If you’ve ever wanted to see how the pros light amazing studio shots, look no further. My wife and I recently moved into a new place that offers quite a bit of new space for studio style photography. Being a tad rusty I was excited about the plethora of shooting opportunities a controlled lighting space would offer, but found myself lacking motivation. Until I discovered Broncolor’s “How To” section on their website.
Broncolor has an unsurpassed reputation when it comes to studio lighting equipment. Their products are used by some of the world’s top professionals and it’s those very same individuals providing behind the scenes details from some of their best work.
A quick look at the site reveals several variations of well designed shots that are unique in the sense that I found myself wondering how they were accomplished. One shot in particular by photographer Nadia Winzenried caught my eye - a stationary wine glass and a second crashing down from above with the image captured right at the moment of impact. My immediate thought was that this had to be captured with an incredibly short flash duration, which is the case, but it also involved use of a "sound trigger" which was something that was new to me. In addition, three lights were utilized with varying sizes of modifiers and Nadia goes onto explain the intricacies involved in of capturing just the right moment.
While this shot seemed fairly advanced, at least from a technical standpoint, there were numerous other examples that crossed over all ranges of skill and far less gear required. For example, this shot by Fabio Gloor features an insane lighting pattern that is shot with a single light and a barcode shaped pattern on a white background. Such a shot could theoretically be created with relative ease by anyone with a cheap light and a willing model.
There are tons of examples on their site all of which include detailed schematics as to how it was lit, which modifiers were used, as well as a brief description of the thought process that went into designing the shot; information that usually you would pay good money for. I encourage everyone to have a look and try some of the same shots on their own. There is nothing wrong with using others' work for inspiration in your own.