Posts Tagged ‘ lighting ’

A visit to Broncolor in Switzerland

Due to the recent announcement that Hasselblad will be the importer into the UK of Broncolor lighting I was invited to the Broncolor studio and factory in Allschwil just 4 km from Basle in Switzerland. It’s going to be exciting stocking this new range of excellent products and I was interested in the production of the lighting systems. We arrived very early and had the day to ourselves on the Monday which was a bonus on a works trip !

The guys at Broncolor treated us to a wonderful 3 days and looked after us supremely well. Excellent training on their products, a guided tour of Basle, lovely food & drink and wonderful company. The range of lighting is amazing and is priced to suit all budgets. Broncolor have often been seen as expensive and too complicated to use but these issues have been addressed as extra products have been added to the range. Certainly the Scoro packs are expensive but on a par with their rivals and they out perform them especially in terms of colour temperature control and flash duration. Easy to use, the Scoro’s are top notch. Looking forward to playing with them in the UK. Their battery packs, called the Mobil A2L, are excellent too especially as they are light in weight due to the new lithium batteries and have an added bonus of being able to turn into LED lights with an adapter. This will interest photographers and film makers alike. There are many products in their range , the Grafit, the Senso,the Verso etc and you can view them all at http://www.bron.ch. Well worth a look.

The factory works like clockwork ( not surprising as it’s based in Switzerland ) and it employs 80 people. Every item is handcrafted, checked and re-checked. The procedures for quality control were very impressive indeed and you can see why Broncolor products are regarded as the most reliable in the business.

All in all a fantastic trip and many, many thanks to Urs, Urs 2, Gorden and especially Jacques & Claude Bron for making our visit interesting, educational and fun.

Here are some images from our visit.


All boxed up and ready to be shipped.



Making the Broncolor Para Reflector





Circuit boards and the Senso packs almost complete




Mark checking the circuit boards.


The factory floor



Dom and I playing with the Broncolor Balloon.


Dom enjoying himself and lit with a Scoro pack and Bron hardbox.


The Broncolor bunker ! Nearly all factories in Switzerland must have a bunker in case of nuclear attack or earthquakes. Quite an oddity !

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The new Pro Centre.

After months of negotiations, many site visits, and a long weekend of shifting boxes the Pro Centre has moved to its new home at 14 Union Walk, London E2.

It’s certainly nicer to work in a building that isn’t crumbling around the edges and hopefully will be a huge success. The showroom is definitely a proper showcase for all the Hasselblad products and many new products that will be arriving soon.

Here are some of the first images of our new home and you must come and visit soon !

H4D 60 Test Shots

I’ve been playing with Hasselblad’s newly released H4D 60. I didn’t get long to test it, about 20 minutes, but managed to get a few shots, which I thought I’d post. I used the camera at 50 ISO, shutter speed of 250/1 and at f19. I arranged some Profoto D1 1000w heads ( three ) and went for a modern, blown out highlights effect. I changed the overall look with Phocus software and finished off with a tiny bit of photoshop. The camera was easy to use, like all of the H series of cameras. I was pleased with the images although with a bit more time I could have got slightly better imagery. This is more to do with the photographer than the camera !! I’m not convinced I like the over filtered effect which is currently in vogue. It all looks a bit cold and lacks a bit of depth.
The camera was fantastic and the quality of the files awesome. This is just what I’d expect from such a high end camera. Faultless. I’m lucky to be able to play with such a wonderful camera and look forward to having another play soon !
Many thanks to my models Steve, David and Dom from the Pro Centre, although if Cameron Diaz is still in the country…..

Tim Simmons Photography

One of the best photographers based in London at the moment is Tim Simmons. I’ve been watching his work for a while and I’m staggered at how beautiful his images are.

There is a real dreamlike quality to the imagery yet they are magnificently composed, lit and super sharp.

His work reminds me of Gregory Crewdson but without the people. Sometimes you don’t need a strong narrative to create innovative work. Enjoy.

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This one is called “Tucson Palm Wall 2004” from the Arizona Series.

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“Leaplish Wood Path 2004” from the Northumberland Series.

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“Norfolk Crop Square 2005” from the Norfolk Series.

You can find more of Tim’s work at http://www.timsimmons.co.uk

Photographing gigs

Photographing gigs is one of the hardest subjects I’ve ever had to photograph. You get to the venue, have three tracks and then you have to leave. I went to the O2 venue in London to photograph a well known band. Luckily I wasn’t there in a professional capacity, so the pressure wasn’t on. No deadlines, no sweat. Just a useful exercise. I’ve had 20 years experience of press calls, celebrities, royalty, sport etc but a live concert was a different kettle of fish ! The first track arrived when I realized I’d forgotten earplugs, a deafening noise, a huge crowd and the protagonists were backlit. Not only were they moving about but the lighting kept changing. Different exposure times, camera at the limit of ISO, struggling with shutter speed. Which lens to use ? The nightmare. Second track arrived and still I was having trouble with everything. Two tracks gone and no worthwhile images. Disaster. The last track that I was allowed to photograph arrived, far too quickly for my liking but luckily I’d managed to get myself slightly more composed. The lighting was better and I managed to get a few worthwhile frames. The buzz of photographing a live gig was immense and possibly one of the hardest events I’ve ever had to photograph. Give me a press call any day ! I really want to do it again though, as I found it highly enjoyable. These are a three of my favorite frames. Give it a go if you get half a chance.