Tag Archive for: lighting

A horror clown in our studio (in color)

Storytelling with a horror clown (in color)

For me, storytelling is always a vital part of my photography.
Even when I photograph a CEO or artist I always try to dive into the person/product/company to get something that really fits their company/person perfectly.

And sometimes you just go all out.

The fun with workshops

Teaching workshops is one of the things I love the most. Working with a group towards a result and in between explaining all the techniques, and ideas, work with styling, poses, and of course props. The images you are going to see today might not be something you shoot every day, but… and that’s the thing a lot of people miss.

If you can walk 10 km with ease, it’s no problem to walk 2-3 km.
This might sound a bit weird, but this works for many things.
If you can shoot super creative situations, and know how to handle your lighting, poses, and how to coach your model to do the most bizarre, weird, or awesome stuff it becomes MUCH easier to coach a CEO or to shoot a super creative image for a product.

Storytelling

In today’s blog post the results from one set with our model Felisa.
And although you don’t recognize her, the choice of model is vital for these kinds of shots.
One might say, she is just wearing a clown suit and props, so what’s difficult?

When you take away the expression in the face, it’s all about body language, and believe it or not this can be incredibly difficult for a model, and photographer to pull off.

I think she did great.

So let’s take a look at some images first, and then I explain a bit more.

storytelling

let you model try to grab the camera and it looks really scary

storytelling

The idea of this shoot with the horror clown (in color)

I don’t really like to repeat myself, but sometimes ideas are just so much fun and open for changes that you can repeat them with a fresh outcome.
Many years ago I was invited to introduce a new Phase One 101MP camera in a studio in New York.

Let me first say I love New York so the prospect of shooting in a studio there is always exciting.
The problem was that I “had” to use a gray seamless background for some images and that day I didn’t feel like using that so I decided to just place the model behind it, cut a hole, and let the model just stick her head through and later hold the camera. Great shots and loads of fun.

A few years later I did a similar thing during a trade show in the UK. Both were more fashion and fun-related.
For this workshop, we wanted to do something completely different, and as a horror fan, the idea quickly popped into my head that it would be awesome to shoot it with a killer clown.

Getting props to tell the story

I already did something with a big knife in the past so this time we wanted to do something a bit more “big”.
A hammer is fun, but what about a chainsaw, with a little bit of a hint to my all-time favorite actor and character Bruce Campbell/Ash.

Of course, we needed some backlighting and smoke.
So I used a Geekoto GT400 in the back with a large reflector and red gel.
The reason I’m using a large reflector is because I needed a lot of light due to the seamless paper. If you would use a gelled softbox it would not emit enough light to pull this off.

In the front we experimented with a softbox and a striplight with a grid, you can probably spot which is which 😀

So let’s take a look at the rest of the images.

If you also want to visit one of my workshops and learn all about light and storytelling? Check www.frankdoorhof.com or www.photography-workshops.eu
We will be in The Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK this year for events and workshops.

storytelling another angle storytelling with a horror clown (in color)

 

Read the blog about the Outside Fashion Shot for Sunglasses with model and stylist Nadine

This blog is about Working creatively with seamless paper 

This is the blog about a recent workshop: storytelling to set the mood 

 

Mixing light sources in the studio flash vs continuous lighting

Mixing lights can be awesome

And something we sometimes have to do! Because the location we are shooting in has some very strong lights, or maybe lights that cannot be taken out, or that just look interesting to include. There can be many reasons why to include lights that are in your set/location. So continue reading about mixing light sources.

Video about mixing light sources

In today’s video, I talk about how I included the studio lights in a photo with Claudia during one of the workshops.
I also explain the main lighting setup and show the results from that set.

If you have any questions feel free to drop us an email and who knows you will see your question answered in one of our next posts/videos.

Want to visit a workshop?
visit www.photography-workshops.eu for our Dutch workshops, but also for all our workshops abroad like the UK and Belgium.

 

Check out this blog about Claudia and the white background with just 3 umbrellas

 

Outside fashion shot for sunglasses with extreme styling and flash Part IV : let’s talk backgrounds and angles

Wow that’s a different…

This is one of the most heard comments when we use extreme differences in the background, especially when the model wears something more eye-catching, or dark/bright.

Chasing the perfect background on location is one of my favourite things. And it’s not always that the most interesting looking background is also the best. It’s great to have a cool background but we don’t always want them to compete with each other. I always try to choose a background that will help my model to pop-out, or disappear into.

