Magazine
Fabien Bravin: A world full of wonders

by Editor Michel Romaggi
Published the 11th of April 2021

 


'This light behind the veil'

 

Fabien Bravin's photos all are striking, have remarkable colours, amazing light and beautiful bokeh.  The subjects, sometimes insects, more often flowers, are always perfectly well framed and result in dazzling composition.  Fabien didn't hesitate to share with us some of his secrets to create this wonderful world.


You have chosen the macro or the proxy-photography. Can you tell us what attracts you to this type of photo?

The way I went into macro photography has been clearly influenced by a close relationship with nature and my strong wish to spend a lot of time outside.   I grow up on the countryside and have been in love with nature since ever.  I still enjoy spending some time in the meadows.

So when I started with photography in 2008, I‘ve been quickly attracted by close-up photography . I bought a macro lens in 2009 and started to experiment and learned a lot by myself.

There is an invisible world around us, for people who open their eyes .This invisible world appears as a world of wonders through a macro lens. My interest in close-up photography has grown over the time, walking in the footsteps of a brilliant photographer I met on a photographic website: El Justino. His work was a true artistic achievement to me.  At that time my goal was to do the same kind of pictures he was doing. In 12 years of close up photography, I still enjoy spending time behind the viewfinder looking for new compositions with a strong mood.

 


'Offer'

 

How do you choose your subjects, and how do you compose them?
What are your favourite moments to make your photos?
It depends on the motif and it’s not exactly the same process according to the subject. But for all of them, the main criteria in the composition is the light.

I’m in love with insects and particularly butterflies and mantis. In my early photographic years, I only focused on these 2 topics. There are so aesthetical and true pieces of art in nature.
So I go to the meadows and spend hours looking for some subjects. You need a lot of luck but first, you have to know a lot about these insects: their habits, the biotope where you may find them, the season, etc.

Once I see an interesting subject, I just turn around taking care of the light and also of the subject's position.  Sometimes it’s fine and you get a successful result, but sometimes you have to quid if the necessary conditions are missing.
Right now, my favourite subjects are flowers.  I love flowers, especially anemones, cosmos, and poppies.  For these motifs, the approach is different as I’ve all these flowers in my garden. So, at the time of the blossom, I just make a step outside and set my gear.  In terms of composition, and from an artistical point of view, I try to frame the subject in its surrounding environment.  When composing, my goal is to get the best light, the best bokeh, and the best management of the negative space.

 


'A riot of colours in a grey and dreary world' by Fabien Bravin

 

From a technical point of view, the focus and sharpness of the subject are essential.  I try to give my images a particular atmosphere, a strong mood, an intense feeling, like in a dream.  The main part of the work is done in camera terms of framing. I strive to have everything right before pushing the shutter button, to avoid as much as possible cropping the final picture or having to remove some disturbing elements.
I never modify the structure of the bokeh by adding artificial blur or whatever. That's why I compose in the viewfinder playing with the foreground and the background to create a natural bokeh.  Every picture is made from a single shot (no stacking, no composite).  I always shoot in raw format and all settings are manual to get the maximum opportunities for high-quality results in post-production.

 


'Storm warriors'

 

What are your favourite moments to make your photos?
I'm really keen on natural light, that’s why I prefer the early morning on a sunny day or at sunset. Besides, insects are easier to photograph in the early morning or in the late evening, having a lower activity.  During the day, sunlight is generally too strong and harsh. But if you use some appropriate accessories, such as reflectors, additional lights or flash units, you can make some nice pictures.


Your photos have a very special light and colours. How do you get them?Do you use lights? What settings, etc. to achieve this result.
For a while, I like to use artificial lighting as complementary accessories or main lighting. To do so, I use either reflector but also remote-triggered flash units. Flash Units are triggered remotely by radio controllers.  All settings are done manually.  Thanks to these flashes,   I’m able to control and model the light the way I want to create specific “dark” mood pictures but keeping the harmony in colours.

