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From Idea to Implementation: Einstein 640 Creative Shot.

From Idea to Implementation: Einstein 640 Creative Shot.

What is the most important behind any decent studio shot? The idea, right?
Without idea (concept) there is no way we can create anything really good and remarkable , regardless of how good the technique was. Obviously, bad realization can kill any idea.

This is why I like to create the image from concept development  to its implementation. It doesn’t happen when we get completed, “ready to work on” assignment request form the client, where they specify what exactly they want to see on the final image.

The idea I’ve got for this shot:

A creative image of PCB E640 strobe (my favorite monolight so far), all on a black background with no direct light from a camera side. The only edges of the monolight will be visible, same for the outer reflector’s surface. The label  “EINSTEIN” on a side of the unit should be visible.

The challenging part would be this:

I’d like to create an expression similar to what we would possibly see if can capture the moment right after flash was ignited in a flash tube of the unit being photographed. Imagine that we can stop time so it will be visible how the light start spreading, like the air starts to glow itself. The central bulb with or without the cup should be highly overexposed, and then brightness of the light will fall off exponentially all around the reflector.

The draft below shows the position of the subject, red areas is what I want to be highlighted, the rest to be dark.

Draft for the shot
Draft for the shot



This was something I never did before, and most likely we’ll need to use Photoshop to get desired look. However, I was determent to do as much as I could with the lights and the camera.


Now lets see what we’ve got – The Final Shot:

PCB E640 Einstein monolight creative shot

Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Honestly speaking, this is very close to what I had in mind.

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   In the Gearbox

Lighting, Light Modifiers and Accessories:

Exposure Specification: shutter speed 1/250 sec, F14, ISO 100

16 responses on "From Idea to Implementation: Einstein 640 Creative Shot."

  1. Alex, I’m not sure I do anymore. It was a few years ago and I’m not sure I kept them. I’ll take a look.

  2. Alex, I have also employed similar lighting techniques on a flashlight a friend built. I was getting great exposure on the body of the light, but the front of the light just didnt seem to have anything interesting going on. I then shot the light as previously lit, but with the addition of a flashlight shining on the very front reflectors of the flashlight. Turned out great and the difference in color temperature between the lights also helped it stand out (I think).

  3. wow awesome work alex!!! am always blown over by the perfection u achieve in this craft. was wondering if the light painting method that u have have applied can be used so the top and bottom softboxes are used in differnt shots or will that make the shoot too complicated for no reason.

    • Raveesh,
      Not sure i understand your question. it was 2 different shots: one with softboxes + strobe, another with lighting brush only. It can be done in one shot, with long exposure.. But it is easier to make it in photoshop, as each light works on a different part of the subject.

  4. Thank you, Alex, for a very clear explanation of your intentions and the execution of the ideas.
    Very informative. Looking forward for next projects.

  5. Just discovered your blog and website, Alex. Absolutely fabulous information and techniques. It’s great seeing the thinking behind executing a shot like the one above, and having the technical details explained. This is a victory for glasnost :-)

  6. It come up very well Alex I love the shoot as well as smooth adges and front halo with thick black. Thank you very much for the knoladge you share with us, can’t wait next assignment! Maybe some other time you can setup somehing for your readers and compare results :]. Cheers!

  7. Let us know how that testing goes with the Sinar. If you can, I would recommend Phase One since they have pretty good cusomer service, the IQ 180 looks great, plus you can shoot up to 1/10000 with it, lots of backs won’t let you go that fast.

    • I am not sure if I could get IQ series, but will see. Unfortunately sinarbacks is not an option for me: they have only Mac version of software and I am strict PC user.
      However , P3 is one of the best view studio cameras and it can work with all kind of different backs. Phase one is a favorite for now.

      • Yeah, $43,000 is ALOT to spend on something like that… if pressed, I would probably compromise by buying a few D3X bodies and investing in a pile of good lenses like their nice 85mm tilt-shift lens (sorry Alex I’m a nikon man). Plus, the museum just wouldn’t know what to do with even a 60mb image!

        • No, I did not mean to buy it, but I won’t be able to have it even for test : not all resellers have them yet.
          I do not need insane Mpx count for now, 50-60 would be enough. What I really like to get is multishot back: extra resolution + color accuracy is very important in photography I do.

          Nikon is great system, no sorry for this:-)

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