Image Fulgurator

A couple of years ago, german artist Julius Von Bismarck came to Barcelona to give a lecture at CCCB. He is the inventor of a device called Image Fulgurator, that is an analogical camera that has been turned into a flash by means of a lens. With the Image Fulgurator, Von Bismark is able to project any image on any surface, hence his flash is triggered when there is another camera with flash nearby.

Julius Von Bismarck © Julius Von Bismarck

The film has been replaced by a laser drilled, metallic sheet and through a sensor placed in the camera mount, the flash of the Image fulgurator is triggered by other cameras in the vicinity. Quoting the author , Image Fulgurator is “a device for physically manipulating photographs. It intervenes when a photo is being taken, without the photographer being able to detect anything. The manipulating is only visible on the photo afterwards”.

Fulgurator 2008 © Julius Von Bismarck

In theory it can be used at any time as long as there is another camera nearby using a flash. It projects an image on any surface at the exact same time that the other camera is taking a picture. This action takes only a few milliseconds and the image can “slip in” in other people’s photographs.

Fulgurator 2008 © Julius Von Bismarck

Von Bismark performs interventions with Image Fulgurator in events with important media coverage or in world emblematic locations. Like when he projected the dove of Magritte’s painting “L’Homme au Chapeau Melon” on the Mao Zedong portrait at the Tiananmen square. He also “fulgurated” pictures taken from pilgrims during Pope Benedict XXVI visit to Madrid, in collaboration with spanish artist Santiago Sierra. The latter had been awarded with the national arts prize Spain Fine Arts National Prize in 2010, but rejected it since, in his own words, he considered himself to be a “a serious artist“.

Fulgurator Mao © Julius Von Bismarck

No projection © Julius Von Bismarck

Photography, art or technic?

Photography is a mechanic art since it’s possible thanks to a “machine”, the camera, which we must know how to use. From it’s own etymology, photography means also writing with light. In the hands of an artist, that light will produce an art work or would be the means to an end in other applications.
Since this is a blog on lighting techniques, I thought it was appropriate to talk about the Von Bismark work and his conceptual discourse,, which personally like. But, would it be necessary to take abeautiful Minolta camera to pieces to get our own DIY Image Fulgurator?

Marcelo Isarrualde

A Fulgurator is in fact a slide projector with a flash light, instead of a continuos light. Dismantling the back cover of an analogical camera, and placing a slide where the film normally should go, you can make your own one. Another option is to use a box with similar characteristics, taking care of putting the lens bayonet at the exact same distance between the optical focal plane and the camera bayonet fitting. I wouldn’t have destroyed my beloved Nikon FM and F2A for this! Instead I put two slide boxes together with a Nikkor lens back cover.

Marcelo Isarrualde

Marcelo Isarrualde

Marcelo Isarrualde

This simple little box can project images on studio backgrounds the same way other devices like an Elinchrom Zoom Spot does with the gobos. But in a way more affordable way!

Marcelo Isarrualde © Marcelo Isarrualde

Marcelo Isarrualde © Marcelo Isarrualde

Image Fulgurator.pdf

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

Emerging

It was the last day of the summer, and with it many people’s holidays would have now come to an end. I wanted to take a fun picture to remember the good times we have had, and also to remind that it was time to go back to our routines, early general elections and the crisis.

Would we swim or sink?

Swim or sink © Marcelo Isarrualde

Technically it was a very easy picture to take. We just had to wait until the sun didn’t shine the beach directly. But we couldn’t wait too long because otherwise the reflection of the sky in the sea would become darker. At that time of the year the best moment had to be around 6 pm.

I used a portable flash Canon 580 EX II with a diffuser Gary Fong Light sphere Collapsible as I needed enough power to be at least + 1 EV above the ambience light and to project subtle strike of light onto the face of our diver. To avoid reflections on the glass of the googles and to better see the face, I stand in front our model. And as electrical power source, I used my DIY battery!

Despite the fantastic colour of the sea, I wanted to add it a slight blue shade cast with a warm touch to make our diver look tanned, as if he had spent the whole summer at the beach.

I could have left the colour treatment for the post-production, but why not kill two birds with one stone and save time?

Sometimes thinking analogical can be very practical! I put over the flash a colour correction gel of ½ (orange colour temperature), that gave the skin the warm orange colour shade that we wanted. The colour was later balanced with the RAW development, while the rest of the scene still kept a blue shade. Finally a greenish-blue touch was also added.

