Category Archives: Test Shoot

Australia SPLASH TOUR 2013 – Summary

Hey Everyone!

I don’t know how about you but for us January went like a blast!

Very exciting times ahead and we are thrilled about new up and coming projects.
I Will let you know all about them in the near future…

But first I would like to thank everyone who purchased the AurumLight 2014 Milky Pinup Calendar!
It means a lot and makes what we do possible! We deeply appreciate it.

Cheers for a fantastic end of year!
…and what a finish it was!

We wrapped up 2013 with an Australian Splash Tour and we had a fantastic time!
This time we visited Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Big thanks to our friends at L&P Digital Photographic – who made the tour possible!

Without their great efforts at the other end, the tour would have been a serious mission.

Our participants were given an opportunity to work with high-end gear, and shoot with Phase One IQ260 and full house of Profoto lights!




The last time we shot in Oz, we made quite a mess [images from 2011 Splash Tour], and since our Australian friends were so encouraging I decided to make a proper splash again!
Thanks to understanding owners of the studios from Brisbane – Ross Street Studio, Melbourne – Young St Studios and Phase Studio in Sydney we were able to shot illustrations like this one below.
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Here is Shay as The Milky Demon from a new series that will follow in a short while.

[Click to Enlarge]

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We also have found a bit of time to relax in Byron Bay which is quite an extraordinary part of the world!

I have a sketchbook that I carry around. When the moment is right I love to sit down and make some visual notes to myself.
And this is the environment where the storyboard for new AurumLight 2015 Milk Calendar came about! And the first shoot for that project is already sheduled this month. We are very excited!
I’ve felt like a writer on his winter retreat.


… it was a great time that I shared with my lovely wife. We can’t wait to come back in 2015!

Once again, Thanks to our partners, teammates, models, participants and everyone who made this OZ tour possible.
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And now… AurumLight WORKSHOPS 2014 !
Book your place now, here: >>>BOOKING PAGE

To all who are asking for up and coming dates – Yes, we are preparing something special for this year!

We will visit this year:

April 5-6 – London, United Kingdom
May 17-18 – Frankfurt, Germany
May 24-25 – Milan, Italy
July 20-24 – Schloss Hoff, Austria
August DateTBC – Switzerland
and…
USA SPLASH TOUR 2014 in September/October!
We would like to visit both coasts this time and few a cities in between!

If you are interested in any of above events you can register you interest by sending us email with your city of choice to: workshops@aurumlight.com
We will get back to you with the newsletter as soon we will secure the venue and the date.
The booking pages for London and Frankfurt events will go life tomorrow morning.

Cheers
Jaroslav

AWAKENING – PART IV – TAKE YOUR TIME…

Working on a personal project without the pressure of time can be actually a tricky task…

With the usual pace of working on a jobs to pay your bills the time is a luxury that most of us can’t afford.
In the times of “likes”, one click glimpse and content constant flow through your newsfeed we all experience the unnatural pressure to produce quickly more body of work. To shoot and shoot and shoot…

Whenever I work for myself, (especially then) time is the crucial factor.
My approach is to take my time. Relax and do whatever has to be done. Find people you really want to work with. Organise location and gear that you need. And when that all falls in the right places press the button and set the date.

You soon understand that you don’t have to do anything for anyone, you will have clear headspace but finding time can still be a challenge.
That is when people start cutting corners, trying to find the easiest way out. This is the moment when things can go wrong.

When I work on a bigger scale project I always take three important elements into consideration: The Scope, The Time and Money.

It is clear for most that the project with a big scope needs more budget to cover props, location, team etc. But it is not necessary clear for everyone that projects like that need relevant amount of time.
By affecting any of the above circles, like having not enough money, or time you will affect the common part of sets…

That common part to me represents a Life Span of your project.

I had a professor once who would say to a student during the project consultations that:
“…you had a month to prepare yet your proposal looks like you have spent on it 30 minutes last night. Therefore I can give you only 30 second of my time…”
I think that was fair game.

It is pretty much the same situation with your viewers, if you will cut corners while working on your project, people will notice that and will not spent their time to look and explore it, to understand it, to share it…
Your project life span will be rather short…

Don’t rush things!
If you have to wait, so be it. I am taking my time to develop the concept, to find more money, to work with great people.

Regular readers know that I have been working on Awakening for two years now and here is one of the reasons why it is taking so loooong…

In 2010 I was introduced to a very talented artist, designer extraordinaire and a really nice person Sophie de Oliveira Barata.
Sophie founded The Alternative Limb Project and she is designing prosthetics for amputees.
But not just limbs… her work is really special and recently you could read about her in WIRED .


