Storytellers Mission 6: Artificial Light

Lowepro Storytellers Mission: Artificial Light

Every month we challenge our Lowepro Storytellers with a mission.

We assign a word or phrase and they show us their visual interpretation. Because our group is spread all over the World, each with their very own style, we are always extremely excited to see what they have come up with.

The Mission for August is Artificial Light. We are beyond excited to share these images with everyone and are already looking forward to next month’s Mission!

Artificial Light: Matthias Fend

“This was a job for Red Bull. They asked me do to a shoot for a new visual language. The challenge was to not focus too much on branding, but more on the athlete and his sport. To put the passion and action into the right light.”

Artificial Light: Ryan Struck

“I made this photo of my friend James hot coating a surfboard he made with a Profoto B1 strobe. I love these portable lights as they are light, easy to use and will fit in tight spaces such as a surfboard builder’s workshop. The B1 produces nice lighting that gives the hot coat a wonderful sheen, pleasing reflection and helps illuminate the process to the viewer.”

Artificial Light: Bruno Calendini

“On the west bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt, is the town of Edfu and its temple dedicated to the god Horus. Beautifully preserved, it attracts many visitors. At closing time, the carriage is waiting for the last tourists back to their boat.”

Artificial Light: Elisabeth Brentano

“When I first dabbled with astrophotography earlier this year, my focus was off and I made a number of mistakes. I still have a lot to learn, but thus far it’s been a very fun process. I’ve been lucky enough to see the stars in some amazing places, but the way they appear in long exposures is truly something special. Add in a little bit of light painting on the surrounding landscape, and it looks like the sort of thing dreams are made of. The funny thing is, the “light painting” here came from a pair of low beams in the Mesquite Flat Dunes parking lot in Death Valley…”

Artificial Light: David & Quinn Cheung

“I remember shooting this bridal prep and when Quin showed me the image on the back of her camera shortly after she took it.  I was floored … and depressed :).  In what seemed to be a boring living room, Quin placed a single off-camera strobe very specifically to cast the shadow (and its reflection).  Even though I was in the same room, the use of artificial light allowed her to create something I couldn’t see or even imagine.  Above the complexity of off-camera flash and envisioning the image, her capture of this decisive moment and striking composition makes it one of my favourite images ever.”

Artificial Light: Elisa & Max

“No Tent”

Artificial Light: Florian Wagner

“Matthias Dolderer is one of the best air race pilots worldwide. I shot his picture for Freemansworld and was allowed to take the front seat in the double-decker. To balance the harsh contrasts and get a clear shot in this extreme situation, I used direct flash on him.”

Artificial Light: Travis Burke

“When the earth rotates into darkness it creates a blank canvas for light seekers to paint their own masterpiece. Late at night along the desolate Bruneau sand dunes in Idaho we used artificial light to create our own star. The small lantern was held by Chelsea and Shay for 15 seconds while the camera let in enough light to capture the scene.”

15 sec exposure | f/2.8| ISO 6,400

Artificial Light: Ben Sasso

“I know, this is pretty far from my typical outdoor, naturally lit style, but the beauty of being an artist is that we have the freedom to create whatever the heck we want.”

Artificial Light: Frank Lopez

“Since I do most of my photography at night, I tend to rely heavily on Artificial Light. For example: a flashlight illuminating delicate arch, giving you a sense of scale between man and nature.”

Artificial Light: Luke Massey

“In Zambia, once the sun set it would be dark almost immediately, but this wouldn’t be the end of my photographic day. Sometimes, if the moon was bright, I could aim for long exposures lit solely by moonlight; other times I’d trail other vehicles, waiting for them to use their spotlight to illuminate an animal. Without the light coming directly from my direction, I could get some interesting effects.

One evening I was heading back to base after a long day when ahead I spotted a couple of vehicles; what they were viewing was obscured, but as I got nearer I saw the lions. I pulled up waiting for the moment, manual focusing due to the lack of light, as the lions began to move ,I took a few shots, only exposing for the available light, trying to plunge the rest of the scene into darkness and showing just parts of the lion.”

Artificial Light: Samuel Taipale

Artificial Light: Alessandra Meniconzi

“Adding a flash gives a different look to your images. I love to light the ambient with several flashes without intruding. My goal is always to create a light that looks as natural as possible. When I approached this scene my first thought was how to emphasize the light of the atelier and the outdoor. To light the entire scene was a bit tricky. I changed the white balance of my camera to tungsten to produce a cold image. After that I had to add a warm temperature to the atelier.