Making of © Marcelo Isarrualde

Lighting diagram © Marcelo Isarrualde  Lighting diagram

Emerging.pdf

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

Real “vintage”

My first soft box was “homemade” with satin white card, cutted off in a trapezoid shape. The edges were folded and glued on two wooden frames jointed together with clapboards. An aluminium rod, with a Nikon SB 10 flash placed in it’s centre, went through the whole structure. In front of it there was a translucent plastic fastened to the frame with Velcro™ .
The good thing about my “invention” was that it looked like a parabola, which is the geometric form that allows an optimum light distribution. It’s size would also broaden the lighting area of the flash, making it softer at the same time.
Then to make my own studio background, I faded a piece of blue cotton fabric with sodium hipochlorite.

Softbox DIY © Marcelo Isarrualde

I can’t recall with who I first used this “gadgets” but I do remember well spending an afternoon in my living room, doing a photo shoot with Eduardo Galeano. Pure eighties style!

Eduardo Galeano © Marcelo Isarrualde

Lighting diagram © Marcelo Isarrualde Lighting diagram

Real vintage.pdf

 

 

Crisis ? What crisis ?

The world is in crisis due to uncontrolled credits granted by banks. Nothing new under the sun with this regard those who come from Latin America. But now the crisis is also affecting the “less” Latin America, Europe and Spain. This is why I wanted to pay tribute to the crisis -by way of “exorcism” – reinterpreting that fantastic cover of Supertramp album “Crisis, what crisis?”.

Supertramp

I spend my Summers in Barcelona, – because I have holidays at the end of the year- and I go quite often to the Sant Adria del Besós beach from where it’s coal-fired power station can be seen. I find it a fascinating place which I wanted to capture in my “remake” of the cover . Also with this remake of the album cover my intention was to minimize the trascedence of the crisis and having some fun at the same time. It is interesting to think that just a year ago I had photographed Santiago Niño Becerra for Gentleman magazine for an article in which he had already predicted the crisis…

The picture was shot with natural Light reducing it’s contrast with a external camera flash at -1/ 2 EV. The color of the skin was later destaurated and the overall contrast of the scene was increased. These retouches were subtle but very effective.

Lighting diagram © Marcelo Isarrualde Lighting diagram

Double take

When Alejandro Castellote saw the picture published, he pointed out its resemblence with one of the photographer Marcos López, that I had not seen yet. I know and admire his work and even had the chance to met him briefly in the photographic syposium Tercer Colquio Latinamericano de Fotografía de Caracas .

Having had taken the picture in a similar style to the one of Marcos Lopez without actually knowing it, made me think of “Double Take” by Richard Whelan, a fantastic book that my good friend and ex business partner Guille Robles gave me. It deals with reasonable likeness in general the same way Pedro Arroyo does with his reasonable discoveries.

Crisis.pdf

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

 

Catwoman visits Barcelona

Some weeks ago I took this picture of Marta wearing her self made Catwoman suit that would be included in her photo book as well as in my personal portfolio. This was a good opportunity to use my DIY battery for the first time. To have more battery life I also had with me a Travel Pack of Bowens for the Gemini 750W/s flashes. My DIY responded so well during this photo shoot that I have decided to make another one. Bowens Gemini de 750 W/s con su Travel Pack.

At this time of year, the best hour for taking this picture was at 21.10hrs. Ten minutes earlier Agbar Tower would have turn on its lights. So I had 15 minutes before the sky would loose the blue shade that we needed for Catwomans suit to stand out of the sky.

We started with the preparation of set at 20.30 and still had enough time to coordinate the power relation between the main and the background lights.  For the main one I worked with a Bowens flash, with a Photek brolly umbrella and with a Metz 32 CT3 with Bowens traslucid umbrella, for the effect light.

  Lighting diagram

Setting the meter at ISO400 and f8 for the ambient light, we needed an aperture speed of ¼; the main light was then exposed at f8 and the effect one at f11.

Lighting diagram © Marcelo Isarrualde Lighting diagram

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

My DIY battery

For practical reasons, whenever I can I work with external camera flashes and leave my Bowens studio flashes at home to work on more elaborated pictures. With the external flash, despite having less power and not having a modeling light I am able to get similar lighting conditions. If it is not required for the assignment, why carrying a bigger equipment?

Little by little I equipped myself with a “strobist” light kit and even made my own battery. So today I am happy to introduce you to my DIY battery that I built this summer.

If you have a look at Internet, you will find many sites with examples of people that have made their own batteries. Here I give you some links that I found very useful when I was building mine.

Battery 01

Battery 02

Battery 03

Battery 04

Battery 05

Battery 06

Battery 07

As you can see I have put a fuse, a switch and a charger connector. If I decide to work again on another prototype I will also add a couple of leds as the battery Charge indicator. But so far this requires more time than I actually have. !

If you don’t feel like making your own, I have seen some more affordable models than Quantum, like Phottix PPL-200 or Godox Power Pack PB820.”

My DIY battery.pdf

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