In a world filled with videos and tutorials featuring every yahoo with a camera telling us how-to setup, pose, light, and edit, it's hard to know what's just noise and what's worthy of our time. Fortunately, there's experienced instructors like Karl Taylor and Urs Recher who have teamed up to share their techniques in the latest How-To series from Broncolor.
The duo currently has six videos published on Broncolor's site and YouTube channel covering everything from painting a model with light to freezing the action of smashing wine glasses. Each video features a different scenario where the guys walk you through their equipment selections (all Broncolor of course) and technique to create the image. While the intention is obviously to show off the capabilities of Broncolor gear, there's nothing I've seen that can't be accomplished with other brands of studio equipment, or even speedlights in some cases. I should mention that Broncolor may be more affordable than you might think, especially for students. I hear they have an incredible student discount (up to 50% off).
I'm no Broncolor salesman, I'm not even a Broncolor user, but what I like about the vids is the range of skill level these two instructors demonstrate. Not everything is complicated, but all of it is cool and really shows the potential of the various lighting gear and modifiers available. It appears as though they started publishing one per week, but then took sabbatical for a bit and have picked up again posting sporadically, so I'm not sure exactly when to expect the next one. I'm confident they're still producing the videos though, as the most recent one dropped just last month.
The only element I feel the videos are lacking is the post-processing of these images. These guys are good enough that the raw captures look pretty stunning, but I doubt that's how they'd deliver any of these images to a client. Clearly that's not the point of the videos, but I'd like to see it none-the-less.
Karl Taylor is a multi-disciplined photographer working in the commercial advertising industry, and photography instructor with a ton of (paid) content on his masterclass website. He's a Broncolor ambassador who can often be found comparing his beloved brand to its competitors on his YouTube channel which includes lots of other great (free) content as well. I've found a few great segments there over the years.
Urs Recher is a Swiss based photographer and consultant to Broncolor who has spent the past few decades educating students all over the world on lighting fundamentals and composition. He's got a couple of books on the subject and if you ever have the opportunity to catch one of his workshops, go for it!
Very inspirational series, and probably the best demonstration of a para I've seen to date. I now want to go out and buy a load of black acrylic and cutlery!
Yea they make it look easy.
I know why they did it this way (they needed light for the video), but for anyone trying this at home, it is easier to open the shutter in a dark room, then use the sound (or laser) trigger to pop the flash. That way, you don't have to worry about delays with the camera, etc.
I just get my timing down with a few practice drops, then handle the shutter manually. Works like a charm. You don't necessarily need fancy lasers and sound triggers.
I've never had luck with that on breaking things— I always seem to miss the best bits— but I have done that with splashes.