I have seen a few photos around the internet taken in a studio with balloons but when looking at most of them I thought they only out in 50% effort and needed to fill more space with balloons. Last year I was photographing a wedding and one of the guests had a extremely large bunch of balloons, there was a few kids that kept hiding among the balloons and every now and then you would see a hand or a head sticking out. All I could think was..... "I have to do this in the studio". So we blew up 400 black and white balloons and started to shoot.
The lighting concept was to keep the shadows and contrast that separated all the objects in the photo. When you have a lot of items the same colour in your photos you need to control the angel of the lighting so that shadows still fall where you require them. What we didn't think of was how much static was involved, it played havoc with the models hair. Next time ill be a bit more prepared.
We only used 2 different lighting set-ups. But they couldn't have been more different. The first set up was a large octo-box from directly above the models pointing down, using the balloons to reflect light back up for a bit of fill light. The second set-up was 2 strip lights set horizontally on both sides of the studio, and set down at eye level.
And finally the world famous Making of/behind the screens video
Wir wollten 2012 mit etwas anderem beginnen. Dank RetroGames e.V. konnten wir das Studio in eine kleine Spielhalle verwandeln und oben drauf hatten wir noch 3 fantastische Models. Die Idee hinter dem Shooting war eine kontrollierte Beleuchtung mit Lichtformern und Wabenfiltern damit nur die Models und Spielautomaten beleuchtet werden. Zuletzt haben wir eine Nebelmaschine und Farbfilter hinzugefügt. Hier und da haben wir noch kleine Softboxen eingesetzt wenn an manchen Stellen etwas mehr Licht benötigt wurde.
Je später es wurde, um so aufwendiger wurde auch die Beleuchtung und um ehrlich zu sein, ich kann mich nicht mehr an jedes Set-up erinnern. Zumal die Set-ups sich sehr schnell änderten. Aber das Grund-Set-up für die meisten Bilder war ein 400w Bowens Blitz mit einem großen Reflektor und einem Wabenfilter auf einem kleinen Galgenstativ als Haar-Licht, ein 400w Bowens Blitz mit einem roten Farbfilter und eine Nebelmaschine in einem alten Space Invaders Spielautomaten. Das restliche Set-up änderte sich ständig während wir uns im Studio bewegten.
Einen großen Dank an alle Teilnehmer, ganz speziell an Missy Mantis für ihre Beratung.
Und zu guter Letzt noch das weltbekannte "Making of" Video, dass ihr normalerweise nur auf der Collectors Edition DVD zu sehen bekommen würdet
Styling: Missy Mantis - Mantissima
About 12 months ago I (Scott) was chatting with Kat Bradshaw from Kat Bradshaw photography … She was talking about her smoke machine that a friend of hers wanted to borrow. As a joke I asked to borrow it, and like the wonderful person that she is she said yes, but lets be honest the postage from Nashville Tennessee to Karlsruhe Germany would be a killer.
Not that long ago we did “The walking dead” shoot , and I thought it would be a great chance to use a smoke machine in combination with a shooting. I asked m-arx organised a rental as he “Knows someone”. The machine was amazing but way to powerful for our studio, so I started to look at what eBay had to offer.
The best deal from a reputable dealer, was a NM040 - 400 Watt Smoke Machine with 5l of fog fluid.
Heating time: circa 7 minutes
Spray distance: circa 6 meters
Fluid capacity: 0.75l
Maximum spray time: 40-50 seconds
Dimensions: (WxLxH) 132 x 242 x 102 mm
Fog Capacity: 57m³/minute
Included in the delivery : 1x 400w Smoke machine, 1x 5M trigger cable, 1x 5 leter Smoke fluid
Price: €40.00 plus €6.50 postage
According to the manufacturer
The NM040 provides a cheap start into professional working with fog machines. In spite of the robust cabinet, the weight is very low. The bracket enables you to flight this device, too. Due to the analogue technology it is very easy to put the fog machine into operation. The inbuilt components were chosen because of their durability, also during heavy-duty.
At first I thought “OHHH NO what have I bought here”. It was tiny could to do the job? I set it up in the studio and tested it a but, and was sceptical (at this point all I was thinking is where the receipt so I can send it back). Before I send it back I did want to give it a real test run (so I had something to blog about). And I’m glad I did….
I contacted Sandra J.K and asked if she would model as a “Rocker Girl” so I can test the “Fog Machine” in a real shooting environment. I tested it with different spray times, and at different heights in the studio. After a few attempts I found what worked for me. I placed the NM040 on a 2.5m light stand and placed it up high right next to a 400w Bowens Gemini monoblock (fitted with a set of barn doors and a blue gel filter). I was using a red background and the resulting colour contrast was fantastic. At this point I really go into the shoot and had a fantastic time.
For the price it’s a great accessory for the studio but you have to know how to use it and its limitation. It needs to be placed high so the smoke can fall into the photo. Using colour gels that contrast to your background will defiantly add that wow affect.
Smoke machine basics
The most common type of smoke machine takes a glycol based fluid that is pumped into a heated chamber. The normal components used are a solenoid pump to push the liquid in, and a fibreglass lagged heater block based on a sandwich of aluminium plates, a heating element and a long piece of copper capillary tubing snaked around between the heater plates. In some units the heater is tubular with the capillary tubing wound round it, but the effect is the same.
At switch on the unit will not pump liquid until the heating block has come up to the correct temperature, whereupon the pump can run and squirt the fluid into the block. When it does, the fluid evaporates very quickly and the resultant increase in pressure not only causes it to form a dense superheated vapour, but forces it out of the front of the machine via the exit port, which can be as simple as the end of the capillary tubing being poked out, or in some cases a small pinhole orifice to make sure that the internal pressure is kept high.
The resultant dense vapour exits the front of the machine and upon contact with the cool air it forms a dense cloud that is a very close relation to real fog.