Master Any Lighting Setup With The Help Of set.a.light 3D

HOW IT WAS DONE: Steampunk Kuopio behind the scenes and retouching

11/12/2017 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

I love creating images with plenty of stories and I need to use certain techniques to get the light the way I want. On location, I usually use limited gear, usually two Elinchrom ELB400 which I use to create interesting light to my subjects and the environment.

My most used composite image technique is where I combine multiple exposures into one seamless image. The camera is fixed on a tripod, I have selected the composition and framing of the image, fixed the focus and selected the aperture to use. And when these elements have been fixed I cannot change them anymore when I start shooting.

The only thing that can change is exposure time if I need more ambient light to my images, but I cannot change the composition, aperture or focal length anymore since then the frames would have a totally different look in them and they would not align with other frames when doing the post-processing. I usually use smaller apertures (higher f -values) to get everything sharp in my images and I use always small app called Set My Camera to check the depth of field area in my images according to the aperture and focal length I have selected.

First I concentrate on the people to get the light the way I want and then focus on lighting the environment to make it more interesting. I have used this technique many times because it gives me the freedom to play with lights how I like and I don’t have to deal with flashes and light stands in pictures if I would try to light the whole scene on a single frame. Also if I have multiple people in the scene I can light them separately the way I want.

You just have to plan ahead what kind of light you would like to create. It might take me 30min to one hour to get all the needed frames to use in my composite and I try to shoot lots of different frames especially of the environment so I would have enough different frames to create the final image. So when you are doing these kinds of images with this technique you have to think and plan things very carefully. Even the process is slow it allows me to create totally unique light in the scene.

This image was done for the City of Kuopio. It has lots of hidden elements that inspire people in my hometown Kuopio. They use the image also part of their branding and have a competition if people can find all the hidden elements 😀 Really cool project definitely to be part of!


Camera: Fuji X-T2 (16mm, f 8, 1/100s, ISO 200)

Flashes: Elinchrom 2 x ELB400

Frames used in the composition:

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About Antti Karppinen:

Antti Karppinen is internationally awarded commercial photographer / digital artist and educator from Finland. Antti has won dozens international awards for visual artistry & commercial photography and is now working and educating worldwide. Major merits are World Photographic Cup Gold medal in the illustrative category and FEP photographer of the year Golden camera also in the illustrative category. He has also won the portrait photographer of Finland competition. Let's Get Connected: 

This article and all the images were originally published on  and shared with his permission

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