Is it possible to create stunning and artistic pictures from home during the lockdown without having to enter a real photo studio?
Yes, it is! Tanja Maschka’s artistic photographs are a good example. The trained medical assistant, multi-talented photographer and mother, whose photographic focus so far has mainly been on architecture and landscape photography, uses the possibility of virtual photography, which she can practice from home.
Not only does this help to bridge the difficult time of staying home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also improves the photographer’s knowledge and becomes a source of inspiration for others.
Tanja’s approach is quite playful, as she tells us. Perhaps that is her secret, which underlies her lovingly created work: the ease with which they were created. In any case, we think that Tanja created a timeless work with these pictures that captivate the viewer’s gaze.
A look behind the process
Tanja, how did you get into photography?
I started to take an active interest in photography and took pictures after the birth of my first son. I had the great need to capture every little step of my son’s development :-) My now grown-up boys (almost 20 and 18 years old) had to endure some shootings. The results were more than bad at the beginning and so I started to absorb everything about photography, looked for like-minded people and tried out different areas of photography. Ultimately, I got stuck in architectural photography.
Where do you find your inspiration for your virtual creations?
I usually get my inspiration from the Internet, magazines etc. Images that appeal to me. I am trying to analyze the “lighting technique” and reproduce it in set.a.light 3D. Partly, I also incorporate my own ideas. Aesthetics, shapes and symmetry are very important to me.
Another very nice source of inspiration is of course the community directly in set.a.light 3D. Here I have the opportunity to learn from other photographers and look over their shoulders :-)
Tell us something about the type of your lighting:
To be honest, I have very little experience with flash lighting and people photography! As in architectural photography, I look for aesthetics, shapes and symmetry in people photography (which only takes place virtually). In architectural photography, I usually have a fixed light source, i.e. the sun that I have to follow. In set.a.light 3D I have the opportunity to design my light according to my taste, as I like it and at any time of the day, regardless of the weather and without any time pressure. Even when little clouds move outside over my virtual studio, I don’t mind ;-) I am absolutely free in the lighting design, which I really like.
My approach is pretty playful, which means I keep pushing the lights back and forth until I like the end result. Most of the time I work in set.a.light 3D with hard, directed light, the normal reflector with honeycomb is one of my favorite light shapers besides the strip lights. It is fascinating to see how you can achieve very diverse and interesting results with just a simple light source. The beautiful light characteristic of this light shaper, which enables me to create clear and hard-delimited shadows and which can be aligned even more precisely with honeycomb and barn doors, should not be missing in any of my virtual shoots. I rarely choose softboxes as the main light, mostly only for brightening. My histogram rarely moves to the right edge, but I pay more attention to the low and midtones.
Why did you decide to realize this photo series in black and white and not in color?
In my opinion, black and white distracts less from the actual picture motif. You concentrate more on the essentials, on light and shadow (contrasts).… And I just have a weakness for black and white pictures :-)
How long does your virtual photo shoot (in set.a.light 3D) usually take?
To be honest, it is very different. For simple portraits I need between 10 and 20 minutes. I like to take a little more time for more complex poses. I think in advance which model, which outfit, make-up – yes or no etc. the finished picture will look most beautiful. Set.a.light 3D offers me a very large selection of models and outfits to make the preliminary planning as detailed as possible. I like to make the poses look as authentic as possible, which is no problem at all due to the absolutely free-moving models. Even every single finger can be moved freely … just great :-)
How did you come across set.a.light 3D and what motivated you to continue using the software?
I became aware of the software for the first time in 2017 when it was presented during an event. I really liked the opportunity to simulate real studio light with the software and to be able to plan shootings in advance..
Since then I have been using it with great enthusiasm :-) I am learning how light and shadow behave and the effects and quality of different light shapers. And this in an impressive and realistic quality. Set.a.light 3D is the perfect lighting simulation software for me, it’s just a lot of fun to learn and work with.
Do you also want to challenge yourself with virtual photography? Now is the perfect time to get started and shoot the things you`ve always wanted to shoot! Take the time to improve your skills and learn something new.
You can view more of Tanja’s virtual photographs in our community in set.a.light 3D. If you’re unable to go out and shoot in public spaces, this is a great place to refresh your ideas and meet other creatives.
Find out HERE how you can join the community.
This post is also available in: German