Another quick behind the scenes of a simple studio product shot

15 01 2012

Hey all,

Here’s another really quick post about the setup I used to make a few editorial product shots for iStockphoto. At the beginning, this was just a lightning test, so the shots are not that creatives, but I tried to add a little something for the last one. First, Here’s the studio setup.

I used 4 strobes. the key light is a Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 with a umbrella. The kicker is a AlienBees B800 with a small square Lastolite Easy box. The fill is a Einstein E640 in a 64 inch silver PLM with front diffuser fabric, overhead. Finally, the background is illuminated with a Canon Speedlight 430EXII with a blue gel. I used a Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS. The flashes were triggered with Pocket Wizards Mini TT1, Flex TT5, Zone controller AC3, Power MC2 or simply by optical slave for the AB800.

And here’s the shots:

For the last one, I decided to try the shortest flash duration of the Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 which is supposed to be around 1/6800 at t 0.5. I replaced the AB800 by the Einstein as the kicker and set the Profoto to -4 and Max (fastest flash duration setting). I removed the overhead fill. I’m pretty satisfied with the results. At 100%, the flash tail is still visible, but it is very usable if the subject isn’t moving too fast. For this shot, I used old gliding wax scrapes to «simulate» snow.

So here it is, your comments and questions are always welcome.


Behind the scenes of a simple cross-country ski studio shot.

10 12 2011


I’ve been away from the blog for a loooooong time, but decided today to post a short behind the scene article on a simple studio shot that I made for microstock photography.

Since there are not a lot of photos out there about cross-country ski and even less about wax preparation, I decided to do some tests in studio and it turned out pretty well.

It is a really simple setup with 3 strobes. First, here’s the final image.

And here’s the studio setup:

The main light is a Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 in a PLM umbrella with a front diffuser (I Love this umbrella, especially for portrait). Second light is a backlight. Alien Bees AB800 with a 10 degree grid. I had to put a ND 0.3 gel in front because I wanted a pretty small depth of field.

Finally, the background light was a Canon Speedlight 430EX II zoomed at 24mm with a blue gel to give the nice cold color. A small white foamcore was used to bounce some light in the front.

All flashes ecxept the AB800 were triggered with Pocket Wizard radios. On the camera, I had a Mini TT1 + AC3. The Einstein had his own MC2 and the Canon was on a Flex TT5. The AB800 was triggered with its own slave.

The camera was a Canon 7D with a Canon 50mm F/1.4 attached.


ISO 100
1/125 sec

Thanks and see you soon with a few more behind the scenes.

Vermont, part 2

2 09 2010


Here’s another diptych from last week-end in Stowe, VT.

The whole reportage this week-end.



Diptych from a week-end near the city of Stowe, Vermont, USA.

31 08 2010

Hey everybody!

Here are a couple of photos from my week-end in Vermont where I covered a relay race. 100 miles on VT 100.

More soon.


One from the subway…

26 08 2010

One from this morning subway ride.

First thoughts on the brand new Adobe Lightroom 3 (Small review based on a 2 day use)

10 06 2010

Hey everybody,

As you probably already know, the official version of Adobe Lightroom 3 was released on june 8. As it is the software I use the most, on a daily basis, it didn’t take long for me to go online to download it, especially at just 99$ for the upgrade ( by the way, if you upgrade to Photoshop CS5 in the same order, you get an instant 30$ off the price of Lightroom).

Is it worth the upgrade? TOTALLY! I almost didn’t use LR2 since the BETA 2 is out and the final version is even better!

First, the biggest improvement is about IQ. The new algorithm is so much better than the 2003 version. In many cases you won’t see any difference but in some it really improves the development.

Next, there’s the color and luminance noise reduction. Works beautifully, especially with older cameras without a very good high ISO quality.

There are also a lot of great additions like the lens profile, the perspective correction, a new import dialog box and many more.

The bad.

Yes, there are some issues with this first release, unfortunatly. The very first problem I had was in converting my old catalogs. Everything went smoothly as it should for the LR2 catalogs. The problem came when I tried to import photos from a LR3 BETA catalog inside the newly converted LR3 catalog. It kept showing me a pop up message saying that there was a problem with the catalog (Remember, it was a BETA catalog). So I tried to convert the BETA catalog first, which worked fine, and then I tried to import this new catalog into my main one. First, it looked great, but at the very end, same error message!!! So, I end up losing all I did in the BETA. I still can use two catalogs, but it don’t make sense because the BETA one is almost the same as the older one, but with different stuff added (I’ll maybe try to import the LR2 catalog into the LR3 (BETA) one….that could work!)

One last thing I found disappointing is the speed. This release is supposed to be VERY fast, but it seemed slower than LR2  in rendering the preview (I have the last generation iMac 27” and my images are from 8 and 10 Mp cameras). The worst part is when you adjust a slider. The effect often takes a few seconds to apply!!! I’ll try to find out why it is that slow. Maybe Adobe will release an update to fix that.

So, here it is for a quick review of Lightroom 3.0, the official release.



How to do street photography efficiently with an iPhone

4 05 2010

Hey everybody,

I recently received an iPhone as a gift and got very excited with the little camera that’s inside. I knew there were A LOT of photo apps in the store and I was pretty amazed by some reportage work I saw on the web that has been shot with the phone. So, as I have the phone with me all the time, I started to take a lot of pictures of everything around me. It soon replaced my Leica M8 in some situations where it was almost unthinkable (for me) to use the M camera. So today, I thought it would be great to share with you how I use my iPhone to do street photography.

First of all, the most important is to have the camera with you all the time. It should not be a problem since it is a phone too.

Second, just like shooting street with any other camera, you have to be aware of what’s around you and be able to anticipate things. So far, not very different from Street photography that you know.

The GREAT thing about the iPhone is that everybody today has a smartphone. This is great because nobody would think your actually taking a photo of them (usually, people are reading their e-mails on it). Even if they realize your taking a picture, they won’t take you seriously. You will probably just look like a tourist of some weird guy holding his phone in a weird way!

That way, you can go pretty close to your subjects and take very intrusives photographs without bothering anyone.

The only downside (except for image quality, of course) is the ergonomics of the iPhone. It is very difficult to hold the phone efficiently and it is not always easy to find the shutter button since it is a touch screen. However, I found a way to hold it that works great for me.

Another thing I really like about the iPhone is the speed at which the photo is taken after the shutter button is pushed. It is almost. It is REALLY fast, so it is very useful to capture “The moment”.

To process the images directly on the iPhone, I use a few apps like Photoshop mobile from Adobe, Best photo from photographer Chase Jarvis, Mill Colour from The Mill and Shake it Photo (one of my favourite for that perfect Polaroid look).

You can have a look at my other iPhone street photographs on my personal website,

Thanks for reading!