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Photographing Dramatic Film Noir with Aaron Anderson

Photographing Dramatic Film Noir with Aaron Anderson

Join Aaron Anderson at his Colorado studio for a film noir-inspired portrait session with a local actress. Anderson explains his motivation, the extensive use of flags to control lighting, and how communication with his model makes the session efficient and painless. Detailed animated lighting diagrams show positioning of all lights, flags, and elements of the photo. Anderson also explains the satisfaction of being able to recreate the images in his head by manipulating light in the real world to create final photos from this vintage-inspired portrait session.
No one can deny the lasting, iconic look of film noir. Drawing from that inspiration, photographer Aaron Anderson takes us behind the scenes to document a recent portrait session with Colorado actress Lizbeth Splawn. Join Anderson to see his inspirational approach, lighting rig, and communicative collaboration with his model in this video.

“I wanted to bring a film noir-look with my style behind it,” he says. “Something that has the drama and feel of film noir, but also [something I] bring my own feel and aesthetic to.” Going for a sad and contemplative look, Anderson wanted a lighting style to compliment those emotions.
Lighting diagrams detail the positioning of the Elinchrom D-Lite Rx 4 with 12° Spot Grid, 12” x 18” flag, 24” x 36” flag, 75” Indirect Octa, Strip Box, on the shot.

Learn the incredible degree of control Anderson achieves over his lighting with extensive use of flags. “Flags are one of the things underutilized because they give you so much flexibility and freedom to change it, and make a look and feel all your own,” says Anderson.
On an interpersonal level, Anderson explains how communication is paramount so he and his model work together effectively. Making sure she understands what he’s doing and why help the entire session move along as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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  • Skyport Transmitter Pro For Sony

    $249.95More infoAdd to cart

    Skyport Transmitter Pro For Sony


    The Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro for Sony represents the latest evolution in Elinchrom's venerable wireless ecosystem. It combines compatibility with three generations of transceivers and flash heads with cutting edge features like Hi-Sync flash sync speeds up to 1/8000 sec two way visual feedback and TTL with Manual Lock.

    Two Way Visual Feedback Interface
    The large LCD display of the Skyport HS features two-way control via a Visual Feedback Interface that lets you see the exact power of every light in your setup right on the transmitter. The individual strobes show up automatically on the screen, and users can control each light's power level and modeling lamp settings directly from the Skyport transmitter or on the strobe itself, which instantly shows the updated power settings.

    Hi-Sync and HSS
    Go beyond the X-Sync of your camera with two different flash synchronisation technologies; Hi-Synch and HSS. Hi-Sync is optimised for power and while HSS is easier to use and more consistent. The Transmitter Pro uniquely integrates both Hi-Sync and HSS so photographers can simply access sync speeds up to 1/8000s to freeze motion, overpower the sun, darken backgrounds, or use a wider aperture for a shallow depth of field.

    Hi-Sync is only achievable with Hi-Sync enabled flash heads and the Transmitter Pro must be used in manual mode while HSS only works with TTL enabled units with the Transmitter pro in either manual or TTL mode.
    Note: both technologies may be used simultaneously when the Transmitter Pro is in manual mode. (ex. ELB 1200 with Hi-Sync + ELB 500 TTL with HSS)

    Impressive Wireless Range
    The Skyport Transmitter Pro has 20 channels and 4 groups that can be used for either Normal or Speed mode, and a wireless range of 656' outdoors and 196' indoors. Users can instantly distinguish what sync mode they are in since the backlit display glows green for normal sync mode, and red for speed sync mode.

    The Skyport Transmitter Pro is compatible with previous generations of Elinchrom flash units including the EL- Skyport Transceiver RX module for Style RX, Digital RX, and Ranger RX systems and the integrated EL-Skyport modules for the BRX, D-Lite RX, ELC Pro HD, and ELB series. The Skyport Transmitter Pro adds synchronization capability and two-way control functionality to all Elinchrom lights with EL-Skyport capability.

    User Updatable Firmware
    Designed to be a future proof, users can update the firmware of the Transmitter Pro via included mini usb cable. Current Skyport Plus HS owners can update to full Pro functionality via a free firmware update on

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