Foba Museum Applications – Collection Center of the Swiss National Museums (2 of 3)

Foba takes you through the use of Foba stands, Ceiling Rail,  and Combitube during archiving process of antique costumes.  The collection center of the Swiss National Museum is a huge complex near Zurich with a sophisticated photo studio.

The 300 sq meter studio, designed by Foba, is equipt with 2 motorized studio stands, 1 manual camera stand, and a motorized ceiling rail system and two custom made walls for lighting and background support.

The motorized rail system make simple work of moving large Cumulite strobe banks around from a remote control.  The system allows precise control at the touch of a button.

The Foba system is really a construction system that allows you to create complex structures in the studio with no compromise in quality.

Foba in Use at Villa Bleuler in Zurich (1 of 3)

Foba just made a new video of Foba stands being used by Villa Bleuler in Zurich.

The Villa Bleuler Swiss Institute for the Advanced Study of Art uses heavy duty Foba Stands to hold and position cameras and heavy scientific equipment for the purpose of analyzing and archiving important works of art. The video takes us through the use of Foba for photographic archiving in an automated photography studio that makes use of Foba Ceiling Rail systems and Combitube to position equipment and keep it off the floor.

Then we move to the inspection studios where artwork is inspected using a microscope and UV/IR cameras that are precisely positioned perfectly parallel using a Foba easel and custom Foba stand with horizontal rails.

And finally to the xray room where Foba equipment is used to easily move the heavy equipment around the room and position the xray machine with precision and safety without damaging the art.
The photography studio at Villa Bleuler is also heavily equipt with broncolor lighting gear – the defacto standard for consistent power output and controlled color temperature.

While this video focuses on the use of Foba in an art conservation environment, the examples can easily be used to understand how Foba can be used in industrial manufacturing or measurement environments for the precise positioning of sensitive heavy equipment.
Foba Villa Bleuler Museum Applications This is the first of 3 videos…stay tuned.

Western US Educational Photo Competition – Winners Announced!



We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2009 Western Photo Competition:
1st Place Marisa Howenstine (Arts Center College of Design) Mobil A2r Kit w/ RFS Transmitter
2nd Place Brian Holliday (Seattle Central Community College) broncolor Minicom 40 Monolight
3rd Place
Joseph Escamilla (Art Center College of Design) Foba Superball Tripod Head
Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to everyone who participated. Please click here to see the winning entries. The Central US leg of this photo competition will open on September 1st, and the Northeast leg will open on October 1st. Please click here for competition details. If you represent an educational institution with a photography program, please contact us here for more information on opportunities with the Sinar Bron Imaging Educational Program.

Lou Manna – Food Styling and Photography at Boston University

International Conference on Food Styling and Photography

Boston University Metropolitan College
June 12-15, 2009

New York City food photographer, Lou Manna brought tips and techniques on how to style and shoot food in his “Introduction to Digital Food Photography” seminar at the 2nd Annual International Conference on Food Styling and Photography at Boston University.  Lou started by introducing the workshop attendees to continuous light sources using daylight and broncolor 575-800 HMI.  In the afternoon session he moved to electronic flash units and used the Scoro A4s with Pulso G and Picolite’s, showing how to create emotion in food photography.  The ability to use the same reflectors for both HMI and Flash, is appreciated by Lou, “The beauty of broncolor is that it’s a complete system”.

Lou began shooting for the New York Times in 1975 and established his  5th Ave commercial studio in the early 90’s.  Since then he’s been busy shooting national ad campaigns and major magazines.  During this time he also found time to author his first book – Digital Food Photography.

The 4 day conference was sponsored by BU’s Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program and plates on display were a visual treat.

“The Picolite is a food photographer’s dream!” says Lou, “The 1/10th stop control from the packs and the ability of the Picolite to shape light into such small areas is special”.

Lou’s sense of style, color and composition are completed by his amazing kit of mirrors.  Lou loves to add texture and depth by bouncing light back into the food and dishes using an assortment of small mirrors that he has collected over the years.

Lou is planning to be back at BU to hold more workshops and also is teaching food photography classes in New York.



broncolor & Mechanism Digital – Convergence Convened

We had a fantastic time Thursday night our Convergence party at MECHANISM DIGITAL’S rooftop lounge in Chelsea.

The BBQ & beer bash was a great opportunity to hook up with some old friends, meet some new friends, and discuss the opportunities and challenges involved at the intersection of video and still photography.

The post production folks meshed with the photography crowd nicely.  At the end of the night I was hanging out with some of the crew from Mechanism Digital and they were amazed at how hungry the photo crowd were to learn about video production and post production.

Some of the interesting surprises that came out of the evening was the amount of buzz in the photography community about the Red Camera vs. the Canon 5d MkII.   The consensus was that both are great tools.  The Canon 5d MkII provides a great file straight out of the camera, but that file comes with a few drawbacks in the form of limitations on post processing and corrections.  This can create difficulties in post production with noise and color shifts when making deep modifications.  The Red on the other hand gets you a file that out of the camera might not look as good as the Canon, but the data in the res file is much more complete and rich.  So post processing on the Red is much more flexible and forgiving.  But that flexibility comes at a price because the Red codec  takes some serious processing horsepower and needs a pro to assemble the final product.

The other interesting thing I heard going on was talk about the ever increasing use of CGI and rendering in still photo.  Mechanism has got a team of post processing guys.  Each has a specialty, there’s a frame worker, a lighting guy, and a particle and physics processor.  Each member of the team works on a specific process.  The big difference between what Mechanism does and what a still photo CGI shop does is that for a still photo you are working up lighting for a single frame.  The Mechanism guys will put it together for anything from a 15 second TV spot to a full length feature film.  When asked how hard it is for them to do a single frame the Mechanism physicist said,  “Man, once we get the physics and the lighting done you have got your single frame…that’s easy and that’s just the beginning of our work to make a complete segment.”  You only need to check out MSNBC this Sunday July 12, 2009 “Why Planes Crash” show that Mechanism produced to see what they mean.

The last major takeaway from the evening was that the video crew’s feeling that the photographers were going to end up running the show.  Photographers have a reputation for being artists and creative geniuses.  So the overwhelming consensus was that the photographers would have more success shooting video and bringing in and directing video crews then the other way around.  I think the jury may still be out on this one.

We hope everyone had as much fun as we did, and we hope to see you around at our future events. If you would like to join our mailing list for upcoming events, please register here.

Many thanks to Lucien of Mechanism for co-hosting with us, and many thanks to our interns Jessica and Katie for putting the wheels on this party.