A Glimpse Of Shooting Commercial Ads With Hot Lights

A Glimpse Of Shooting Commercial Ads With Hot Lights

I was a little on the fence whether this video was good enough for the front page of Fstoppers or not. Although there is no technical information in this video, I think the final photos by Thomas Vassort are outstanding and should inspire us all to raise the bar on our commercial style shoots. I really love the aviation vibe Daniel Hechter went with on their Spring 2011 clothing campaign. It appears most if not all of these images were shot using natural light along with hot lights or HMIs which is probably a lighting style few of us have used. It also appears these were all shot on a regular old Canon DSLR (somewhat rare for campaigns like this). Check out the final photos in the full post.

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My two passions, photography and aviation!!

My two passions, photography and aviation!!

Garrett Graham's picture

Just looked fun as heck!

frederic's picture

No more video

frederic's picture

Well, I find it here :

the "regular old canon dslr" is a 5d markII ;-)

That's right ;) TV

Great production, great images. Thanks for posting this.

The Cardigan & Cook's picture

Love this!!

whats the advantage of shooting HMI on a set like this?

Fstoppers Editorial Team's picture

I'm not exactly sure there is an advantage necessarily. If they were also shooting video for a commercial then having everyone lit with constant light would be useful. Also you can get much shallower depth of field since strobes would have required shooting at maybe f10 in this situation.
Anyone else know why HMIs might be the way to go here?

Sure it's bulky and hot, but after shooting video with constant tungsten as well as HMI I'd do it if the budget allowed. There are some great advantages to using hot lights for stills:
-You see the results of any changes you make with your naked eye without shooting & reviewing.-With action, even the slower flying planes used, you don't have to worry about sync speed or trigger problems with a strobe.-Stand in front of even a small joker HMI and you'll see it's power. You can use them to make your overcast day look bright and sunny.-Depending on the look you can put the lights a greater distance away with their power.

Bruno Inácio's picture

Big fresnel Lenses! The biggest Profoto Fresnel head for flash is really small compared with Arri or Alpha 5600K Heads. Heads with 2500K, 5K and more are really big! Willy Vanderperre for exemple only uses Hmi for his works, and there is nobody shooting video.

Bruno Inácio's picture

Ah, and one day somebody asked Miles Davis why his 5tet plays so fast? His answer was: ''Because we can.''

In my view, I think his use of HMI's were a matter of his taste and comfort in using artificial light in conjunction with natural light. Similar to how Peter Hurley uses Kino Flows for his head shots, it's not so much that strobes could not have worked; perhaps this photographer prefers the quality of light and to see the fill or main light in real time rather than after the capture.

On a side note: Man did you guys get a view of the plugs used for those HMI's? HUGE!

copy-stick ;)

The closest I've been able to narrow down who the photographer is, is the agency Daniel Hechter used for the 2010-2011 campaign: Agent Molly & Co.

It is definitely worth checking out. There is so much talent in this company of artists. Hope this helps.

Patrick Hall's picture

Am I the only one who has gotten this song stuck in their head? Your wish is my command haha

same here! I have been replaying the video non-stop :D
anybody knows the artist for the song?
Very funky vibes :)

Baby I'm yours by Breakbot Feat. Irfane
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id356142767?i=356142768&ign-mpt=uo%3D5
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YE2WfxwfS8

As a Record producer myself I wish people at least add credits to their video stating the song and artist. Not just for the artist but also for the people who really like the song and want to know what it is.

I photographer is Thomas Vassort.

Patrick Hall's picture

thanks so much!

Here Thomas Vassort is in this video using the same Canon and same lens. Minus the awesome lights.


Thomas is a talented photographer and the only downside he has is the kit he uses…

Kidding. This was a good watch.

Really cool session! I would love to do more stuff like these! 


What a perfect way to spend a day!

I love the vibe of the video. The images rock too. The style is fun and so well done. 

wow, great lights

People nowadays think that 5D MkII + 24-105 is kind of mainstream because lots of tourists and rich kids use it and stuff like you have to use medium format for such a shoot but the 5D combined with L glass is still a work horse that never let you down if you know how to use it and this guy clearly does know :)