Regarding colours specifically, I use in post-production Lightroom colour sliders and some colour filters such as Nik Software, in order to mute colours and bring a particular atmosphere, as you would do to create a B&W picture for example. This is my personal signature somehow for more than 10 years.

 


'Red dressed'

 

You’re very creative about titles. What inspires you to do so?
Ah ah. That always is a brain teaser ;-). Sometimes it takes more time to choose a title than post-producing the picture.  At the very beginning, music or songs were my favourite sources.  For now, Actuality, Science, Poetry, Spirituality inspire me more but generally, these choices are widely influenced by my state of mind.

 


'Where poetry and memories remain'

 

You  are faithful to your equipment (canon 7D).  What drives you to keep it?
That’s right, I’m not the kind of person looking for all the latest trends and gear. Frugality would characterize me 10 years ago when I bought a Canon 7D and a Sigma 180mm macro lens and I still use them on a daily basis. Quality is already exceptional and enough to print 150cmx100cm pictures, so no need for me to have something “better”.With my earnings on 1x, I just afforded 2 years ago the purchase of a 100-400 telelens to go into wildlife photography.

 


'Let flowers rule the world'

 

To end this most interesting interview,  can you tell us what place photography occupies in your life, Fabien?
At the very beginning and during 5 or 6 years, my passion for photography was a real obsession. I spent all my time on this activity, wishing secretly to make this passion a full-time job. Besides, to be well-known and to become “popular”, most of the time requires to be full time on social media.  In the beginning, it was fun spending 2 or 3 hours (or more) per day to critic, comment, share pictures from others. On social media, that’s the way it works. You have to be there or you disappear. But it was too time consuming, neglecting all the other things in my life. Since then I realized this non-sense, and photography is for now just a hobby on which I spend less and less time these days. All this free time is now dedicated to my spiritual evolution and study of some specific disciplines such as Yoga and martial arts.


Thank you very much, Fabien, for sharing so many details about the man behind his pictures.

 

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The Humble Umbrella

by Lourens Durand 
Published the 9th of April 2021



'Shelter From The Storm' by Christophe Kiciak


As photographers, we are familiar with the umbrella as a lighting modifier in the studio. Although its application in photography is relatively new, the umbrella itself has actually been around for centuries.

The umbrella and its forerunner, the parasol, were first used by ancient Egyptians and Chinese as protection against the sun, and became status and religious symbols, used by royalty and religious leaders in many ancient cultures. Starting out as simple palm leaves or silk coverings, they evolved into elaborate and elaborate decorative items, painted with scenes of flowers and birds.

Nowadays umbrellas are used as shelter against rain and sleet, as well as for protection against the sun’s rays, as fashion accessories, or even as weapons to fend off unwanted attention from strangers.

The English call them Brollies, whilst Americans sometimes use the peculiar word “Bumbershoot” (a combination of umbrella and parachute) when making fun of the English.

The umbrella also features in the English language as a term of unity, of grouping things, or as a symbol of protection, as in an umbrella body, which is a central coordinating organisation that represents the activities of several smaller, independent organisations or individuals, all of which have a similar purpose.

(Something like 1X.com….)

Whatever its uses or meanings, the umbrella is often a colourful element of photographs, as illustrated in the selection from 1X.com photographers that follows.

 


'by Peter Kemp

 

 


by kendisan seruyan

 

 


by Fira Mikael

 

 


by Yasemin Bakan

 

 


by Peter Kemp

 

 


by Peter Kemp

 

 


'Umbrella Geisha' by Burhan

 

 

 
'Umbrella syndrome' by hardibudi

 

 


'pioggia' by Luca Domenichi

 

 


by Thomas Vanoost

 

 


'...my umbrella' by Damijan Sedevcic

 

 


'Getting Wet 2384' by Karen Celella

 

 


by Louis-Philippe Provost

 

 


by Terry F

 

 


by Arman Kuzel

 

 


'umbrella of justice' by Ayatullah R. Hiba

 

 


by Terry F

 

 


by Dmitry Skvortsov

 

 


by Melih Karakaya

 

 


by Harry Lieber

 

 


'Umbrella Corporation' by Roberto Olivadoti

 

 


'umbrellas twisted imagination' by tysjusz

 

 


'Canopy Fishing' by Aijing H.

