Portrait photographer Miguel Angel Sánchez considers himself a “nomad,” travelling from location to location with just enough equipment to produce his signature dark, haunting images. He has developed his shooting technique through years of experience and training, and recently upgraded his lighting kit with two Zylight F8-100 LED Fresnels.
“I needed to take a step forward and get lighter fixtures and higher quality lighting,” Sánchez explained. “My demands with photographic and lighting equipment are very high. Every time I take on a project, I want to give the best of myself for each portrait.”
The “Flat Fresnel” collapses to less than four inches thick for easy transport. With both lights packed in the F8 Dual Head Case, Sánchez took his F8-100s on assignment for the first time in Cairo. “The case is very durable and handled the always problematic hits from airports in Istanbul and Cairo,” he noted.
Powered by AC or a 14.4V standard camera battery, the F8-100 features an adjustable beam spread, eight-inch SCHOTT glass lens for traditional beam shaping, and spot and flood capabilities. According to Sánchez, the fully dimmable F8-100s have saved significant production time and allowed him to be more creative.
“The Zylight F8 is accurate, easy to handle, and you are completely autonomous when you attach a camera battery. You can shoot portraits for hours, even in challenging conditions,” he added. “The lens is securely fastened and you never get the feeling you are working with a delicate tool. I guess that’s what we look for in all our work tools – make it effective and durable.”
Once he started using his F8-100s, Sánchez discovered new textures while playing with light and shadow. “It’s a lighting quality that only a Fresnel can provide – if you are dedicated to the cinema or professional photography, you know what I mean,” he said. “The magic of the Fresnel takes you directly to the mood of great cinematographers and photographers like the wonderful Scotty Welbourne and George Hurrell. My client knew that something changed in the portraits, an extra element that made them more special.”
Next stop for Sánchez: a winter shoot in Transylvania, Romania. “Portrait photographers should keep an open mind and welcome new opportunities,” he said. “This job will have new challenges and low temperatures for me and my equipment, and hopefully the daylight-balanced F8s will keep away the vampires during the dark nights.”