Vintage look

Whilst giving a Stobist workshop in Montevideo, I was lucky enough to be given permission to shoot in Teatro Solís, a major point of reference within the dramatic arts world of Uruguay. The idea for the shoot was that the images have a certain air of bygone times, of old portraits, a classic feel. Like my own memories of that beautiful city.

Strobist © Marcelo Isarrualde Modelo Graciana Duarte

I began the session in exterior with the sun disappearing behind the clouds fairly frequently, thus the light was somewhat unreliable. The colonnades of the theatre are very impressive and the checkered tile floor also. First, I had to decide what part I wanted the natural light to play in the setup. So before turning on the flash I took a few shots to evaluate the ambient light.

Strobist test © Marcelo Isarrualde   Strobist test © Marcelo Isarrualde Maq. Betina Gasberg

For the first shots the hard afternoon sun was still shining in, so was unable to use a very wide aperture. My cameras flash sync is at 1/250 and I was using manual flashes which didn’t allow for high shutter speeds. I set the flash facing outwards toward the column and so it wouldn’t be too prominent a source, I aimed to match the tone of the column in the foreground with those in the back, in the shade.
The light changed suddenly and I was forced to make adjustments to the setup. It had clouded over so the direction I was shooting in and the direction of the flash.

Strobist © Marcelo Isarrualde  © Irina Raffo

The natural light had lost any kind of direction due to the clouds acting as a huge diffuser, also lowering the contrast and saturation all round. I decided to switch the flash to a more frontal direction, coming from camera, so as to help fill in the ambient light without generating volume in the face of the model. I also placed a reflector below to fill in the shadows under her chin.

Strobist © Lucía Coppola

Even though this shot was only made a few columns to the right of the photos with hard sun, the end result was quite different. As the sun was less intense, it allowed me to widen the aperture and achieve less depth of field.

Strobist © Marcelo Isarrualde  Hair stylist Mariana Mendizabal

For me, the photo most interesting was made in the foyer of the theatre. There was alot of light entering from the facade of the building into the big hall, acting as a heavy backlight from where I wanted to shoot from. I raised the ISO to 400 and setup on tripod. The flash I used was a Yongnuo 560 with Godox PB820 battery.

Strobist  © Irina Raffo

Lighting diagram  Lighting diagram

Vintage look.pdf

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Strobist kit 2

Off-camera flash

Strobist mode means, in most cases, that you remove the flash from the hot shoe of the camera. In English this is called “off-camera flash.” This allows us to place the light in the angle we find most convenient to model the appearance of a face or change a reflection when making a still life.

 Gemini Arm

In some situations we may want the flash to be positioned above the camera, but not in the hot shoe of the body of the camera.Then it is very useful to have what is called a Grip Head that allows you to put on, as an arm, any extension of the Manfrotto 1122, or arms such as Lastolite or Elinchrom.

Kupo Grip Head Kupo Grip Head

Manfrotto 1122 © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 1122

Avenger boom arm 001 © Marcelo Isarrualde Lastolite boom arm

The Manfrotto 1122 extension is very useful for situations where we need to extend the height range of our foot as  the Manfrotto 152 adapter can link it with rigidity.

Manfrotto 152 © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 152

Clamps and Clips

Sometimes it is not possible to place the foot of the flash where we want, or maybe we do not have another foot. A clamp as the Manfrotto 035 is perfect for catching from almost any place and through a pin-type Manfrotto 013 double-pass we can attach it to the universal umbrella head Manfrotto 026, or similar metal hinges.

Manfrotto 035 + 152 + 026 Manfrotto 035 + 013 + 026

Another very comfortable and versatile option is the magic arm with a Nano clamp.

Magic Arm with clamp © Marcelo Isarrualde   Magic Arm with Nano clamp

If the flash not is too heavy you can also use a Manfrotto clamp 175F or a similar one, that counts with a cold shoe for the flash to be placed directly on it.

Manfrotto 175F © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 175F

At times I have found myself in situations where I had to place a flash in the ceiling and there is no chance if it is a typical ceiling with gypsum modules. In these cases the ceiling clamps such as those that manufacture Arri or Kupo are great!

Kupo KD302012 Master © Marcelo Isarrualde Kupo KD302012 Master

If the flash is not very heavy you can place it in a suction clamp like Manfrotto 241 and place it on to glass or any nonporous surface.

Manfrotto 241 © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 241

Finally, if we have the invaluable help of an assistant, we can work with much more comfortable using an arm of the boom type from Elinchrom or improvise a more economical one using a bar that you can extend, like those used by painters, along with Kacey adapter.

Elinchrom Boom arm © Marcelo Isarrualde Elinchrom boom armKacey adapter © Marcelo Isarrualde Kacey adapter

Strobist kit 2.pdf

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It is forbidden the use partial or global of this website unless authors written permission.

Clara Magazine cover assignment

This assignment was for a feature on beauty and health, and it was shot by the pool of the Majestic Hotel in Barcelona. One of the pictures was to be considered a possible cover for the magazine.The covers for Clara Magazine are characteristically very clean looking, usually with a white background and wide framing to allow for text and headlines to be included.The story headline texts of most women’s magazines have to be on the cover, which unfortunately detracts from the picture.

We have to take into account that each magazine is a product addressed to a very specific public and therefore every cover has to fulfill all the requirements set by the management department. But I guess that every photographer’s dream is a less crowded cover, like Harper’s Bazaar or V.

Clara magazine  © Marcelo Isarrualde  Harper's Bazzar magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde

Back again to our assignment – the difficulty in it was finding a white wall with enough available space to work comfortably. In addition, this cover had to be brighter than usual because it was summertime and it had to deliver a fresh look.
I found the perfect place on the last floor of the hotel and luckily there was a white sofa that I could use. We just had to move the furniture a little and shoot the cover.

© Marcelo Isarrualde  Cover Clara magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde


Clara covers are usually shot with a neutral, low-contrast light that is neither too hard nor directional; which tends to be more natural.
To achieve this effect I used a couple of Wafer 100 light boxes with Bowens flashes of 1500 w/s plus a silver/white Lastolite reflector. However, on the left of the set one can notice a Window and a zenithal skylight. They have not interfered with the lighting since its light power is lower than that of the flashes.

Making of © Marcelo Isarrualde

The light box directed to the background wall, overexposes the surface and bounces off to the model reaching her hair slightly above the main light. The shots have later been exposed to 1/2 EV again above the main light to slightly “clean” the skin. This shoot was done with film and the exposure error margin in the slide EPP was critical.
I took a couple of Polaroid pictures to be sure that the light was under control.
Nowadays with digital sensors and histogram readings everything has changed. There is much less need to use a light meter! I am not sure that this is a good thing.
Lighting diagram © Marcelo Isarrualde Lighting diagram

Once the cover was done, I shot the photos on beauty and health using natural light and reflectors (and a less prominent flash)

Model : Janna / Agency : Colors

Clara magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde  Clara magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde

Clara magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde  Clara magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde

Clara magazine © Marcelo Isarrualde

Clara magazine cover.pdf

All rights reserved. © Isarrualde Photography. It is forbidden the use partial or global of this website unless authors written permission.