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In practice

Strobist & Polaroid 1000

The advantage of confinement is that there is time to take still life photos, in this case a Polaroid 1000.

COVID-19 led me to do various reportages on the management of COVID-19 suspect patients; but not only. I brought out some cameras to photograph them. Of course if we only count on the light of March; the result is, how to say, a little disappointing!

So we set up a few flashes and hop on the way to a much more flattering photo for this case from 1977. Little identity card of this classic:

Type:Intégral SX-70
Year of manufacture:1977
Lens:103mm / 1 plastic element
Shutter:Electronics with cell
Speeds:Automatic exposure
Le Polaroid 1000

To take a picture of it, I use autonomous flashes and apply the good methods of the Strobist movement.

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


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

En ce qui me concerne :

Using a telephoto lens provides a nice depth of field easily.


To create the light I proceeded step by step.

The main light

For the main light on the camera, I chose to slightly offset the Polaroid to the right of the frame and I positioned a flash with a snoot directly on the Polaroid.

The secondary light

To light the opposite side of the Polaroid, I used a low power flash. I warmed up the light a bit with an orange filter.

The background light

To create a soft and slightly magical background, I use an old technique like photography. A flash illuminates transparent and shiny objects. The large aperture of the lens transforms reflections into diffuse light points. To have warm reflections, I use a strong orange filter.


An image is better than a long speech, here are 2 images; before and after a slight chromatic retouching.

To go further


Light setup
Light setup


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Nicolas Beaumont is a photojournalist, director and writer specializing in social and humanitarian photography. Among our clients are the French Red Cross, Emmaüs, Handicap International, Secours Mag, Dimatex, Actusoins. We make films, photographs and articles around the world on current topics: migration, war, displaced, natural disaster, flood etc...

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