Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Red Dragon by Mademoiselle Borcher

Poster made for Mademoiselle Borcher and Apair.
The outcome of a very creative and crazy shoot with Danish designer Mademoiselle Borcher. More interesting news to come soon... :)

If you are in Copenhagen this saturday between 2:00 and 3:00 please join us at Ny Østergade 3 for a spetacular street fashion show from Apair, styled by Mademoisell Borcher. There will be plenty of drinks and good music.

Special thanks to the cool team for working so hard to get this shot together.

Hair and Makeup: Louise Bruun
Model: Malene Jensen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Night out in Copenhagen - Testing the Broncolor Ringflash C

Playing around with fashion photography is definitely fun and as I was on my way from Italy to Iceland with a two day lay-over in Copenhagen I decided to take out the Broncolor Ring Flash C for a test shoot in the city.

Instagram - Behind the Scenes by Anna Neretto.

Going out in Copenhagen is something I vividly remember from my 14 years of living in the city. I really love Copenhagen and no city is really comparable when it comes to the style of the bars and restaurants. So my idea was to capture the style of the Danish nightlife and using the Ringflash as a powerful light source to give a kind of raw and semi trashy look to the shoot.

We quickly got together a good team consisting of StylistAnna Neretto, Makeup artist Vivi Pilgaard, the two fantastic models Natasja and Cecilie from unique Models and Lorenzo, my assistant. With us we brought the Broncolor Ringflash C and the Broncolor Verso Powerpack and my Phase One 645DFcamera with the IQ180 back.

In the Metro getting into town.
The Ringflash really dispersed the light well and gave good detail in both skintone, hair and makeup.

Now the Broncolor Ringflash C is amazing in many ways. It has a good number of accessories that you can combine with its powerful light but I wanted to use it in the simplest way possible. I wanted to use the powerful output to give some edge to the scene and simply mounted the flash around the lens on the camera body without any kind of soft reflector or honeycomb. It had to be a simple setup as we were moving trough the city on foot and had to carry all the gear along. This is very different from shooting in the studio and we had a long shoot, but actually everything went smooth. I was truly amazed about the girls that were walking for miles around the city in high heels and all the time being ready for being photographed.

City ZOO
Here I dialled down the power of the flash to give me the ability to capture the ligth of the ZOO sign above, but still the girls are evenly lit.

One of the new features of the Ringflash is that it is equipped with powerful modeling lights. 10 small halogen lamps of 20 watts apiece are really helpful when you are shooting in the dark light and it made focusing so much easier. The modeling light also served well to make the pupils small and thus we were able to shoot without getting red eyes.
The powerful output made me able to dim the light from the surroundings and create a powerful focus on the girls and when needed I could easily turn the power down and use the surrounding light to make a mix of colors.
It was fantastically easy to work with and performed well in synchronization with the Phase One camera. The Verso proved to be a huge advantage and gave a fast reload of the flash and we shot the whole evening with only a single battery change.
Calling a cab.

 I have always loved the light of the Ringflash and the special kind of shadows that they give. The Broncolor Ringflash C certainly lights all areas of its range quite evenly and I got a good skin tone from using the flashlight white balance on the camera. 

Last shot
Model Natasja on the pavement of Versterbro.

Although the Ringflash is a system that jumps in and out of fashion I surely wish to make it a permanent piece of my gear. I can see many uses for it in both fashion and nature and I really look forward to check out the many new accessories as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Into the WILD video

Check out this small "behind the scenes" video we did during the WILD shoot at the Natural History Museum in Denmark. In the video I talk about working with the Phase One 645DF and the IQ180 Digital back plus the idea behind the whole shoot.

The Phase One camera and the Broncolor light (I used the Verso with one Pulso G lamp) worked perfectly together.

At the beginning of the day I was a bit stressed about all the unknown factors like the scratched thick glass of the dirorams and the light in the dioramas that could not be switched off.
But as soon as our team got started the whole shoot showed out to be both interesting and great fun. The two brave models Marie Sander and Nathalie from Unique Models jumped into their roles as "childs of nature" with ease and the stylist Anna Neretto and the makeupartist Louise Bruun worked their magic while my assitant Lorenzo and I fixed the light and prepared for the shoot.