Photo: Alex Lake via WIRED

We became friends instantly and since day one I knew that we will work together the problem was the time of course. We couldn’t match our calendars in 2011 and in 2012 she was overwhelmed with work for people from around the world coming for London Paralympics 2012. You could see Viktoria Modesta in Sophie’s Crystallised Leg during the Paralympics Closing Ceremony

So I had to wait…

In my second instalment you could see the concepts for the main character outfits. I needed Sophie to help me with the Helmet.

The concept for the helmet was done by talented Marek Okon who did this illustration and kindly let me use it as a base for the concept.

I have developed technical drawings for Sophie to take a look and in June when we finally had some free time on our hands (!) we pressed the button!

The model is no one else than the one and only Jay Jessop!
You have met her on our blog as a Bamboo Forest Warrior. Jay is a good sport and is always up for crazy concepts!


We went through many changes but I really love the effect and I think we did a great job on this one!
It was absolutely worth the wait all that time to get it right. I wanted to stay true to the original idea and just couldn’t accept a standard helmet replacement – it had to be special and I couldn’t make it happen in a short time, without special people around me!

The journey is as important as the final effect!

It was tiring but now we are ready to move on to the next element…
Stay tuned there is more to come!

Thanks for checking!
Jaroslav

www.AurumLight.com
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AWAKENING – PART III – Make It Happen vs Make It Real

AWAKENING – PART II – Building Your Team

AWAKENING – PART I – Finding Your Anchor Point

AWAKENING – PROLOGUE – Seeing beyond the obvious…

AWAKENING – THE PHOTO-QUEST with AurumLight Team

AurumLight Beauty & Fashion Workshop with OlegTi

That was a great information packed weekend!
We worked in depth to understand and learn how to precisely control your light and make absolutely stunning portraits In-Camera without the need for Photoshop!

If you missed it, don’t worry as we will come back in that format in the future.

These were two separate events aimed to cover different material, focused on working with model and studio lighting.
The quality, direction, distance and power – you might think that these are basics but I assure you it is more important than you would expect.

Starting with simple yet effective, going through the complex, up to the creative and unique setups.
We worked with a hard light trying to avoid cutting corners with a “Big-Softbox-up-high-on-45-deg” scenario.

Most of the photos below were done with just Einsten heads equipped with a standard 8,5″ reflector additionally with ROSCO frosted, conversion or coloured gels.

Combine that with the Mixed Lighting Setup we presented some time ago, here on the blog and you unleash an unlimited creative application in both Beauty & Fashion genres.

Models: Jemma Jade Saare & Jay Jessop

All the best!
Jaroslav

*** Workshops ***

MILK Workshops in AUSTRALIA 2013!
Book youplace nowhere: >>>BOOKING PAGE

BRISBANE Nov 23-24 2013
MELBOURNE Nov 27-28 2013
SYDNEY Nov 30-Dec 1 2013


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My best regards
Jaroslav

Lighting For Liquid Series – EINSTEIN STRIKES BACK

Hey Guys!

We are almost ready for our AUSTRALIA Milk Workshops 2013 next month, but before the take-off we have a quick test on Lighting For Liquids and a bonus sneak peek into the set of our Bamboo Forest Shoot for The Liquid Series!

In this test we will check that our Einsteins can compete and deliver the same results as a high-end lighting gear…

Some time ago I saw a video featuring Bronco Scoro and Profoto Pro 8 Air called “A Real World Shootout” featuring a test of the flash duration of both systems.

You can find that video here [click].

While watching it I couldn’t help myself thinking…
“… wait a minute, this can be easily done with our 20-times less expensive lights!”

So when we worked on our new Babmboo Forrest Shoot for the Liquid series, I decided to run a quick Video Response to the Real World Shootout using Paul Buff’s Einstein E640.

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The Setup:
We’ve replicated the set and like on the reference video set the camera Phase One P65+ with 110 Shneider lens to f/16.
The Fill light is a bare head bounced from the white board at 1/32power and the Main – 22” Silver beauty dish set to 1/16th

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As expected in that scenario Einstein delivered an action stopping flash duration T0.1 = 1/10410 of a second!
What’s really cool is that all data you might need while freezing the liquid is displayed on a neat LCD screen at the back of the head.

The results are below, and it wasn’t any surprise that Einstein E640 handled the test effortlessly!

50% Crop:

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My conclusion and what I am really trying to say here – is that the test like that shootout doesn’t proof anything and I can hardly find it helpful to justify spending over $12000 for just a pack, especially when you realise that this is an equivalent of 24 Einstein heads …
… Dear God! What a crazy set I could lit with that arsenal !?

