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Photographing Cinematic Portraits in a Vintage Hotel Room with Aarond Anderson

Photographing Cinematic Portraits in a Vintage Hotel Room with Aarond Anderson

Aaron Anderson wants mood and emotion in his shots. Giving his model backstory as a director or screenwriter would, Anderson and his model create scenes you wouldn’t be surprised to come across in Stranger Things or a similarly-stylized film. This video examines five different shots taken in a quirky, vintage hotel, where heavy color saturation, light manipulation, tight focal range, and a slight uneasiness were the orders of the day. Learn how Anderson executed his vision in a cramped interior, setting scenes where the model is either contemplating the past or worries about what’s to come. A vintage, cinematic photoshoot, indeed.
Influenced by television’s Stranger Things, Aaron Anderson wanted to create scenes in “a vintage, cinematic look” in an offbeat hotel. With diminutive, pixie-cut model Riley, Anderson utilized the perfect subject for the shoot. Anderson explains the importance of canned haze, and how it adds the kind of atmosphere he was looking for.

Gels were also heavily employed to saturate light during the shoot. Looking for intense color, a 53” Octabox with a doubled-up red gel was used as key light in the first shot, positioned above the model on the bed. A 21” x 51” Strip Box with blue gel was angled to the model at camera right. To achieve the blue wash in the room, a reflector with blue gel was set up to the right of the strip box. A black flag was used to control the blue light.
The second shot has the model in a chair, looking out the window at the sunset. An ELV 400 with full CTO gel on a standard reflector was positioned high and outside the window to simulate fading sunlight. On the camera right, a 53” Octabox with a doubled-up blue gel to contrast and push up against the warm light.

The third shot heavily paints light to change the tone of two different rooms at once. The 21” x 51” Strip Box with a blue gel was in the bedroom with the model, camera left. To contrast, Anderson warmed up the room the camera is in, a reflector with full CTO was aimed at the ceiling to force a tungsten-like tint.
The fourth shot was done in a 1950s pink and black tile bathroom. A 7” Reflector with 20° Grid and full CTO was positioned high and pointed down across the model’s shoulder to create drama as the light falls off.

The fifth shot was taken into the bathroom mirror. A purple gel on a 7” Reflector with a 20° Grid on it, shining across the model’s face.
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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.

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    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.

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    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)

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    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.

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    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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