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Photographing a Dramatic Biker Portrait with Aaron Anderson

Photographing a Dramatic Biker Portrait with Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson explains three portrait shots of a model taken in a motorcycle garage. Setting lighting rigs both inside the garage and outside its windows, Anderson painstakingly recreates optimal natural light, with some stylized artistic liberties all his own. The use of colored gels and smoke is covered, along with the importance of props. Anderson stresses how props can add or distract attention from the subject matter at hand, and explains how cleaning and set-dressing a location shoot can only enhance the mood any photographer is trying to create.
Shooting Marlene Jimenez in a friend’s garage could’ve looked like any other hyperreal photo session, but that wouldn’t do for Aaron Anderson. Creating moody portraits of Jimenez by manipulating props and light, Anderson created sensitive portraits in a not so sensitive locale, mimicking the model’s strength and character. “We were looking at sunset-type lighting, and sun coming through a window. [We used] a colored gel or fill to open up the shadows, but still keep it looking realistic to the environment,” explains Anderson.

The first portrait at the bench features a 39” Deep Octa with Purple Gel at camera right. A D-Lite with CTO and 7” Reflector was positioned behind the model and motorcycle on the left. A window let some natural light in between those sources.
The second shot has the model deep in thought. An ELB 400 with 2 heads and reflectors with CTO gels were positioned outside to shine through the window and onto the model from a downward angle to simulate sunset. A 53” Octa with Purple Gel was positioned behind the motorcycle to insert a bit of color.
The third shot on the couch reemployed the ELB 400 with 2 heads and reflectors with CTO gels outside the window, just as in the second shot. The 53” Octa was positioned on camera left.
  • ELB 400 w/o Battery

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  • Skyport Transmitter Pro For Sony

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    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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