The whole editorial will be published online in Nude Magazine in the beginning of August.

Thank you everybody for a fantastic day :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Into The Wild – For NUDE Magazine
© Uri Golman 2012 for NUDE Magazine
Styling: Anna Neretto -
Hair & makeup by Louise Bruun - Assisted by Ayoe Nissen - Digital Artwork Thomas Petersen - Photographic assistant: Lorenzo Roncaglione - Models: Marie Sander @ Unique Models - Location: Natural History Museum of Denmark

The dioramas of the Natural History Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark have always inspired me. I still remember looking at them when I was just a small kid. I would stand there dreaming of becoming a wildlife photographer, going on adventures into the wild and to photograph the animals that I saw behind the glass.
The daydreaming never stopped…

Now today, many years later, I have photographed most of them in the wild. I have been tracking polar bears on foot in the Arctic; photographed lions up close and have hiked in the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan searching for the elusive Snow leopard.  It has been, and still is, a true adventure and I love the work.

So for the WILD Project is was only natural to start at the beginning, where all my dreams had started. I called the Natural History Museum and spoke with a good friend there and a few weeks later I had the permission to shoot there. I got a wonderful team together and after a talk with NUDE Magazine we were ready for a full day of shooting in the dioramas.

For the shoot I chose to use my Phase One 645DF camera with an IQ180 back. I have used this fantastic camera for the past 6 months and it never ceases to amaze me. The sharpness and details of the images and the 16 bit tonal range is a real plus when it comes to create creative imagery, so it was perfect for the job.
One of the challenges to the job was that all the dioramas are covered by a very thick layer of glass and not only that. The glass is angled in an approximate 70 degrees to the floor and is kind of scratched by the thousands of hands that have visited the museum over the years since the dioramas were build. This extra piece of thick angled glass in front of the lens gives a kind of unsharp but dreamy look, that I actually like. Normally it would be hard to focus trough a glass like that but the precision focus feature of the 645DF made the work easy and I could work like I would have done in any studio. The only problem being that the models could not hear what I said, so we had to invent a simple sign language for that.

The light was a whole different aspect. I was not able to switch of the artificial light of the dioramas but needed flash to light the scene. The dioramas are quite small and there would only be room for one light. I used a Broncolor Verso battery pack with a Pulso G Lamp and a large softbox, a beauty dish and a basic reflector. All the dioramas are behind glass and I wanted to keep the atmosphere of the old exhibitions the way they were. But by matching the camera with Broncolor RFS transmitter I had perfect control of the light and everything went to plan.

© Uri Golman 2012 for NUDE Magazine
Styling: Anna Neretto -
Hair & makeup by Louise Bruun - Assisted by Ayoe Nissen - Digital Artwork Thomas Petersen - Photographic assistant: Lorenzo Roncaglione - Models: Nathalie @ Unique Models - Location: Natural History Museum of Denmark

To be photographing amongst the dioramas that had inspired me in my childhood was an incredible experience. When photographing the musk oxen for example I could easily imagine the fresh air from the Arctic tundra and feel the snow beneath my feet. The model posing behind the glass made the whole scene kind of surreal but with the outfit and styling she fitted right in. She looked like she belonged right there coexisting with the animals. Like she had been there all of her life and knew the tundra and the animals. The scene suddenly looked natural and I came to think that this is how it should be. We have forgotten that we are actually a part of nature and should treat it as such. Maybe you think that my view is a bit on the rosy side of things but as I stood there I started to daydream about a different world. A world where we are closer to nature. Where we can coexist side by side with the animals that we share this world with. It is a dream – I know that. But then again, where would we be without dreams?