Write
Great work - all of them :)
Splendid compositions....
Fascinating selection ! Congratulations
Great images ! .
Love it !
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Wonderful selection.
Thanks a lot for including one of my picture among this selection, it is a great honour.
An incredible variety and quality!
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Perfect!Thank you ! yvette
Great articles and photos. Congratulations...
Vanity

by RAUL LAMOSO
Published the 8th of April 2021


By using the rule of thirds, the shadows and the leading lines of the cars, the viewer is guided to the points of interest in this image.

 

'Vanity' by Raul Lamoso
 Canon 5D Mark II  .  Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L  .  f/2.8 

 
I had been commissioned to do a pictorial spread for a fashion magazine of at least ten pictures covering ten to fifteen pages. In addition to showing off the model and her clothes, it had to tell the story of a beautiful girl, dressed by a Spanish designer, going to meet her boyfriend in a hotel. The idea was to give the picture a casual and not so professional look, as if a passerby took the picture.

The story begins with the girl walking down the street toward the hotel. But suddenly she is worried about her makeup, so she stops to check it out in a car's side mirror. The story continues with her reaching the hotel. At the hotel bar she asks for a drink, and then more and more shots. The waiter tells her that she has an incoming call, and it turns out that it's her boyfriend telling her he won't be able to meet her. This disappointing moment causes her to drink more shots.

In this picture, the light was placed intentionally to highlight two things — the face of the model and her skirt — so we used the car shadows to darken the rest of the elements. I also used the leading lines of the cars to guide the viewer to the points of interest. I used a Profoto AcuteB flash, a Profoto 20-inch (50 cm) white beauty dish, a Profoto Air Sync trigger and a UV filter.



 
 

POST PROCESSING
I always process my pictures in color, so my first step with this photo was to open it in Adobe Camera Raw CS5. I always try to do as many adjustments with the RAW file as possible before exporting it to Photoshop.

1) First I manually adjusted the global Exposure and the Color Temperature. Then with the Shadow and Highlights clipping warnings activated, I recovered any dark or bright areas by using the Recovery control, but not so much that it filled the image with grey. For areas that couldn’t be recovered with the Recovery control, I used the Tone Curve.

2) I used the Adjustment Brush to adjust the Exposure in some specific areas. I also carefully adjusted the Contrast in the midtones and the Clarity, making sure I didn’t create halos.

3) Once I had completed all of the Camera Raw adjustments, I exported the image to Photoshop as a normal image (not as a Smart Object). I always work in Photoshop in Adobe RGB color profile and 16-bit color mode (the same as my camera). However, it's important to convert it to sRGB color profile before uploading the picture to the web at the end of the process, otherwise the picture will lose contrast and saturation.

4) I made all of the adjustments in Photoshop in separate layers with layer masks so that I could add and remove the effects as required. The first adjustment was to the color of the model’s skin, which I did by creating a Selective Color adjustment layer and adjusting the red color, since it covers most of the skin tones.

5) For more difficult areas I used the Brush tool. I selected the skin color I wanted, and then I painted over the specific areas with the Brush's mode set to Color and a low Opacity.

6) On this image I wanted to change the tone of colors, so I created a Curves adjustment layer to change the shape of the Curves separately for each of the red, green and blue channels.

7) This changed the colors, but also increased the contrast. To correct this I applied a Selective Color adjustment layer, selected White as the color and adjusted the Black control. I find this is better than using the Burn tool: the Burn tool fills areas with grey, but the Selective Color adjustment layer tries to fill the area with surrounding colors.

