Thursday, 11 December 2008

London Strobists Facebook Group

London Strobist Facebook LogoI have created a facebook group for London Strobists to complement the flickr group that has been successfully running meetups for the last year. Its not there to replace the flickr group but to provide another outlet and means of contacting members. We are running a rolling contest to design a logo for the London Strobists group. It has to be quintessentially London and it has to embody strobism. In the meantime I have come up with my own pop at the theme while we wait for someone to take up the baton.

What could say London more than a bowler hat? Yeah baby! and What could say strobist more than... a strobe. It was a simple concept, all I wanted was a strobe between a bowler hat and a suit and tie so that the London City gent's face was replaced by a strobe. Tie it together with the colour blue in the background to represent the river and its there.

The difficult bit was doing it in my kitchen. I nearly gave up because I was getting so much light bouncing off the walls from the main light source, which was a large shoot through umbrella, that the background light was getting contaminated. But then the voice of David Hobby came echoing back to me "One step at a time.. One step at a time.. time..time..." So I turned off the main light and worked on the background light until it was how I wanted it. I used an SB28 flash with two layers of blue filter zoomed to 85mm. I had the power up pretty high so as to nuke the ambient light. I had the bowler hat sitting on top of my GY180 flashgun and it was silhouetted nicely with a halo of blue light all the way around. Next I worked on the main light, I got it as close as I possibly could to the subject, so that the power would be much higher near the hat than the wall. I also had to bring the subject as far from the wall as the room would allow

Once I had the hat and flash exposed nicely I stepped in and got my wife to take some pictures of me in a suit and tie, I would have used a tripod and remote for the entire shoot but my cooker was in the way. With the two shots in the bag it was a simple process of aligning them in two layers and rubbing out the unwanted portions of the picture. It was a quick and dirty comp for a small logo and didn't have to stand up to close scrutiny so there you go.


  1. Great picture Paulo! I admire your determination in pulling this off :-)

    I can see the Bill Brant influence here with one of his portraits where the subject is wearing a bowler hat but has an apple in front of his face.

  2. I thought it was Renee Magritte? Can you post a link to the Bill Brandt picture?

    I have to admit at the time I thought there was something very familiar about the image but I couldn't put my finger on it. Its only when other people mentioned Magritte that I remembered.

  3. That works for me. Thanks for the background info too. Don't rate the tie much though :-p