If you’re new to studio photography, here’s something you could find immensely helpful. Broncolor has a wonderful learning section to help you learn dozens of different lighting setups for all kinds of studio and outdoor shots. Portraits, product photos, sports, still life and more – there are image examples with explanations of all the settings. Even if you’ve been into studio photography for a while, you can get inspired and learn something new. And you can do it all for free.
On Broncolor’s “How To Shoot This Photo” section, you will find the examples of different shots. Not only they belong to different genres, but they are lit in different ways, and some of them are taken outdoors, not in a studio. You can click on each of them, and you’ll get a detailed explanation how it was taken. There is a write-up, a sketch of the lighting setup, and even the camera settings.
Aside from the “How To Shoot This Photo”, there is also a “How To” video section. You can see one of the videos above, where a shot similar to this one was taken:
The key is to capture the perfect moment, and the trick is in using a sound trigger. Here’s a light setup for the image, and the write-up from Broncolor’s website:
The secret behind this image is catching the right moment. If you shoot a fraction of a second too late the effect is gone.
Even when shooting at the right moment though, there is still one part which remains left to chance. This surprise, the fact that you get to see something which your eye can’t see because it is so fast, is what makes it so fascinating to me.
To be able to catch this very precise moment, you need some technical help: a sound trigger in this case. To freeze the motion the Scoro power pack with its very fast flash duration of up to t0.1 1/10000 s is guaranteeing the perfect result.
One Striplite 60 is placed on the right side, one Softbox 30×120 is lighting from the top (both these lights are for direct reflections in the glass and water). One P-70 with a honeycomb grid is lighting through the upper part of the plexi plate and creates a gradation.
The procedure as follows: in the dark studio the shutter is opened (important: the modeling lights must be turned off), with the noise of the glass smashing, the flashes are triggered by the sound trigger, then the shutter closes.
One difficulty I had was that sometimes the lights would flash more than only once while the shutter was still open, this because there was more than just one noise.
To avoid double or triple flashes, I set the Scoro on a sequence of 2 and chose a very long interval. In this way, the sound trigger would trigger the first flash with the first noise, the second flash though would flash only after the interval time (and the interval time must be longer than the shutter speed), i.e. after the shutter had already closed.
This picture is shot with a medium format camera and a focal length of 120 mm. The exposure time was 1.4 s and the aperture f/ 16.
There are plenty more interesting images on the website, and you can learn how to take photos like that yourself. You can exercise and try to replicate them, and then of course, go ahead and use the setup for your own ideas. Here are a few more examples I found interesting:
I find this Broncolor’s section very useful, as it provides a wide variety of examples and different genres of photos. The explanations are clear and detailed, so photographers of all levels could benefit from them. So, take a look, choose your favorite images, and enjoy learning something new.
[via FStoppers; top images by Nadia Winzenried, Urs Recher (broncolor) ]