8) As I said earlier, in this picture we have two focal points: the model’s face and the skirt. I used Cropping to emphasize these even more. Using the rule of thirds and placing her face and skirt at opposite intersection points, I created an image where the face is the prime focal point, followed by the skirt by following the line of the jacket.

9) The next step in processing the color version was to adjust the sharpness. To do this I used the High Pass filter. I duplicated the image, desaturated the new layer, applied a High Pass filter to it and finally changed its blending mode to Soft Light.

10) The last step was converting the image to black and white simply by creating a Black & White adjustment layer and adjusting its controls to make the shadows deeper.


TIPS
1) Choose a good model. It's important to select a model that fits the styling you are going to use and the story you want to tell.

2) Remember the light. I always use a beauty dish. A softbox creates hard light, hard shadow and hard transitions between light and shadow. But a beauty dish creates hard light, hard shadow and soft transitions between light and shadow.

3) Think of the pose. When I tell the models what pose I want, I never ask them for a static pose. I ask them to do a complete movement, trying to get them into the situation, like an actor playing a role. This way, the picture looks more natural and not forced.

4) When I resize a picture to upload to the web, it can lose some sharpness. So the best way to recover some sharpness is to apply an Unsharp Mask filter (Amount: 500, Radius: 0.2 and Threshold: 0) to the image you want to upload.


BIOGRAPHY
I was born in Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain, in 1974.  I studied Engineering in Computer Science. My passion for photography led me to open a studio in the center of town, from where I work in various fields of digital imaging. Right now I work for several magazines shooting fashion editorials, covers and advertising work.

Check out my homepage:  http://www.raul-lamoso.com
Write
Great work - all of them :)
Splendid compositions....
Fascinating selection ! Congratulations
Great images ! .
Love it !
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Wonderful selection.
Thanks a lot for including one of my picture among this selection, it is a great honour.
An incredible variety and quality!
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Perfect!Thank you ! yvette
Great articles and photos. Congratulations...
Vocalization of emotions through photography

by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 6th of April 2021


Human sounds convey emotions better than words do.
We all know a number of non-verbal expressions of emotions like laughter, cries and sighs.
These vocalizations are recognizable across vastly different cultures throughout history.

Emotions undoubtedly play a central role in human lives. They are universally felt by all on this planet.

Photography is important because it can influence our capacity to empathize. 
It has an incredible ability to convey emotion. 
It makes us “FEEL” without words, it gives a silent voice to the images.

 


'1 year later, just kiss me ...' by Joe Cancilla

 

Photography is more important than ever because we need visual imagery that reflects our connectedness, especially in a world that can be as inhumane as ours.

Photography is powerful because we can place ourselves into the perspective of those we see in an image.

I did a search in the 1x gallery and found many images that moved me to tears, laughter, joy, sadness or reflectivity.  I hope that through these images, you will not hold back any emotions and will be touched as much as I was by what you see and feel.

Each one of these photographs speaks for itself, all are a silent vocalization of emotions.

 


'Influence' by ayda azadmehr

 

 


'Emotion' by laura zambelli

 

 


'A sign of Love' by Marc Apers

 

 


n/t by Raphael Guarino

 

 


'Giggles' by Adrian de Vera

 

 


n/t by Hengki Lee

 

 


'Railway station #5' by Roberto Di Patrizi

 

 


'love' by Veli Aydogdu

 

 


'Love ?!' by Peter Müller Photography

 

 


'A Walk in the Sunflowers' by Valentina

 

 


'love and tenderness' by Elena Molina

 

 


'Joy of Childhood' by Avishek Das

 

 


'He Gave Me Fair Warning' by Black Russian Studio

 

 


'Golden Hour Motherhood' by Lisa Holloway

 

 


n/t by Gulin Yigiter

 

 


'Touch of Love' by Tanusree Mitra

 

 


'This is the miracle of life' by Yvette Depaepe

 

 


n/t by Joxe Inazio Kuesta Garmendia

 

 


'Joy of rain' by Gloria Salgado Gispert

 

