Sunbounce Reflectors on the run with Alicia Endemann and the X-T1 in Ostende

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01. I am still learning how to shoot action with the Fuji X-T1 so I decided to start the shoot with a bit of movement.

A couple of weeks ago I popped in on my friend Tom Museeuw in De Haan near Ostende on my way back from Den Haag in Holland. I drove my Fiat 500 on this road trip. I’ve downsized my camera kit and my car too. I stayed at the fabulous Hotel Astel in De Haan and we had a few beers as the sun set for old times sake. The next day was a late start thankfully as Tom set up a shoot for the afternoon. Last time we shot together I showed Tom how I use hard Lupolux spotlights. This time Tom showed me the finer art of feathering reflectors and his infamous double bounce. Some BTS shots of us shooting are at the end of the post. Enjoy…

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02. Let’s shoot here! Ostende has many features but the beach with it’s huts and pillared pavilion has got to be the star attraction.

Model: Alicia Endemann
Make up: Tessie Callens
Shoot assistant and all round great guy: Lieven Hoste
Shooting partner: Tom Museeuw
Along for the ride and sharing the fun: Ioannis Tsouloulis
Camera: Fuji X-T1 with primes
Lighting: Sunbounce Pro reflectors and Cactus V6 / RF60 Speedlight kit

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03. Alicia and I had some rapport to develop and it was tough with the crew larking around behind me. Tom had directed Lieven to rig the reflectors. Two reflectors were used for these shots. I chose to work with the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 lens wide open.

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04. We were starting to use subtlety with the Sunbounce reflectors and with me being a punchy light kind of guy I wanted a bit more kick. I asked Lieven to pan the hot spot of one reflector onto Alicia’s hair.

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05. There’s something about this scene that got me excited. I set my composition diagonals by choosing an oblique camera angle this gives the shot a strong dynamic quality. I chose my camera height to create a vulnerable feel to Alicia and coupled it with a defensive pose. Alicia’s shadow on the bench is from the silver side of a Sunbounce Pro reflector at 10 metres.

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06. Shooting from different angles changed the picture message. The frame at the bottom is quite empowering as a result of the low viewpoint.

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07. The shot on the right was lit from behind and to the right of Alicia with the Cactus RF60 Speedlight with a 1/2 orange CTO gel. I used the X-T1 at 1/180th second as that is the highest flash sync speed and used a Hoya x16 ND filter to get an aperture of f/1.4 on the 56mm lens.

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08. The shot on the left is one of my favourites. ’156′ as I call it was lit with glorious sunlight. 14mm f/2.8 at f/8. Moments later Tom was cutting the sunlight out with a ‘Sunswatter’ to get his close ups.

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09. The 14mm lens certainly has it’s uses in portraiture. It encourages me to work the shapes and geometry hard. I also love to balance the contrasting tones placing dark against light and finally direct curves amongst angles. It’s easy to put a long lens on, open the aperture and shoot beauty. It takes a different way of thinking to shoot portraits with a wide lens.

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10. These shots are sun swatted. There is less contrast than I would like but at least Alicia can open her eyes without sunglasses. This is the kind of light Tom uses to shoot fashion catalogues. He shoots 30 or so catalogues a year.

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11. On the beach with the Sun Swatter and a small reflector. Fuji X-T1 with 56mm lens at f/1.2

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11. After the beach we went to the terrace bar at the Napolionic fort in Ostende for a beer or two before shooting more frames in the contemporary and rustic environs.

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13. Soft whites, window light and a reflector.

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14. A bit of fun.

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15. I feel like I’m on home territory working with classic shapes and design.

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16. All natural light with a splash of reflector. I’m really getting to grips with the subtleties of reflecting light. If I do more of it I’ll need a shoot assistant on every job. Hmm

Here are some behind the scenes pictures. I rarely get the time to shoot BTS frames so I thought I’d pop some in on this occasion.

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Tessie at work while ‘the boys’ had a beer.

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Top left: Tom explains to Alicia why size matters. Right: A perfect stand in pose from the man himself. Bottom left: The monster Nikon 200mm f/2 lens.

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Refreshments on the go. Tom insisted on feeding us all by hand.

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Lieven just in shot with the Sunbounce Pro reflector and swatting the sun.

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The shoot had to end at some point.

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From Left to right: Alicia, Tessie, Lieven, me and Tom.

Next time we shoot together it will be in Bristol. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions relating to these pictures.

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About Damien

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

5 thoughts on “Sunbounce Reflectors on the run with Alicia Endemann and the X-T1 in Ostende

  1. Hi Andrew,

    It’s a great lens to shoot with. I’d say the look of the images is similar to a 85mm f/1.8 lens but with the light gathering of f/1.2.

    Cheers, Damien.

  2. “It’s easy to put a long lens on, open the aperture and shoot beauty. It takes a different way of thinking to shoot portraits with a wide lens.”

    So true!

    Regards, Michael

  3. Thanks Michael,

    I remember thinking I’d made it when I first used a Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 lens. I spent my life finding backgrounds that would look good out of focus. I soon realised that none of my images had narrative or any depth.

    Cheers, Damien.

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