In 1988, Photo-Sonics, Inc. was once again awarded an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences© for technical achievement with the design and manufacture of the 4ER 35mm High-Speed motion picture film camera, used to capture slow motion special effects. The award was presented to Mr. Roy Edwards, the chief mechanical designer, and the Engineering Staff of Photo-Sonics, Inc.
The purpose of this article is to acquaint you, the photographer using electronic flash, with the working mechanics of high speed sync; what it is, what it isn't, and how it can be confidently incorporated into a functional outdoor portrait lighting workflow.
What will be presented is a practical way to determine the exposure contribution of a specific flash/modifier combination, once the X-Sync guide number is defined by measurement, and the resulting shift in light value output, when incorporating high speed sync, at various shutter speeds.
From a long time and perhaps obvious fascination with the glamour portraits of Hollywood Stars from the 1940's - 1950's, I wanted to recreate that look with my own photography. My Uncle Julian was stationed in Japan during the close of WWII and was the editor and chief of Stars and Stripes magazine. His camera of choice was a 4x5 Speed Graphic. Looking at some of the famous glamour portraits of that time, I became fascinated with the lighting style and an avid fan of Film Noir. The lighting techniques achieved with Fresnel lens based spotlights, was nothing less than remarkable in my mind
Creating dramatic images draws on the imagination of the photographer. Past experiences, previous and self assignments as well as trying new approaches, provides a level of confidence from which the creative photographer will go the extra mile to bring the components together that will define a work of art and a salable image.
In the Hollywood Golden Age of Film Noir, there existed an expertise of crafting light and shadow, building suspense, drama and exquisite beauty.
This adventure, depicted in my new book, "Creative OCF Lighting Techniques for Photographers", would ultimately fast forward to the writing of this book. That is, define a course for my education and professional vocation and ultimately resulting in the sharing of what I had learned; through workshops, my OCF Lighting book and one on one tutoring.
In 1956, the school I was attending in Ojai, California, built a black and white darkroom. We spooled 35mm Tri-X movie film ends from the Air Force photo lab into 35mm film cartridges and loaded vintage 35mm cameras. In the spirit of a movie director, I searched for interesting and story telling ideas to photograph. I then processed my film and printed a contact sheet of the 30 plus images I had captured.
As a Digital Artist, we are ultimately in the industry of selling a fantasy, as the best portrayal of our photographic subject, essentially, our take or our rendition of photographic story telling.
In the days of film, optical compositing required an elaborate process of masking and post production art work, often requiring the services of seasoned professional painter or illustrator to create the final artwork or ad campaign.
In 1953, Marlin Brando stared in a film, "Wild One," about a motorcycle gang. The motorcycle Mr Brando rode in the film was a British made Triumph. Later in 1959, the famous Triumph Bonneville was born, named after the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Today, the Triumph Bonneville has been resurrected as a modern motorcycle. The '50s era Bonneville was the theme for this vintage styled photo shoot. Our models, Madyson Wilmot and Bradley Perkins.
Since my days at Vivitar, as a design engineer, speed lights have been in my blood. Now 40 years later, with the advent of new technology, I am designing the perfect light shaping toolkit for speed lights. Not just another gadget, a complete kit of light shaping tools.
When embarking on a new venture, enthusiasm is high and ideas flow easily. And while it is useful to have a game plan and a strategy in mind, there is something to be said about the fuel of creative imagination to propel an idea forward. For me, the strategic planning process begins to take shape as the idea takes on its tangible form.