 


'Kids' by Menachem Sinai

 

 


'Caring arms' by Andre du plessis

 

 


'Rush Hour' by Mirela Momanu

 

 


'In the clouds' by Juan Luis Duran

 

 


'Surprised !!!' by Ben Goossens

 

 


'Chizo' by Peter Aczel

 

Write
Great photos with very nice expressions:)
Useful article
Great article and great photos. Congratulations, dear Yvette.
Great article and great photos. Congratulations, dear Yvette.
These images are very beautiful and convey an infinity of emotions! My compliments dear Yvette for the nice review and photo!
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Wonderful selection.
Thanks a lot for including one of my picture among this selection, it is a great honour.
An incredible variety and quality!
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Perfect!Thank you ! yvette
Great articles and photos. Congratulations...
Happy Easter to all of you !

by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 2nd of April 2021

 


'Flower power !' by Ben Goossens



The Easter bunny, the coloured eggs, the bells of Rome, all are ancient traditions celebrating Easter.
What is the origin of those Easter symbols ???


Easter eggs
Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given out to celebrate the Easter festival. The custom of the Easter egg originated in an early Christian community. They stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ. The oldest tradition is to use dyed chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute eggs made from chocolate, or plastic eggs filled with candy such as jelly beans.
Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in many folk traditions.


Easter bunny
Because many Protestants countries also wanted to remember the joy of Easter eggs, they came up with the Easter Bunny, Most likely, the choice of this animal has its origins in paganism, since ancient times the hare is also a symbol for fertility and for the beginning of spring.

The idea of an egg-giving hare came to the U.S. in the 18th century. Protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the “Osterhase”. Hase means "hare", not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of coloured eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.



The bells of Rome
According to a catholic tradition in France, Belgium and some parts of the Netherlands,
Easter bells bring us chocolate and sugar eggs from Rome. They leave for Rome on Maundy Thursday and come back the night before Easter. They are represented like church clocks with wings. They drop the eggs in gardens and on balconies. An enthusiastic quest on Easter morning is part of this tradition.

 

Have fun and enjoy the quest for sweet eggs !!!

 


'Together' by Christophe Kiciak

 

 


'easter shirt' by Udo Dittmann

 

 


'Eggs' by Bill Gekas

 

 


'Easter is coming' by John Wilhelm

 

 


'Springtime Companions' by Lisa Holloway

 

 


Spring Dance by Rob Li

 

 


'Spring is coming' by Cristian Andreescu

 

 


'Just believe' by Fabi Art

 

 


'Spring delights' by Tamas Wachsler

 

 


'Spring babies' by Lisa Holloway

 

 


'That's luck ! :))' by Irina Kuznetsova (Iridi)

 

 


'The macro photographer' by John Wilhelm

 

 


'Easter Bunny' by Oxana Zuboff

 

 


'Finish in Rapa Nui' by John Wilhelm

 

 


'Easter dinner' by Mike Melnotte

 

 


'Easter food' by Diana Popescu

 

 


'Vision impossible' by U. Midtgaard

 

 


'Easterinvasion' by Christine von Diepenbroek

 

 


'Daffodils' by Nel Talen

 

 


'Spring Lentens' by Jacky Parker

 

 

Write
Happy Easter to you, Dear Yvette. Wonderful selection of images. It brought a smile to my face.
wonderful easter-impressions from all parts of photographie. Thanks a lot Yvette for presentation and work!
Excellent and beautiful article, as usual, dear Yvette. Happy Easter ! :)
Delightful photographs! Full of light, colour, and optimism.
Good work! Happy Easter and stay healthy!
Happy Easter!
Healthy and Happy Easter! Excellent text and of course an excellent thematic selection of photos dear Yvette.
Thanks a lot for including one of my picture among this selection, it is a great honour.
An incredible variety and quality!
Honored to be part of this wonderful article. Thank you!
Perfect!Thank you ! yvette
Great articles and photos. Congratulations...