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Dramatic look of Muay Thai Ahtlete Christin Fiedler “Spirit, discipline and power”

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In December I got the opportunity to shoot with amazing Muay Thai athlete Christin Fiedler of Austria. The aim was to create images that are strong and reflect the spirit, discipline and power of this martial art.

Christin is also supporting an initiative of the IFMA (http://www.ifmamuaythai.org) that is called „Strong hands stop violence against woman and girls“ and some of the images were also planned for their support. We were invited by RS Gym in Salzburg to use their trainings facility for the shoot and that gave us lots of space and saved lots of time too.

For the shoot I setup a black background and two Move 1200 L units with three heads mixed with standard reflectors and a softbox. To be able to light up both sides of the athlete I used a 10 meter extension cable for one of the heads.

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As a main light I choosed the Beauty dish with a grid to have more of a spotlight and a dramatic fall off of the light on Christin. The other lights helped to shape the sandbag and also add dimension to the athletes body.

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Usually for this type of studio setups I always try to have an assistant on site especially also to help with special effects like fog, water or anything crazy I usually like to add.

Unfortunately on this day I was left by myself and used the self timer, remotes and fast acrobatic body control to manage all tasks on set. For some of the shots involving water spray or a fog machine I kept the camera on a tripod and fixed the angle and framing. Then I set a timer of 10 seconds and a recording rhythm of 5 images total with 1 image per second.

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That gave me enough time after triggering the camera to get in my spot and start with spraying water or handling the fog machine. As you can see on some of the outtakes I didn’t always get exactly out of the frame but strangely appeared here and there. Mostly difficult for sure was however the timing for Christin to hit the bag in the very moment the camera would trigger the shutter. Eventually after several tries the timing was dialed in and we started to work on details like exact body position, look, special fx…

One of the main shots was planned as a commercial composite and ended up being edited by a retoucher friend from vienna (michaelramhardter.com) – we wanted to create a fire storm action image with a very strong dramatic look but an authentic style. I shot the action on the plain black background and the rest was then added in Photoshop.

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It was quite funny to see what you can accomplish in photography even if you are on site all by yourself. There always seems to be a way to make things happen and to find solutions on the go. Therefore I also love the Move Packs, because they allow me being easily able to change setups or locations in no time. For this reason we were also able to save time and to work with some UV light at the end of the shoot and come up with a black and white UV punch photo involving a completely different look compared to the rest of the images.

-Markus Berger

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Boxing Kids in Cape Town

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It`s a shipping container placed behind a shopping centre in Cape Town’s township “Philippi”, the kids come after school to train and learn how to box – for free. They use this facility as there is really not a lot to do in the area, this facility keeps the children off the streets and they [...]

The Art of Shooting Underwater Portraits

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On October 2014 I was invited by Red Bull Austria to a Photography Workshop at the Zooom Studio in Fuschl am See. I was there 3 weeks doing different things for outdoor and Studio Photography. In this time we arranged a photoshoot with Austrian Red Bull Kayaker Viktoria Wolfhardt. I wanted to do something different, [...]

Quick and Clean Beauty Lighting in 3 Easy Steps

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The title of this post may sound too good to be true… Fast AND good at the same time?! Usually you have to sacrifice quality for speed, or speed for quality. But beauty lighting is one of those areas where simplicity really speaks volumes. This is great because as photographers a simpler setup means more [...]

Broncolor Siros lighting kit review and Giveaway!

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Every day this week I will be adding a new video to this post reviewing and using the very latest Broncolor Siros Lighting Kit. There are four video tutorials for you to share and enjoy. On the last day (Friday 6th Feb. 2015) I will also add a simple competition quiz for you to enter [...]

broncolor Lighting Workshops – How to maximize your own creativity

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In February, broncolor will be hosting three lighting workshops, a unique opportunity to learn lighting techniques from the pros. Led by broncolor’s world-famous staff photographer, Nadia Winzenried for high-end commercial and fashion photography using broncolor’s lighting gear as Para 88, Siros Monolights, Scoro and Move. Explore the ways you can leverage this equipment to maximize your own creativity. We [...]

Motorcycle Owners by Dylan Leeder – Studio look outdoors

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Dylan Leeder is a photographer that enjoys focusing on the interesting traits and unique characteristics of the people he photographs. Although no stranger to shooting in studio, it is more common for him to take his craft into the world of his subject. This can make for a more intriguing story and, in some cases, [...]

Markus Berger creates multiple looks with Beauty Dish and Move

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Already at the end of last year Red Bull Austria asked me to meet up with their Biathlon Team at their training camp to spend a few days and shoot a complete portfolio for their communications before the season starts. A perfect plan but unfortunately snow and weather conditions were so bad that we had [...]

Portrait Shoot Utilizing the Power & Range of the Siros 800 Kit

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When buying strobes people mainly look at one number, the maximum power number, which is measured in Watt Seconds (ws) or Joules (j). This is perfectly natural. When talking about cars, maximum horsepower gets throw around a lot. After all we’ve been conditioned by marketers to want the fastest, most powerful toys out there. For [...]

Pierre Manning Captures the Theatrical Emotion in Action – Cirque du Soleil

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  Pierre Manning is one of seven photographers at Shoot Studio in Montreal who’s clients consist of Air Canada, Bell, Canada Post, Molson and Cirque du Soleil to name a few. Pierre and his crew recently had been requested to provide the photography for a new campaign for Cirque du Soleil, Kurios. The mandate was [...]