Last November, while touring through Rennes, France and giving workshops, I was invited by Photographer Gildas Raffenel to one of the largest studios in Rennes: Place Cliche The concept? To get together and do some creative shooting for Girlys Magazine. They had recently seen my earlier flour dancer video and were inspired to try something similar using color pigments and brought their entire studio and styling team to make this shoot happen.
The shoot took place on a lovely monday Afternoon. When I arrived into the Place Cliche studio, the crew had already begun to slowly sarran-wrap the entire studio up to protect it as best as they could to protect the inevitable mess that was going to happen.
Gildas and I then played a quick little game of “Rock, Paper Scissors” to decide which photographer would shoot first while the other assisted – Gildas won.
We had 3 Profoto Pro 7Bs at our disposal to play with and I even had the chance to play around with a Hasselblad H4D!
Since we were going to be tossing pigments all around the place and only had three light sources, the lighting throughout the photoshoot didn’t vary very much. Flying pigments, similar to water, looks best with very nice edge lighting… so the three point lighting setup looked pretty much like this with occasional variations in angle and modifier.
Since I started photography less than 5 years ago, I had never had the chance to use a Hasselblad H4D and was quite curious to give it a spin. In my mind, the term “Hasselblad” has always been this mystical, magical and unattainable camera system that was only for the best of the best… and I was quite curious to see if the camera would really make that big of a difference.
Oddly enough, the most satisfying thing about shooting with a Hasselblad for me was not the file resolution which I found quite comparable to that of the D800E… but the beautiful sound that the shutter makes as it clicks shut.
Shooting with the Hasselblad for me was a generally frustrating experience as it was just a lot slower and more bulky to use then what I was used to and I finally went back to my trusty ol’ D800E for the rest of the shoot. Perhaps I just need more time with the camera 😛
Beyond the technical, shooting with pigments was great fun! Depending on the timing of the shot, you could either get a smokey texture… or a more “pigmented’ one. Impacts seemed to provide the most exciting variety of textures. After a bit of experimenting, the idea of developing a shot featuring our gorgeous model disintegrate or emerge from a puff of smoke came through.
Unfortunately, time flew by super fast and before I knew it, we had run out of color pigments and time. As a thank you to the kind folks over at Place Cliche for being so hospitable, I finished my session with the model and styling team by creating one final shot… featuring the flag of France !
For anybody looking to try out this shoot at home, I highly recommend you find somewhere you don’t need to clean up. Not only did everyone at the shoot get out of there completely colourful… but the studio ended up with a massive mountain of colors. To make matters worst, colour pigments turn into paint when they get in contact with water… making them even harder to clean up !!
Be sure to check out some of Gildas’s shots from the same shoot here!
Hope you enjoyed this weeks video, please leave me any feedback questions and/or comments! 🙂
Model : Fanny Sany
Stylist : Emilie Berger
Make up : Fanny Ffd
Retouche : Pratik Naik from Solstice Retouch, Jessika Chiasson, Von Wong
Assistants : Klebi Golo & Marine Leroy
Produced by: Place Cliche
- Sirui Tripod T2205X sponsored by LOVINPIX
- Nikon D800E: B&H | Amazon
- Nikkor 24-70 f2.8: B&H
- Nikkor 70-200 f2.8: B&H
- Hasselblad H4D: B&H
- ThinkTank Airport International V2.0 (best bag ever) B&H
- Profoto Pro 7B B&H
- I’m currently in Paris, France. Want to hang out? Leave a comment!
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- Come participate in my latest greatest project in Traunstein Germany!
- I’ll be speaking in Vancouver at Canadian Imaging on April 17th.
2 day workshop in a ghost town in Kelowna, BC! Only 2 spots remaining! 2 day workshop in Detroit Michigan, with Photo Studio Group