It's Profoto Friday and as usual I've been wandering through their archives. I love the "how-to" quality of both this post and the behind-the-scenes video below. Just about every new photographer owns a reflector, but so often they fail to take full advantage of its potential.
Each month Profoto highlights one of their accessories in their Light Shaping Tools line. Put into a post on their blog it becomes a good little tutorial. The challenge for so many photographers today is making their work look different and in turn, better, than their competitors. Here's just one more ingredient.
A big thanks to Profoto for their never-ending support in helping photographers raise the bar on the quality of their work. And, if you haven't watched it yet, check out three minutes of Brian Marcus on the streets of NYC with the new B1 Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon shooters. It's a kick to watch with some remarkable images.
Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools (previous articles can be found here). This month we talk to Portuguese fashion photographer Frederico Martins about our new Profoto Reflectors.
Born and raised by the owner of a clothing store, fashion is not only Frederico Martins profession. It is in his blood. Today, he is an awarded fashion photographer who counts renowned publications such as Vogue, Elle, Maxim and GQ among his clients.
Frederico started his career shooting surfers, and ever since, he enjoys using the elements of nature and available light to his advantage. This is also the reason why he prefers working with reflectors.
“Working with reflectors is a more natural approach,” says Frederico. “You can forget about batteries, carrying heavy equipment and adjusting the color temperature. You get a natural look and feel with very little effort.”
“The Collapsible Reflectors have handles and are sturdier and more rigid than other reflectors I’ve worked with,” says Frederico. “I often shoot on quite windy locations, so rigidness is an important factor. Having so many different textures to choose from is also good.”
The different textures can be used in different ways for creating different effects. So, how did Frederico use them on Fuerteventura?
“The white side reflects the light in a very natural way, so I mostly used it for lighting up and controlling the shadows,” he says. “It’s very straightforward and definitely one of my favorites.”
“The silver side was used when I wanted a strong, slightly underexposed image with let’s say darker skin tones and a deep blue sky. In these cases I placed the reflector quite far from the model, so that I got a low powered yet shiny light that brought life to the darker areas. I also used it in some shots to create the catch light in the model’s eyes.”
“The translucent reflector was used as a diffuser. I put it over the model with the sunlight shining through, which gives you this nice, fresh and soft light. Of course, diffusing the light on the model steps down your exposure and gives you a somewhat brighter background. But that can be a good thing!”
“I didn’t use the black or the gold side on Fuerteventura, but the former is obviously used to flag off light, and the gold side is great when shooting black & white. It gives you these really nice, almost bronzy kind of feel.”
“My personal favorite, however, is the sunsilver side. “It’s not as cold as the silver side and it is not as obvious as the gold side. It’s right in between and I think it’s just perfect. A lot of the beautiful, warm skin tones you see in these pictures were created with the help of that.”
See more of Frederico’s stunning images at his website.