© Uri Golman 2012 for NUDE Magazine
Styling: Anna Neretto -
Hair & makeup by Louise Bruun - Assisted by Ayoe Nissen - Digital Artwork Thomas Petersen - Photographic assistant: Lorenzo Roncaglione - Models: Marie Sander @ Unique Models - Location: Natural History Museum of Denmark

Monday, July 9, 2012

A cool shoot in Iceland - Testing the Phase One 645DF

© Uri Golman 2012
Styling: Margrét Björns, Makeup artist: Marie Ann Butler, Hair stylist: Steinunn Markusdottir, Assistant: Lorenzo Roncaglione, Models: Ingibjörg and Elísabet from Elite Models Iceland.

I have always dreamt of working with medium format cameras. One of the first genres of photography that caught my attention when I started was landscape photography and the medium format camera is absolutely perfect for that. But it wasn’t until recently that I got the chance.

The right tool, for the right job
In the past years I have been shooting only with Canon DSLR’s. I use them for their speed and they are incredible cameras for wildlife and for shooting generally in nature. I use them with a range of Canon lenses from 15mm to 500mm and they have worked in any conditions that I have used them. That includes shooting at -40 degrees in Greenland and at +43 in the arid dessert of India. So I am very happy with my Canon.

So why go and shoot medium format – you might ask… Well over the past few years I have moved from the typical machine-gun approach of shooting nature and have returned to really putting some thought into any single frame I shoot. In the beginning after starting to use digital cameras I would come home after a 3-week trip with approximately 5.000 – 7.000 frames. That means days of sorting and editing using time I don’t have. But during the last couple of years I have started shooting less and less frames. In August last year I spent 2 weeks in Churchill, Canada. The place was abundant with photographic opportunities like polar bears and beluga whales, but I came home with less than 250 frames.
I had a lot more time to enjoy nature with my eyes and that is something that really affected my way of thinking and photographing. I was ready for the medium format.

Nature and Fashion
At the same time my photographic career has taken a turn. I am moving from just nature to mixing it with fashion and have started a project called WILD. (I will post more about that on the blog later on). For this part of my work I am currently doing test shoots and decided to go to Iceland to mix the genres with what I know.

First Look
I got my Phase One 645DF camera with an IQ180 digital back and a small range of Schneider Kreuznach lenses about 6 months ago. I had only really been able to test it in the safe environment of the studio but the quality of the files that it produces has literally blown my mind. The sharpness of the lenses, the colors and the 16bit tonal range all really makes a difference.
I felt ready to test it in the field.

© Lorenzo Roncaglione 2012
Sitting in the Zodiac on the way to the icebergs.

For the book I needed to do a swimsuit shoot and I wanted to mix it with some locations in nature that I already felt confident with. So what would be a more natural location than Iceland? Cool black beaches, icebergs and waterfalls – now the only problem would only be to find models willing to pose in +6 degrees and cold winds. I called Elite Models Iceland and told them about my idea and nobody was laughing at me as I had expected them to. No problem, they just said…
Off course I would expect nothing less of Icelandic girls. Icelanders are tough cool people who are not afraid of anything. A lesson I learned on the Eyjafjällajökull volcano in 2010 when people were making barbecues over the 1400 degrees hot lava.

© Uri Golman 2012
The team after aproximatly 18 hours of work.

So of to Iceland it was. I met up with our team consisting of stylist: Margrét Björns, makeup artist: Marie Ann Butler, hair stylist: Steinunn Markusdottir and the two cool models Ingibjörg and Elísabet. It was a cold summer day and the weather was cloudy. We left Reykjavik early and drove of toward Jokullsarlon, a glacial lagoon in south of Iceland. I had decided to use only natural light as this would help to communicate the Icelandic atmosphere.

The grey sky and a very fine rain made the shooting conditions very hard and we had to work fast and sometimes even to take breaks when there was too much water in the air. The models were freezing but were incredibly professional about it and could keep their poses without showing. Those girls were tough…
As the day went by, the sky turned greyer. I had to turn the ISO to 400 to get an acceptable shutter speed and the fact that I had to work so fast because of the cold conditions didn’t make it easier.
Fortunately the 645DF is incredibly easy to use and everything is very intuitive. With the digital back and a lens, the camera has a very nice balance and is easy to hold still even without a tripod. The digital back with its touch screen design lets you check settings and histogram really fast and by a “one tap feature” I can zoom in on the photo at 100% checking the image sharpness and details. This gave me a possibility to do a fast, on location check of the images before the model was to cold.

