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Find What You Love… and Let It Kill You!

Recently I was invited to an opening of a fashion designers boutique here in London where I met a lot of cool and interesting people.
During the event I was asked by the owner “what is your photographic bread and butter?”.

When I answered that it is an architectural photography he wasn’t surprised, he knew already that by profession I am an architect but he was a little confused because he couldn’t find these pictures on my website…

I respond quickly but I felt that it is more complex than just a one liner…

My Website and especially this Blog was created to share stuff that I love to do!
Stuff that makes me go an extra mile but the most of all that are completely mine…

Architectural photography is a really interesting area to work in. But it is an interaction with the other people that brought me to this industry.
Buildings do not appreciate your efforts, it is going to be in the same place tomorrow if the weather is not to your liking.
When working with people you need to have a people skills, the day is less predictable but to me a way more exciting. The bigger the team the more thrilling it is.

Another thing and crucial to me is how you feel about it… can you really say about an architectural photography “my work”?
As far I am concerned, I am struggling with that.

Yes you will pick the angle, wait for a perfect light and in the right moment to press the shutter.
But when I do that I can’t stop thinking about an enormous effort from many people involved in making this building rise from the ground.
A lot of people actually, starting from the client through architects, engineers, planners, contractors and many builders. And all of them were considering location, light conditions and appearance of the structure often years before you even had a thing to photograph.

Than I am showing up on a sunny day… snap… job done.
And even though I have many publications in Mags and books this is why I can’t get a lot of satisfaction from that particular work.
Same with events, I am a control freak and it would just drives me mad that I could be just a fly on the wall. It is just not for me.

This is why you rarely have a chance to see “my regular work” here.

I prefer to talk about my conceptual photography. The projects that are truly mine.
After it pops into my head or heart I will do all I can to make some of these ideas happen!

Sometimes it takes to do all from scratch – story line, costumes, location scouting, casting models. But the more effort it cost, the more rewarding it is!

This year we have a few really great gigs like that! And you can be sure that I will share them with you here.

But how to do that. How to balance such demanding ventures while working on regular stuff to pay your bills?
It is quite simple really, one of many solutions is to give up on sleeping!

You just need to find what your love, focus on that and let it kill you! It feels great, you will see!

In fact this will be a subject of my up and coming Seminar in London on the 7th of March.
If you are around I hope I will see you there. You can find more details here.

Jaroslav @AurumLight Team

So here we are 2013!

That last twelve months went like a blast. So many things has happened, so many old and new faces we have met!
It was a really good year!

But it wasn’t an easy one, by no means.

My wife always says that there is a lot of technical info but not much of personal bits.
So there you go…

Whatever your goals are, I always say that it is the route and the way how you are handling the stuff you are force to face, the most important thing.
In that pursuit for success you can easily loose the balance. I know because it happened to me before…

From all the feelings, I am most of all grateful for the past 12 months.

I am grateful for every single visit from almost half a million so far on this blog!
Cheers Guys! That makes writing these post so worthwhile.

Photography took us to so many places like Australia, USA and Europe – we have met new and caught up with old friends. I am so grateful for that!

Some of you noticed that during the first half of the year the blog was more quiet than usual.
Like everyone else I experienced great high and low moments and they all matters.

First from two most significant to me was that after 12 years of being with my beloved Ola, we finally got married.
We were blessed with a beautiful day full of love from our family and friends.
It was really worth the wait!

Second was watching my mother’s inspiring battle with cancer. It wasn’t and still it is not easy for her, but witnessing her humble and optimistic approach in facing every single day is something that will stay with me for life. I am really proud of my mom!

Staying positive and full of love and passion in the toughest times is probably the greatest legacy that you could inherit.

I feel enormously empowered by this year events, and I am focused like never before. We have grand plans and amazing concepts ready to make reality.

There shouldn’t be anything that can stop you from making your dreams come true. Just go for it!
And this year is going to be all about just that!

Once again, Thank You for reading it means a lot to us!

All the best for 2013!



I put a Spell On You! …Mixed Lighting Setup

Today I will give you an insight to our up and coming project, called “Girl With The Broken Heart” which I am really excited about.