This is the 4th part of this blog series and I highly recommend first reading the previous ones.
Let’s talk about the flash
Let’s talk about gear
Let’s talk about storytelling

The forest/beach

One of the things I love about the area we live is the diversity for photography.
Although you see totally different images in this series they are all shot in walking distance from each other, or right next to our studio. And trust me, I’m pretty sure you will have loads of interesting locations near your home, you just have to look with your “photographers-eyes” 🙂

In this case Nadine was wearing a non reflective black outfit (thank you very much) and some cool Sparks red sunglasses.
I didn’t tell you this yet, but during this workshop we also shot some images for our friends from Sparks sunglasses, a cool trendy brand of sunglasses for which we also did the introduction shoot for their new collection. Most of the time I also ask some sample to use during workshops and give our client some extra material which can promote their brand, my work but also the models. A win-win situation.

Anyway.
Because Nadine was wearing black it made it a challenge to shoot against the overcast sky, or against the dark forest.
One could say it’s impossible because you will blow out the sky, or block up the shadows, and with a dark forest the model will disappear.
yes, that could be one way to look at it.
OR….
You use exactly that “problem” and use it to your advantage.

 

The shoot

Here is the setup of the shoot.
I’m using the same Geekoto GT200 with a large reflector.
I love this location for the strong leading lines and the way the model can pose with the bridge parts. Also the two totally different backgrounds by just changing your angle makes this one of my favourite locations to use for workshops and shoots.

I love to shoot from more extreme angles on this location and using a more wider angle gives that really nice “distortion” in the image that draws the viewer towards our models face. I also use this a lot in the studio. Wide angles can be terrible for portraits or even full body shots, but if you use them carefully they can be awesome.

Because the clothing was so dark, Nadine’s legs were getting a lot of light/attention, so when you find yourself in a situation like this, use a grid on your strobe or make the model cover part of the legs, you do want to see some, but not too much light areas in the darker areas of the shot. hope that makes sense.

I decided to actually embrace the dark clothing and use it create some really nice edgy contrast in the shots, add the red sunglasses and some cool poses, and you have a very simple lightsetup, an ok location but some killer shots.

Model/Styling : Nadine
Sunglasses : Sparks

www.fotografie-workshops.nl for the Dutch workshops
www.frankdoorhof.com/shop for my gear

 

Outside fashion shoot for sunglasses with extreme styling and flash Part I

Outside Fashion Shoot for Sunglasses

Transform something ordinary to awesome!

One of the more challenging workshops is without a doubt “on location in Emmeloord”
During this workshop, I take the attendees with me to locations that at first sight might look incredibly boring. However by using the styling of the model and of course the choice of lighting and shooting angle it becomes clear pretty quickly that even locations that are not that interesting can transform into a great location for shoots. Read more about this outside fashion shoot for sunglasses with extreme styling, part 1.

The reason this workshop is very important is because during most workshops you are shooting in already great locations or nice studio setups.
The thing is, that in reality it hardly ever happens you shoot a client or wedding/event in a castle/urbex/etc location. And also the light is not always perfect. Most of the time we are shooting in office buildings, outside in a forest/dune/city environment, etc. They are not really super inspiring locations.

And that’s the whole deal

In this workshop, I show how easy it is to create interesting photos in not-so-interesting locations. Or let me rephrase those locations that look uninteresting at first sight.

During the workshop I also try to keep the gear as minimalistic as possible, I’m using one of our Geekoto GT200s and a large reflector plus the Rogue Flashbender (Frank Doorhof edition). In the past, we had to carry around rather large battery packs and “large” heads. And I had to shoot on 1/125 because HSS was not supported. Now we are using so-called hybrid strobes which are the perfect marriage between a studio strobe and a speedlight. This combination means I can shoot ETTL and HSS on location (or manual of course) with a nice shallow depth of field if I want it. Or a deeper depth of field if that fits the photo, and shoot a full day with just one battery.  Thanks to the large reflector we had still 10% left in the battery after the whole workshop (5 locations 4 shooters).

By lowering the ambient light you can really make your model pop out, now lower your shooting angle and you can already get much more interesting shots.

In the next blog post, I’ll explain a bit more about the large reflector.
For today let’s take a look at the first setup we did with Nadine. This is just a treeline next to our studio functioning as a border between our studio and the neighbours.

Outside Fashion Shoot

Nadine brought some fake flowers and put them in the trees

Outside Fashion Shoot

In this setup, we also used the Rogue FlashBender XL Pro for a different look.

And the setup with the FlashBender.

In the next blog post I’ll show you the large reflector and explain why it’s awesome for location work.

Outside Fashion Shoot

Model/Styling: Nadine
Sunglasses: Sparks

www.fotografie-workshops.nl for the Dutch workshops
www.frankdoorhof.com/shop for my gear