Posts

Kill the Spill: 3 Light Shapers for Maximum Control

Erik Valind goes in depth on the modifiers and techniques he uses to precisely control his light on a product shoot.

Precision Lighting with Erik Valind

Erik Valind breaks down his set to show exactly how he uses broncolor lights to get the best, most defined, cut look out of his fitness model.

RFS 2.2 How-To Videos

Join photographer Erik Valind in this in-depth view at the new RFS2.2 transmitter from basic setup to custom functions.

Using Alternate in bronControl with Siros

Alternate is a unique function available in the free bronControl app that gives you even more creative lighting options. New York City photographer Erik Valind shows you how to setup Alternate and makes a creative colorful portrait with Siros.

Ultimate Mobility, Power, and Control with the Siros L

1 Light – Mobility

When we arrived at the park we found a patch of grass that was still getting some direct afternoon sunlight. With the freshly blossoming bright trees in the distant background, we had found our first location. I decided to start with the sun as my key light, with it doing most of the work to illuminate both the model and the background. With the sun doing the heavy lifting, a single strobe would be sufficient to perfect this initial setup. To further sculpt the model and to make her look more 3D I added a rim light behind her as you can see in the Before & After image. Here was the Siros L’s first test. Just how mobile was the battery-powered monolight? The answer is VERY mobile! I attached a Broncolor 30 x 120 cm Stripbox to a single Siros L 800 unit and my assistant was able to hand hold it the entire time! With one hand on the unit and the other hand firmly on the built in handle he easily tracked the model’s movement from pose to pose and we were seamlessly able to capture a ton of perfectly lit images in no time at all. Being able to work quickly on location is invaluable, and not needing to deploy a light stand give allowed us to work quickly, and at the same time can save you from having to pull expensive shooting permits in some major cities.

 

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Before and After

Before and After

2 Lights – Power

One obvious reason for shooting outdoors on-location vs. inside in the studio is the sun! The sun did a great job front lighting the previous images, but what I really enjoy is the sun flare aesthetic that is very popular today. To get that beautiful backlit glowing light and streaming sun flare in your camera lens you need to specifically place the sun behind the model and just out of the frame. Unfortunately the resulting placement usually leaves your subject in the dark or as a partial silhouette. To both illuminate the model and achieve this look I needed to fill in those shadows with some light of my own. Here is where I put the power of the Siros L to the test. Two units were used for this setup. I chose the Siros 800 L again because it has a maximum 800ws, which is plenty of power to compete with the bright afternoon sun. To modify the Siros I used a Broncolor 75 cm Octabox on the models face, then a Broncolor 30 x 120 cm Stripbox to enhance the backlight wrapping around the model’s side from behind. With all the available power in this monolight I didn’t even have to turn the flash power all the way up to maximum, which gave me really fast recycle times for quick shooting as my model flowed from pose to pose. The extra power and fast recycling times empowered me to get more shots than usual and allowed the model to work quickly while not tiring herself out holding difficult poses for long periods of time.

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3 Lights – Control

Finally the sun began to set on the park and we decided to try for one last setup before dark. With no more direct sunlight to utilize I brought out the third Siros L in my kit for a total of three flash units. Now with this many flashes combined in a single setup, the ability to precisely modify and control each of them becomes paramount. I started out with a rim light placed behind the model on either side. These were each modified with a Broncolor 30 x 120 cm Stripbox to both soften and specifically control the direction of the light. (The design of the Siros L with its exposed flash tube is awesome in how it is designed for use with every existing Broncolor lighting modifier out there.) To save myself the hassle of running back and worth between all of the lights to get the exposure dialed in, I just turned on the Wi-Fi function on each Siros and controlled them from my shooting position using the BronControl app on my iPhone. This saved me time and energy as we were racing the clock to dial in this shot before the sun had completely set. Once the rim lights were correct I added the final Siros L with the super portable Broncolor Beauty Box for a punch of even contrasty light on the front of the model’s body. Once my lights were in place and the lighting ratio perfect I began shooting. As I changed my aperture for creative control of my Depth of Field throughout the shoot I needed to adjust the power of all of the flashes accordingly. This was made even easier with the Broncolor RFS Transmitter on top of my camera, which gave me the ability to control all three lights as a group – maintaining the lighting ratio – while powering them up and down very precisely in 1/10th stop increments. It was incredible how quickly we got everything setup, fine tuned and adjusted on the fly using the intuitive control of the BronControl App and RFS Transmitter.

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Darkness had officially fallen on Central Park and that was a wrap on my first shoot with the Siros L! As we piled into the cab on the way back to the studio I replayed in my mind all the many lighting setups we had just run through.  I’m happy to say that the Siros L had passed all my tests, leaving me with a glowing first impression. It really is an awesome piece of kit for any photographer on the go who enjoys shooting on location as much as I do!

 

Blog written by Erik Valind

Check out Erik Valind’s website : erikvalind.com