I added a CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gel to my flashes. This way the white balance of the camera made the ungelled flash appear blue and the CTO gelled flash appear orange.”

Artificial Light: Thilo Brunner

“This one is from a shoot with famous German actor Heiner Lauterbach for PROVOCATEUR magazine. The topic was the six presidents of the United States and their behaviour at their time. Bringing two light sources together, daylight and the warm artificial light, and mixing them up was the goal.”

Artificial Light: Peter Hawk

“My godson Lugio wanted an action photo of himself for his room. His wish was my command! Since he is a little terrorist to me, which is quite a sensitive topic, I thought I could create a little green terrorist. This is how this image was created – with artificial light. It was taken in the studio in front of a grey wall and all the light was drawn into the image afterwards.”

Artificial Light: Hunter McRae

“I love the look of natural light, but there are times when there’s just not enough to work with and it’s necessary to bring in a little outside help.  When the bride and groom exit their wedding reception, I always try to capture an image that is fun and exciting and one that they will treasure forever.  Often, I will have my assistant or second shooter stand behind them with a flash (and pocketwizard) pointed towards their backs as they exit.  This technique usually creates a magical light and helps capture the nighttime moment in a beautiful way!”

Artificial Light: Alastair Lee

“Artificial Light in the mountains mean early starts with head torches. Here we see alpinist Matt Helliker preparing to set off for the Citadel at 4am deep in the Alaskan wilderness.”

Artificial Light: Joseph Roybal

“Combining the natural light of the Milky Way with artificial light of a headlamp to illuminate the foreground made this incredible otherworldly landscape come to life! Also, attempting to find your shot in daylight is always a better idea than trying to during a new moon :), FYI. Happy shooting! -Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness”

Artificial Light: Michael Teague

“This one was a bit tricky to pull off, but came together nicely. Lately I’ve been on this abandoned building kick that’s been taking me to some very questionable areas of Los Angeles, and this was no exception. I have a few friends always asking me if I’m afraid I am gonna get jacked while doing light painting and steel wool in these types of locations, and the truth is “YES”! I’ve been approached by all kinds at all hours of the night but I handle them like I’d handle anyone else. With respect. Then I show them the LCD on the back of my camera after a shoot and all I hear is “WOW”! Pretty good ice breaker if you ask me…”

Artificial Light: Miles Witt Boyer

“I think it’s pretty safe to say we all have a bit of a stigma in our industry about the recording industry. Photos of recording artists are so well done and so overly edited that to a lot of us the entire industry seems pretty locked down. It’s not every day that Taylor Swift or Usher call me for a shoot, but this shoot fell into my lap and brought with it a close friend. If you’re a musician you’ve heard of this amazing woman. If you’ve been to any red carpet event you’ve probably seen her there. But unless you’re into music in the UK or pretty much anywhere in the world except the US the name RUMER may not be a household name to you. Believe me when I say I think it will soon enough but what makes RUMER (Sarah Joyce) so special to me is that she called me not to photograph her as a musician but as a bride.

I had the honor of shooting Sarah walk down the aisle to Rob escorted by Stephen Bishop while a slew of music industry friends and family sat and watched. As if that wasn’t a big enough pleasure, Sarah asked for me to get to know her wearing her other hat as well. RUMER sings a jazz-inspired, soulful sound that sounds like a vinyl spinning in a lounge in the 60’s while people sat and sipped cocktails and after work in New York. Her sultry sound shows her off as a songwriter and musician, and the best part about this shoot for her is that before she asked me to be a part of this album I had never heard of her.

Needless to say I’m a big fan these days but the challenge in this shoot was to make the entire feel a film inspired play of light and dark. This album is titled “Into Colour” and we wanted the photography to reflect a bit of a transformation in Sarah’s life during the writing and recording of this album. I’m never one to shy away from adding light to a set, but I almost always feel like less is more. We started this shoot with several speed lights and reflectors set up to fill the scene but quickly tore things down to simply a large LED video light and this window. Pretty far removed from the work our team is known for this shoot was a blast to be a part of and we’re excited to be behind the camera for the next album RUMER is planning to release. So cool finding a friend in this story and having the chance to be on this side of things.”