It is one of these cases when despite advanced prep work, the whole venture had to be put on hold…
The Storeyboard and other drafted elements were sitting in the drawer for over two years, but today we are up and running.
And it looks like nothing can stop us!

So what is happening with the project at the moment?
Well… “Girl With The Broken Heart” is a Fantasy tale about an aching girl with a mysterious wizardry ancestors…
The girl possess powers she is not aware of and one of them is ability to harness the fire…

I think you are getting the picture, so let’s get back to photography!

Our goal is to achieve the fiery effect, without use of Photoshop and without the need of exposing our model to the real flames.
To endow our witch with flames I came up with alternative version of the costume.
I thought that feathers could successfully mimic a fire…

… it took me over 8hours to put this headpiece together. Taking under consideration that every single feather was glued individually I am happy with that mock-up.


To achieve a mentioned effect I decided to use a mixed lighting technique, where we will use a fast flash duration – for freezing the subject – with a modelling light as a continuous light source to burn the movement.
To complement the scene we used a photographic gel.

Here is a short video from the test shoot:


This technique has a really exciting potential! You can apply this effect to many different photography genres, like sports or bridal.

Knowing the basics on how to match the colour of your light sources i.e. flash – close to daylight white balance and continuous – tungsten is essential.

You can do that very precisely by using right correction gel from online colour charts:


To capture a burning light trail effect you need to take two more factors under consideration:
– a long exposure
– and movement

During over one second exposure, using for left rim light a continuous warm modelling light hitting models head and back, you can ask the model to move or just shake the camera…

You will need a few takes to get used to, but try to experiment because it is well worth the effort!

We will keep you posted about this and other projects, and hopefully soon we will set a date for the actual shooting day!

All the best

*** Workshops ***

MILK Workshops in AUSTRALIA 2013!
Book your place now, here: >>>BOOKING PAGE

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


My best regards

Milk Workshop in Hollywood 2012- Summary

Our Californication i.e 2012 AurumLight first USA Workshop! What an event that was!

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who made the effort and travelled to Hollywood for both events!
I was pleasantly surprised when the workshop sold out after only two hours from the announcement!

We met our regular readers and a whole bunch of new faces who made the whole trip absolutely worthwhile and enjoyable!

Secondary, we are very grateful to our good friends from The Bui Brothers – Lan and his crew who put a lot of time and effort to make these events run smoothly. It wouldn’t have been possible without them,

Thirdly – Kudos to our great supporters from Phase One and Paul C Buff.
It is amazing to have such fantastic partners – thanks to them we able to provide high end gear experience for our attendees, not to mention free Capture One software and many other giveaways!

And last but not least – The Events were hosted by EVS Studios in Hollywood and all the props were provided by Greg Aronowitz.

So to everyone above, Cheers for your time, support and making these workshops our best training events to date!
We enjoyed our California experience so much that we have already pencilled down a dates for 2013…

So how was it?

Started with know how presentation and sharing my approach, methodology and the secrets you need to know!


… then the fun time… messing around with gallons of milk … dozens of gallons!
During our stay with our participants we accomplished fifteen liquid shoots…

[Click image to Enlarge]


Thanks to our friends at Phase One we could use the best gear available on the market!
Regular readers knows that PhaseOne P65+ is my go-to camera when it comes to bigger scale projects. But for this one we got a exceptional Phase One IQ180


And here is the final effects of one of the shoots we did in front of a hyped, creative crowd.

I mentioned Phase One IQ180… and it’s incredible detail:
100% Crop [Click image to Enlarge]


*** Workshops ***

MILK Workshops in AUSTRALIA 2013!
Book your place now, here: >>>BOOKING PAGE

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


My best regards

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.


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



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:


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!


Meanwhile in London…

The Bamboo Forest Shoot for The Liquid Series:


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.

Lady In Red…


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


My best regards

A NEW LOOK ! – AurumLight WEB2.0

Hi there,

So you might just see it, and figured out one of the reasons why we have been quiet recently!

Our brand NEW Website Version2.0 is life and we are very happy to introduce a NEW look, new BTS, Workshops and Prints sections!