Skogafoss Waterfall shoot

Even with a beautiful waterfall as our background it’s still not always easy to take a great shot. For shots like this you still have to have great timing and an amazing team working with you. Trying to tackle the freezing cold mist and the midday sun was a challenge but I think that we can all agree with how amazing the final shots turned out.

NOTE: This photography class is available with English subtitles.


  1. Hey Karl,

    Amazing stuff.

    Apologies if I missed it, how many stops is the ND filter you were using and are your flashes set on first curtain sync or second?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Charbel, 3 stops on my ND filter. If you’re ever not sure you can check the equipment list on the lower right and all the kit used is detailed there.

        1. Hi Charbel, I can’t remember but that wouldn’t matter as the only thing the flash was lighting was the model and she wasn’t moving.

  2. Karl, one more question, this time related 🙂 You had a Para 88 behind the model on your right, but I don’t see any traces of light on the [left] side of the dress or her arm. Was the Para off or its effect is very subtle? Is it possible to replace the back para with a standard reflector (~40 deg)?

    1. Hi Oleg, yes it was very subtle and yes as it was just as a slight fill even a silver umbrella would have worked or a P70.

  3. What an adventure, Karl! You could probably convert this to a feature film, or at least a serious documentary 🙂 The final image is outstanding – all your troubles were definitely paid off.

    I’d like to ask you a semi-related question… How far do you need to go with the stretchering lever on the 222? Is there some kind of “indicator” that can tell if it’s fully opened? The instructions manual sheet (it’s literally a laminated piece of paper) doesn’t tell anything, and the official Broncolor YT video doesn’t have words at all… It’s like a silent movie. I feel that I can go very far, and I’m afraid to break it. Thank you!

    1. Hi Oleg, thank you. The classes are in order in this section as a sort of ‘fly on the wall photography documentarty’. With regards the 222 wind it up and hit on the back until it feels like a drum then you’re there, I think you’d struggle to overwind it.

      1. Ha ha, I’m not a native English speaker so had to google the “fly on the wall” meaning 🙂
        Nevertheless it’s very enjoyable to watch, and whoever filmed you did a great job.

        It’s good to know about the 222. I just got it yesterday and didn’t want to break on the first day of usage lol. Thank you!!!

        1. No problem, I wouldn’t have known you weren’t a native English speaker from your typing! Anyway I hope you enjoy your 222 let us know how you get on. All the best Karl.

  4. Hi Karl,
    I really enjoyed this shoot, absolutely brilliant and great work to your team, the model(a real trooper) and everyone else involved. I was sitting here all nice and cozy (winter here down under) and was feeling the cold and the wet from your location. The end results are just amazing.

  5. Hi Karl, absolutely love these Iceland videos! Silly that I learnt such a simple tip in one of them to take empty bags and then use a shovel, never considered that lol.

    Anyway have a couple of questions as looking to do something semi-similar. The location I have in mind is unfortunately more sandy or muddy even where the lights need to go for composition. I’m rather terrified about the para falling over and lamp breaking. Would you suggest taking some small pieces of wood to put under the stand legs or got any other tips for softer surfaces?

    Lastly only have 1 para 88, the 222 isn’t available to rent and too expensive to purchase when I won’t be needing one enough to warrant it. Would you recommend renting a second para 88 or would the single one probably get away with reasonable results?

    1. Hi Cameron, yes putting flat squares of marine plywood under the legs would be a good idea. You can even screw blocks to the top to help lock the leg in place. There are other methods of fixing plates to the legs and then burying the plates into the mud as well as using sandbags. By far the best is to have assistants holding them because they will spin in the wind and you will be battling to keep the direction correct. I’d say yes two 88’s will be much better as you will see in chapter 14.

  6. Hi, Karl I have question could you please reply instead of this method can we first take 1 photo of background in 1sec speed and then taking Another photo of model and combine them In photoshop. Please reply

    1. Hi Yes you could do that but I prefer to do it ‘in camera’ because it’s not difficult and I can see I’ve got the result, plus less post production work.

  7. Is the “ghosting” in the image caused by the movement of the model that the flash didn’t freeze a problem for your final image?

    1. Hi Anthony, yes thats exactly right, there is a little bit of ghosting on her arm and also from the dress. This is from where the dress moved in the wind and she moved slightly during the 1-2 seconds exposure.

  8. Epic, Karl! Congrats! At one time you said to the model to stand still even after the flash fired. This sounds to me as a first curtain flash, although the Hassy has leaf shutter, right? Well, why did you use “first curtain” instead of “rear”?

    1. Hi Bogdan, because she needed to stand still no matter what so it is better for her to know at one point, so the flash indicated the correct moment. First of second curtain wouldn’t make any difference in a shot like this as she wasn’t moving so no ‘direction of travel’ would have been recorded before or after the flash fired.

  9. That was absolutely not easy, I appreciate how hard you wokred and how long you waited for the right time to photograph beautiful image such as this, thank you for sharing Karl.

  10. Remarkable! and so very inspiring. The value of a great crew and model also cannot be over-stated when working in these conditions. Congrats to all!

    1. Hi Martin, absolutely. In all forms of fashion photorgraphy it always relies on a team effort from the assistants, model, makeup, stylist etc. One piece of the puzzle fails and the whole thing can turn into a disaster! 🙂

  11. Boy, these were great films! Everything was perfect and interesting. The scenery, the music, the crew and I am so impressed by your spirit of adventure and experience to take on such a massive project. Hope we get to see more like these.

  12. Cheers Karl. One of my OCD tendencies is camera care. After this incredible (and wet) photo shoot, what steps did you take for the Hasselblad? Was is just basic drying off, or did you pack it in a sealed case with something like silica gel?

    1. I wiped it down with a cloth left it on the table in the hotel room and went for a pint 🙂 We put the Para 222 fully opened in the hotel reception and had some strange looks from guests at breakfast!

  13. Thanks Karl. I have 135 Octa and 70 cm deep Octa. I will give it a try with them. I guess Umbrella should also work. The setup what you have shown in one of your Advanced photography sections.

  14. Can we execute similar shot with 4 speedlights at full power? May be at 1/30th or 1/10 of a second?

    1. Hi Pradeep, yes that would be possible but not in a parabolic reflector as you need point light source that is visible from all sides (not just the front) to reflect correctly in a parabolic reflector. However you should be able to attach a dome to the speedlite to create the right type of light source. The next thing will be if the speedlites had sufficient power, for example a 600EX speedlite on full power should be sufficient but the recharge times will be quite slow. The shutter speed doesn’t need to change, if you wanted to get the flowing water in the same way as I shot this then you would still want to go with 1 to 2 seconds exposure with the camera fixed on a tripod. 1/30th wouldn’t record the flow of water in the same way.

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