And that is a perfect punch line!

Companies with that calibre and expensive equipment should know and do much better than this, always try to push the boundary and come up with unbelievable concepts!
Come on! We need a bigger challenge than that!

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Meanwhile in London…

The Bamboo Forest Shoot for The Liquid Series:


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That is how we roll at AurumLight ;-]

You can see a 1 minute BTS sneak peek video at the end of the above Video Response.
While using massive mods, increasing significantly power level and the distance between the lights and the subject we were still able to get a freezing flash duration.

The Setup:
For that Project we used three Einsteins 640 in 2 Giant Strip Softboxes 200x40cm and 64” Paul Buff PLM – Parabolic Light Modifier.
I seriously love the PLM – it provides such an even and efficient beam of light that you can light your subject from a really far away!
It is also affordable which makes it a must-have for me.
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Lady In Red…


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Credits:
Model: Jay Jessop
Hair & Make-Up: Katrina Betts
Concept & Design: Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz
Photography: Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz
Assistants: Ben Prewett, Aleksandra Wieczorkiewicz, Bartek Rzeczkowski

MILK Workshops 2014!
Book your place now, here: >>>BOOKING PAGE

5-6 April 2014 – London, United Kingdom
17-18 May 2014 – Frankfurt, Germany


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My best regards
Jaroslav

AWAKENING – PART I – Finding Your Anchor Point

 

When working on a new concept, especially at the early stage I always look for something what will drive my idea, something that will provide ‘the Grip’, or what I call The Anchor Point.

It is not necessarily the most important part of the story, but it is a prominent enough element of the puzzle to give you a reference to work around it!

In some cases it might be your model, sometimes it is the location, but this time it is a prop – a part of our future set…

But let’s start where we left the Quest last time.

What we have managed to collect was a pile of pallets and a trampoline. Plus I’ve thrown in a few hard boards.

I know that it is not clear for you to see where we are going with this, and it’s because you haven’t seen the storyboard yet!

We will get to that too, but you don’t want to know the ending just yet… do you?

To build something, we had to dismantle all the elements…

… and this is how we made it happen.

This is what I had in mind:

… and that is what we came up with:

Obviously the pod is not finished yet. We will add more detail, but what we got is our ‘Anchor Point’!

Now when we have our central object – we know what size / kind of the space (indoor location) we need to find / prepare for the shoot.

From proportions and those references we can easily work out rest of the elements, look for props and move to another stage!

But more about that in the near future!

Please stay tuned, there is a lot more to come!

Cheers

Jaroslav

www.AurumLight.com

AWAKENING – PART I – Finding Your Anchor Point

AWAKENING – PROLOGUE – Seeing beyond the obvious…

AWAKENING – THE PHOTO-QUEST with AurumLight Team

Halloween: Trick or Treat !

so… Trick it is!

The Ghost:

It’s been a while since I last shared some of the Photoshop tricks and this is a great occasion to do that!

Here is the image I shot last year, the concept was a Deadly Dinner, and we have made a series of illustrations, the one below is one of them.
You can find the full story Here.

Let me take you through the Ghost Effect I used above.

First note is that like in case of our Liquid Illustrations all the elements were photographed on the same day with the same lighting, and camera locked on tripod.

This is essential to keep the right perspective and values when working on composite.

First step was to pick the right frame with Olya (on the left), Deona (on the right) and desaturate it.
The second step is a simple treatment of that layer with the GLOWING EDGES photoshop Filter.
Depends on your base frame sometimes it is good to bring back some of the details to our ghost figure!
I did that by adding the mask with a smoke pattern on it:

The final step is to add more smoke layers to create convincing fading effect.
I used simple black and white smoke photographs and placed them above our composite in SCREEN blending mode. To match your smoke layer and the ghost figure you will have to play a bit with the LIQUIFY filter or WARP transformation tool, and voila!

The Blood:

One of the downsides of this test shoot was that even though we had a fake blood we couldn’t use it on the day. So all the blood had to be done in postproduction.
So… how?

Here is the final frame of the Vampire:

and here is the Before and After:

We photographed the blood afterwards and just layered those frames over the original illustration using the MULTIPLY blending mode.
This example should help to understand the general idea:

;-)

The MULTIPLY blending mode helps you to match the different skin tones – you can always lift or tone down the brightness using the LEVELS in photoshop, then it is a simple matter of masking out the unwanted portion of the blood layer.

And here you can see a few more illustrations where I used the same technique:

Cheers
Jaroslav
www.AurumLight.com

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