James Michelfelder combines perfected light with professional athletes to create the visual images as Global Director of Photography at Under Armour.
Continuing from their work last time with R&B star August Alsina, the team of director Amber Gray and DP Julian Bernstein were the go-to for the msuic video for “DRUGS.” And yet, again, broncolor HMI proved to be the light source of choice for demanding shoot environments and challenging lighting scenarios.
When I first started photography I found inspiration from old masters of paintings. I was always attracted by the colors, composition and textures that the paintings had; and wanted to have the same aesthetic on my work. I started experimenting with different light techniques, and while I was getting there, still something was missing; the light quality. In the past I used different cameras and lighting systems but once I got my hands on Hasselblad and Broncolor I found out what was missing. From that day on, these systems are my color pallet and brush. Just by using them, it gave me the inspiration and motivation for my storytelling work.
To tell you the truth, the first time I entered a photo studio I was nervous. It was my first studio class at college (on a two-year diploma course) and the thought of trying to create perfect light scenarios in such a clinical environment was daunting. My teacher talked about the mathematics of photography and would set up several lights, telling us how we would measure the distances and how this would apply to apertures etc. I was worried about how this would work for me as I have never been good at mathematics and the thought of having to apply it made me doubt my ability to be a good photographer. Every time I applied what I had learned during college I was disappointed with my results.I felt that I missed a connection with studio lighting and my current photographic style which at the time was quite conceptual and more fine-art based.