which as you probably agree upon is “a bit” different.

But because 10 minutes is actually a lot of time we moved the strobe to the backside of the set and aimed it down.
I’m now using a slight magenta coloured gel under the dome, the reason I’m using magenta is that with the tinting later on it will give me a nice “reddish” tint.
You can also use a red gel but after tinting it this way it could be a bit too much and clip some red.

From this point on I just started experimenting with the output of the gel and under which angle I shot.
Also getting slightly closer to Nadine and using the wide angle to enhance the position of the legs.

It’s always a cool effect to use a wide angle and let the model point her toes towards the camera.

Of course the exposure you meter with a light meter is the “perfect” exposure, but sometimes it’s not the “perfect” exposure you want in your images.
In these images I loved the darker look you see above, but what if…. you just open the aperture and add a lot of extra spread on the background by changing the angle of that strobe.

Indeed without changing a lot you can have a totally different look

But we are not done yet with our challenge.
Now that I like the total look, I’m ready for some close ups.

Angles change everything

And because I’m standing now anyway, let’s throw in a higher angle and a really low one.
Using different angles are without a doubt one of the easiest, quickest and best way to totally change the look and feel of a shot.
As you can see here, the impact is pretty obvious.
Also because I’m shooting into the light in the lower angle shot the KF concept Black diffusion filter really does it’s work.

Adding lights that are not strobes

As you can probably see there are some lights in the Chrismas tree, but so far I have to yet turned them on.
The simple reason was that I didn’t like them in this set, but because we had a few seconds left, we decided to turn them on.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that when you shoot with strobes you are shooting with a lot of light and a pulse, so as long as you stay below 1/125 there is no problem in the studio (we call this the X-sync).

Because the Christmas lights are very low in output, I had to lower the output of the strobes (you can quickly do this via the remote control) and turn on the lights. Now you can use the shutter speed to let in more or less of the continuous light, the flash will stay the same (turn of your modelling lights) but the Christmas lights will show up more intense the longer the shutter speed.

We ended up with this shot.

As you can see it’s possible to shoot a lot of different looks from one set.
Just make sure you setup everything in advance so during the shoot you can quickly change things around.
For me this often means I’m using the same mainlight. But will change my accent lights around a lot, sometimes just via the remote control, but also position wise, and of course walk around my model a lot.

1o minutes really is a long time if you set everything up correctly.
But preparation is key. When the model is not yet on the set your whole idea should be in your head, and tested.
This will keep the model interested and fresh. and in the end your client happier.

Feel free to reach out with questions.
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