There are still a lot of features to the camera that I have not explored yet and I am planning to go back to Iceland again to do some serious landscapes soon. But as for a first quick look I must say I am more than impressed. The Phase One 645DF has changed my way of shooting and I spend a lot more time focusing on composition and light. 

© Uri Golman 2012
Styling: Margrét Björns, Makeup artist: Marie Ann Butler, Hair stylist: Steinunn Markusdottir, Assistant: Lorenzo Roncaglione, Model: Ingibjörg from Elite Models Iceland.

We spent 21 hours on the shoot and although it was wet, cold and windy, we got some good images and had a fantastic day in Iceland.

Now I just can’t wait to get back to Iceland again. The tickets are booked and I will update the blog soon.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The WILD Project

Nature has always been an incredibly large part of my life and has colored most of my choices. For me nature has a magnetic effect on my soul that I can not ignore. For the past many years I have been traveling around the world, photographing what I love in the search for true adventure and for that special peace...

I believe that all people have a connection with nature. It starts in childhood and then we gradually looses it as we get older if we are not exposed to nature trough our upbringing. Sometimes it comes back to us when we are older and we start searching for the link that we lost at an earlier stage. Some people takes up hiking, others rafting or birdwatching. There are so many things we can do to reconnect with nature but for most it remains a missing piece in the puzzle of life.

With the Wild project I want to create imagery that makes us question our connection with nature and challenges our perception of beauty in a way that will hopefully lead us to think about the way we are dealing with nature today. For most people nature is something that we see exhibited in magazines and in museums. When we look at the images we think about the beauty and how fantastic it would be to see it with our own eyes. After a few seconds, most of us, will have forgotten about it and we have returned to our everyday life. As a conservation photographer I know that we can challenge that and produce imagery that will linger and hopefully make us take some steps to protect what we see.

The WILD Project will seek to revive our feelings towards nature and to reconnect us with what we are. To me, there is no difference between us and nature. We ARE nature and instead of running away we should seek to become WILD again.

I will make sure to post stories and photos from the project here on my blog and stay tuned for the first story which I shot for NUDE Magazine in Copenhagen. The story behind the shoot and some preview photos will be up sometime next week.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Panda Book of the Year 2011

I almost can't believe it - I am back online after 2,5 months without a proper connection besides my mobile phone. I have recently moved from Denmark to Italy together with my wife and children and I thought it would just be a smaller technical issue to get online in our new appartment. But unfortunatly the small village that we live in had run out of phonelines and we had to wait for some sort of antenna to be installed for a long range WiFi solution. Unfortunatly the antennas were sold out due to the high demand but today it happened. I am finally able to sit down in my own chair and log on.

This also makes me able to send out the the exciting announcement that my latetst book called Tiger Spirit has been awarded the distinction of Panda Book of the Year by WWF in Sweden. Last week I flew into Stockholm to give a short presentation of the book and accept the distinction, which was handed over by the H.M. the Swedsih King at Ulriksdal Castle.
The book also features some amazing photos taken by my good friend and one of the worlds best tiger guides Satyendra Tiwari. Satyendra himself is a fine photographer and true conservationist.

Foto: Germund Sellgren / WWF

The jury wrote: Tiger Spirit is an exiting journey trough the rich and diverse habitat of India, from the foothills of Himalaya to the dry decidious forests of Gujarat and the jungle of central India. The readers will meet the tiger, the Indian rhino and the Asiatic lion and the people who lives in their proximity.

Tiger Spirit is out now in Swedish and a Danish and English version will hopefully follow as soon as I have found the right publisher. So if you know anybody worth trying - Please let me know :o)

I also made small video for the presentation at Stockholm intended for Youtube to promote the knowledge of these animals that are all endangered and might very well be gone within a few years unless we do something about it now.

I hope that you will enjoy it.