Broncolor and SEVEN BTS - The Art Is Piano

Hopefully I can stop the negative comments before they start and tell you that yes, this video is a giant Broncolor ad. However, if you can get past that and look at the lighting and resulting images there is definitely stuff to learn. That said, let's dive into the story behind the session. Swiss pop-star Seven wanted to have a piano in unusual location for this newest album images. That unusual place ended up being the “Grimsel Pass” on the Swiss Alps at over 2100m above sea level. No big deal right? Apparently not for photographer Tim Lüdin. They changed locations 3 times during the week of the shoot and shot in some seriously unfavorable conditions yet still managed to knock it out of the park. In fact, the images that was selected for the cover was shot in what appear to be the worst conditions of the entire gig.

Remember what I said in the beginning. Don't focus on the sales aspect, focus on deconstructing and understanding the lighting.

If you would like to see more of Tim Lüdin's work, head over to his site

Via Broncolor

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It is a useful video. And most certainly the lighting can be done similarly with, say a alien bee parabolic silver reflector; or less than that. The location was the best part of the image. I appreciate the post.

Most things can be done with alienbee equipment. I think people have figured that out and hence Paul c buff making a nice bit of money. When I first saw this video my post was about how cool it was shot. The images are always gonna seem meh when there is so much hype around the tools used. Some artists make it seem like its critical to have certain features when we all know those features make things easier but are not the reason my your image is good or bad.

These companies need to watch out for Chinese companies because made in China does mean cheap build anymore (foxcon) it may simply mean lower price.

And unethical business pratices. But yeah all the same....

Keep in mind alienbee equipment costs more in other countries, has less control and also a terrible mount for large modifiers.

Foxconn is making lighting equipment now?

Quentin Decaillet's picture

As worker88 said, P.C.Buff isn't as cheap in Europe (or other parts of the world) as it is in the US! I thought about buying P.C.Buff lights for my studio and on location shoots but when compared to Elinchrom it was the same price or even more expensive. (I'm based in Switzerland). Another thing is the after-sale service. When based in Europe, you have to ship your equipment to UK for repairs and controls with P.C.Buff. Meanwhile, other brands (Bron, Elinca, Profoto) have distributors and repair centers in most countries :)

So sure most things can be done with alienbees. However when it costs as much as Profoto's or Elinchrom's gear, it might not be that interesting. Then Broncolor is another story… if you love/need packs and do a lot of fast paced shoots or still life, it might be interesting, otherwise I find it mostly overpriced.

I hate to say this, the end results looks like a studio shot. Might as well follow Joel Grimes approach and make work easier.

Secondly, after lugging all these equipment to such a location and have a Broncolor lighting, you didnt use a Medium Format like a Hasselblad? What were you guys thinking??? :(

Von Wong's picture

Shooting on location is fun, variable, challenging, and gives different results from compositing and on occasions can even come out to be cheaper. He's using studio lighting on location which makes the shots look cinematic, I love it.

Secondly, there's the right tool for every job. A MF camera is slower, not weather resistant and normally requires to be tethered for optimal performance. The right too for the right job, not the fanciest tool for every job.

Absolutely agree with you Tim. They spend all these effort to shoot on location, and get something looks like done with green screen. I will assume shooting in location you want the subject be immersive with the environment. so why bother? The photographer didn't get the lighting ratio right. It proved again, it's not about the equipment.

I got no problem with gear.... but this is just boring gear-porn.... yaaaaaaaaawn! And there are not even girls involved ;-)

Why is the 'talent' commenting on the equipment? Yeah the kit is fantastic but its really bloody expensive, refresh times are amazing but for this type of work you don't need it. Strange

Von Wong's picture

The Broncolor stuff is fabulous - for anyone who's actually played with them there's a whole different level of quality in terms of build and functionality. The strength of these systems is not that they can pull of a unique shot (though, the new packs can do some nifty little tricks like changing flash duration and color temperature independent of flash power!) but about how consistent of a performance you can get in extreme conditions. For example, sure you'd probably get a similar light output off an 86" parabolic... but ever try shooting that outdoors in the wind? Besides blowing over it actually inverts itself if the wind is strong enough! The pins are also less rugged and the shape of the light can't be as easily modified quickly and efficiently. It's the small things like that that make the difference... and when you see those differences and need them is when you'd be tempted by a system like this. Not before.
There is a reason these systems cost so much.

Note: I don't actually own a bron system as it's definitely beyond my price range but I can also appreciate it for what it can do.

Note2: I do wish the tone of the advertisement was different. I don't think they're marketing themselves in the right way!

Thanks for the share :) great final results

Yeah... what ever! The video above is just a bloody commercial