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In practice

Strobist & Lomo LCA

After the shooting of a Polaroid 1000 during the confinement of COVID-19, it’s time for a Russian camera, a small Lomo LCA.

To photograph the Lomo LCA I wanted to work in black by exploiting the color of the case to make a tone on tone. Black background and black case, but without taking out my studio funds; for this there is a very simple technique; this is the low-key.

Unlike the classic studio photo in which we often work with three or four light sources to illuminate the product on the one hand and the background on the other hand, the low-key consists of working with one or even two light sources to illuminate only the product and reveal a black background.

For this there are a few simple steps:

  1. Switch to manual mode, lower the exposure to the lowest (usually 50 or 100 ISO), set the speed to the highest compatible with flashes (usually 1 / 200th or 1 / 250th of a second) and choose an aperture that allows get a black image.
  2. Install a flash towards the subject and adjust the power to obtain a correct exposure of the subject. To avoid lighting up the background, it is a good idea to put a snoot on the flash. (To put a snoot on a cobra flash, Godox sells an S-R1 adapter and an accessory set the AK-R1 for less than 100 €)
  3. Depending on the result with a light source, we can add another to bring out shadows or underline contours.

That’s the principle. For the Lomo LCA I worked with two sources: flashes in manual mode (Neewer NW-561) triggered by Pocketwizard and I apply the good methods of the Strobist movement.

If you want to learn more about the Strobist movement, download the excellent Strobist 101 manual.


Before seeing the shot in itself, let’s quickly talk about material. It’s quite simple: a camera, two flashes with light modifiers, enough to trigger them and accessories.

In that case :


To create the light I proceeded step by step.

Main light

For the main light on the camera, the flash, fitted with a snoot, is positioned on the left, slightly diving. We see that the snoot lights up the Lomo LCA and nothing but it.

The light produces a shadow behind the lens cover.

Secondary light

To fill this shadow, I used a flash with reduced power and a flow cutter so as not to light the background. Initially I wanted to use a red filter to emphasize the contours of the device with a red light recalling its Soviet origin but impossible to get my hands on red gelatin, so I only warmed the light a little with an orange filter.

On the photo above, the flash illuminates the camera but also the background of the room, by placing a flux barrier to avoid revealing the background.


After removing the chrome support from the Lomo LCA, here is what we get:


Lomo LCA strobist
Lomo LCA

Nicolas Beaumont

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Nicolas Beaumont un photoreporter, réalisateur et rédacteur spécialisé dans la photographie sociale et humanitaire. La Croix-Rouge française, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex et Actusoins comptent parmi nos clients. Nous réalisons films, photographies et articles à travers le monde sur des sujets d’actualité : migration, guerre, déplacé, catastrophe naturelle, inondation etc…

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