Photographer Johan Marklund gives us this extraordinary under water lighting setup. Working with under water photography is slightly different from regular photography. Here is Johan’s own words about the photo session:
– “Helena Engelbrecht offered me here assistance as a pre-lighting model for a commercial photoshoot I had promised to do underwater with the staff of a big company.
Ideas are fun but serously I had no figure out how to light under water. So two days before D-day we went of to the pool to try out the setting (two days before that I had discovered that radio transmitters do NOT work under water).
So after some thinking I came up with the idea to use a slave trigger wrapped in a plastic bag outside of the Ewa-marin housing in which I had my camera with a flashgun on low-power. The slave trigger itself was corded to my Ranger-pack. Helena had such a hangover that she later had to puke but before she did this.”
Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Johan. If you want to know more about Johan you can always check out his blog: johanmarklund.blogspot.com
This is another shot from our fashion trip to Sardegna/Sardinia in Italy. It was a rather cold morning, and we had quite a few bikinis and bathing suits to go through, so we had to work fast. When temperatures are low like this, both the models and clients appreciate it when the photographer can work fast like this. Both on commercial, editorial and catalogue fashion, because you have a lot of stuff to get through. Most of these swimwear shots were done at Hotel Ollastu in Olbia where we stayed during the whole period. It has a lot of wonderful locations and backgrounds, and was also a great place to stay.
We placed the model behind the wall down at the bungalows, so she would be in shade from the direct sun rising to the left in the picture. At the same time the sun created some nice patterns on the stone wall of the bungalow. But the problem was that the background behind the model, with the wall and especially the door, got very dark. Too dark actually. So I started by building up a nice light around the model first. Some people seem to think; reflector = subject, but they’re excellent and effective for lighting up the environment as well. So I set up a large California Sunbounce Pro zebra reflector quite far away, out in the sun. I angled it carefully so that no light from it was hitting the model, but lit up everything else behind her instead. A reflector like this literally throws a big wall of light when placed in direct sunlight, so you have to be careful with what it hits. And the effect is tremendous. You can see the doorframe almost glowing.
Then I set up another reflector on the model. This time a California Sunbounce Mini white. I placed it just out of camera frame, and angled it so it lit up her face and upper body. Her legs got some reflections from the light colored stone ground.
I metered the light on her face with my Sekonic L-358, and got f/5.6 and 1/60 at ISO 100. Shot on a medium format digital Hasselblad with a 210mm lens.
Really love reflectors and natural light in my fashion work!
Norwegian photographer Eivind Røhne tells us about about this fashion photography lighting:
As a fashion photographer shooting a lot of stuff outdoors, I often prefer to use the soft light in the shadows. And my clients as well. Then we shape and tweak the light to get it how we want it to look. We use reflectors, speedlights or mobile studio lighting kits. Or maybe all of them. But sometimes we want a different look and feel to the fashion photographs we make.
This fashion magazine client of mine often likes to have a white clothing series in their editorials every year. And this white stuff we like to do in direct sunlight. This time it was on a beach in Sardegna/Sardinia in Italy. We shot a complete editorial quite fast during what usually is considered lunch time; harsh sunlight with lots of shadows. Fortunately we didn’t have a clear blue sky, but we got some clouds that gave us a little bit of texture in the background.
I immediately saw that this could be a cool before and after picture because of the tremendous effect of the reflector. So I asked the editor of the magazine, Mary-Ann – also known as “The Grey Card Lady”, to just tilt the reflector away on one of the shots. She’s a wonderful lady, and did what I asked without asking why, and then we kept on shooting. She was holding a 1×2 meter California Sunbounce half silver/gold reflector a couple of meters away from the model, directing the harsh sunlight back towards the model. And as you can see, a reflector this size can literally light up the whole place. The light was so intense that even the professional model had a hard time looking in its direction for too long without short breaks.
I had taken a few test shots as well as a reading with my Sekonic handheld meter, to get the exposure right so that I would still have some texture in the sky, and a perfect exposure on the models skin and white clothes. Being careful not to lose those whites! Both of these shots here where shot at f/8 and 1/100 second and ISO 50 on a medium format digital Hasselblad with a 210mm lens.
Amazing what a single reflector can do to light up your life!
Photographer Eivind Røhne gives you a great lighting setup for swimwear fashion photography:
A lot of the fashion stuff I do is photographed abroad, especially since Norway is a rather cold place in November when we often do new spring and summer fashion stuff. This is for a magazine I work with, and this time we travelled to Malta. We try to utilize the time as best we can, and shoot constantly during the time we’re there. We manage to get a lot of stuff done rather quickly, and that’s great for a magazine. Time is money. And to do that you have to work as light, easy and fast as you can. So most of the time we use California Sunbounce reflectors and also diffusors.
It was a bit cloudy this early morning, with no direct sunlight on the model. Unfortunately the swimming pool at our hotel wasn’t heated, and even though it may look warm, the water was only about 14 degrees Celsius. And when a model has to do 40 swimsuits in cold water, I try to work as fast and easy as possible. A happy model is a good model!
The hidden sun is behind the model to the right in the picture, as you can see from the glow on the skin. To fill in the front side of the model, I used a California Sunbounce mini (with zebra or half gold color as you could call it) right in front of her. I put it at an angle, resting on my camera bag. The model stood about a meter in front of it, stepping in and out of the pool with 40 swimsuits. The light was metered with a handheld Sekonic, to get an accurate reading of the light falling on the model, without the camera being tricked by the lighter background. At ISO 50 I got f/5 and 1/125 secs, and it was all shot on a medium format digital Hasselblad.
As you can see from the behind-the-scenes picture, the light is actually rather dull with no punch or contrast, but the reflector did an amazing job of giving us beautiful soft light.
This narrow room is not just an interesting rough looking location. It also provides good lighting possibilities, because of the short distance between the window and the wall on the other side of the room. Cecilie Harris took this photo without using any lighting equipment at all. Impressive.
So if you don’t own a lot of lighting equipment. Just smash down your toilet and you have a fully functional DIY photo studio.
Believe it or not but this stunning fashion photo by Cecilie Harris is shot using 100 percent natural light. Cecilie and the model were under a bridge to avoid direct sunlight and used the reflected light from the right.