Artificial Light: Nick LaVecchia

“This was taken on assignment in the Dominican Republic in 2007.  I’m a lover of natural light for most of my work, but every so often I’ll take advantage of a bit of fill here and there.

While this local boy worked doing repairs on surfboards, I roamed around and captured a few frames of him. Late afternoon filtered light through the trees + some soft fill from an off camera strobe. Trying hard to balance the two and keep the overall scene feeling natural.”

Artificial Light: Craig Pulsifer

“This month’s storyteller mission “Artificial Light” got me thinking about what to submit.  Blinding neon and sickly florescence first came to mind; but that seemed too literal to me.  So, I harkened back to an earlier time, when Renaissance painters and early film masters told stories in high contrast strokes of light upon shadow to bring depth to an otherwise flat bit of canvas or wall -chiaroscuro they called it in Italy.

Looking over classic works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Karsh and Avedon soon had me wondering about light versus lighting and what the differences were between artificial and natural?  Sure, there was color and intensity, specularity and spread, but there was more to it than that.  How is it that art seems to motivate the human heart more than the physics of photons ever will?

And then it struck me.  The difference between artificial light and natural light really does come down to source; whereas, the difference between natural lighting and unnatural lighting comes down to how the subject is portrayed, because in the end, it’s all about story; and everyone loves a good story.”

Artificial Light: Erwan Balança

“This picture was performed in Spitsbergen (Svalbard), during an expedition on nature in this northern territory. The Arctic terns are the birds that travel the farthest distance migration each year, up to 70 000 km. But they are also fearful little birds, sometimes aggressive toward humans. If you approach, they fly over their territory and attack the intruder. To balance the underside of the bird and the sky, I used a remote flash held at arm’s length.”

Artificial Light: Andreas Kieling

“Komodo Island, Indonesia. I call this image “The gym at the edge of the universe”. I have filmed and taken pictures on the Komodo Island of Rinca for two months. I was there for National Geographic and had made friends with some of the fishermen. Almost every night they worked out with self-made weights. The nights in the tropics were long, so I often joined the training sessions. One evening a huge Komodo dragon came out of the bush to look for chicken and goats in the village. This image is only a snapshot, but all of the locals confirmed that they had never seen such a huge dragon before.”

Artificial Light: Gilles Reboisson

“Solar light and one artificial light make your picture look different. And if you add an unexpected place like the wheel of a ski lift, that makes a cool wedding picture.”

Artificial Light: Jeff Bartlett

“It’s so absolutely rare for my photographs to use artificial light. Sure, I own a Nikon speedlight, but I cannot remember the last time I actually used it. I’m not even surewhere it is.  I simply prefer natural light; however, as soon as I read the “Artificial Light” challenge, I knew I would submit this image.

It’s amazing just how much light I managed to pull out of that single tungsten bulb while capturing the night sky above Lake Louise, Alberta.”

Artificial Light: Kyriakos Kaziras

28 September 2014, 01:58 AM | Near Kaktovik village, Beaufort Sea, Alaska, USA

Much luck for this photo. After several days of fog and overcast skies, a clearing (night) sky allowed us to photograph the Northern Lights. With three travel companions, we found fun to pose with the Northern Lights. The most difficult was to stand still for 10 seconds in freezing cold. The photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark III tripod with a long exposure of 10 seconds and a timer-trigger. The trick is to have a fifth person who enlightened us with a torch 3 times for 1 second during shooting.

Night photo in Kaktovik remains a high-risk sport. Just after finishing our shoot, we were stopped by the night patrol who warned us to be cautious because of the arrival of a polar bear.”

Artificial Light: Kristian Bogner

Artificial Light: Hugo Pedel

“After long hours of underground adventures, sunbeams seems very far, and artificial light really make sense!”

Artificial Light: Viktoria Haack

“Self portrait holding a flashlight with some great aurora.”

Artificial Light: Glenn Fajota

“In order to convey natural light in a photo, you have introduce artificial light. Can you spot one in the photo that I used to mimic the sun?”

Amanda Pollard

About Amanda Pollard

Amanda Pollard is the WW Communications Manager for Lowepro. She's a drone enthusiast, who not only loves aerial photography but FPV as well. You can usually find her lurking around Lowepro's social media, writing blogs, and trying to find ways to give bags away. You can reach Amanda at

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