SUUNTO “Spartan” – freezing action in bright sunlight


For the next generation of multisport watches I was approached by Suunto to collaborate on the initiative image campaign of their new product Suunto „Spartan“.

The campaign intended to be as innovative and creative as the product itself and therefore Suunto came up with the idea to do a double exposure concept.


Hearing the idea got me really excited and I was happy to help working out and planning the photo production. Picking the right location, selection of models, planning of body positions, light setups and postproduction workflow kept us busy until the actual shoot.Suunto_Spartan_Running_man copy

When we arrived on Teneriffa we invested 2 full days for intense location scout and exploring the Island almost 100%. At night we set together to evaluate locations and make our final picks.

SUUNTO "Spartan" captured by Markus Berger

In general the goal was to get epic landscape images with an athlete small in the picture. Showing the loneliness that training can confront you with when you go out at crazy times or difficult tracks. At the same time the landscape should represent the beauty of the moment and inspirational environment.

We were shooting with a small team of 4 people to be able to move fast and get several locations and sports done within shorter time. Together we had 4 days of shooting and an additional day in the studio to create the scribbled key visual shots to combine with the action.

For moving that much and changing setups constantly the broncolor Move system offered the best option for me regarding light equipment. No distractions but being able to focus on taking images. The flash duration at high power settings enabled me to freeze action in bright sunlight which otherwise would have been a huge challenge.

Finally seeing the images coming out and being received so well makes me very proud. In general for me to see a fragile idea grow and turn into something big is the most beautiful thing about this job. Just because one believer can be enough to make a difference.

Making Of Images

SUUNTO "Spartan" captured by Markus Berger

About Markus Berger
I am a photographer from Austria specialized in action sports and commercial Photography. I have a sports freestyle background and like to bring that into photography. I strive to capture images that are creative but at the same time authentic and true. I like to embrace my inner child and take every shoot as new exciting challenge.

Panamá Broncolor Lighting Workshop 21,22 Oct 2016

El 21 y 22 de Octubre llevamos a cabo nuestro primer Taller de Iluminación Broncolor con un estudio de 75mts y modelos profesionales de la agencia Physical, nuestros participantes conocieron a fondo algunos esquemas de iluminación y también repasaron conocimientos básicos de la fotografía, practicaron en el estudio todo lo visto el día de teoría en un ambiente lleno de aprendizaje y buena vibra.


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by Jessica Keller

My challenge was to capture some images outdoor with only one light source and the Para 88. Before every photo shooting I ask myself, what do I want to get out of this shoot, what is my concept? I strongly believe that a concept should be preconceived and, if successful, understandable in the completed image.

It was clear that I wanted to create a powerful/expressive portrait outdoor. The location needed to be well searched and add to the whole atmosphere of the shoot. This time my model needed character, strong expressions and power – I was simply looking for a very fit and ambitious person. Amie was more than perfect for this shoot. Going through her wardrobe I quickly realised that even her clothes will match my idea and complete the whole image as such.

Without light I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal, so setting the right light, from the right angle, choosing the right light shaper were the most important factors to capture my photograph.

I had to deal with uncontrolled conditions and controlled conditions. Sunlight is hard to control, but I tried to use it in the best possible way to enhance my concept. My controlled light source was a Siros 800L and the Para 88 shaped the light. My goal was that the sun illuminated the one side of the model and the Para 88 was responsible for a spot like illumination.

Why Para 88?

By focusing the light source it’s strongly directional, rich in contrast, but due to the 88 cm diameter, not too hard. With less then 6 kg the Para 88 is a lightweight with a super compact design. It can easily be folded.. Overall the Para provides a very natural light, which helps to create realistic portraits.

Finally I made up my mind about the location, the clothing and the equipment and was almost ready to capture the right moments. First of all at the location I’ll shoot an image without flash, so I can see how the sun is influencing my photograph. Is it adding to the mood or killing it?


The sun illuminated one side of the athlete and I was able to work with large aperture and create a shallow depth of field, work with a very short shutter speed to freeze the action, but of course the right side was too dark. The Siros 800L in combination with the Para 88 was my solution. This light source helps to define the character of the shadow.

Using a flash on location will bring some very interesting challenges that are hard to control. We all know that the shutter speed controls the brightness of the background and the aperture controls the brightness of the light on the subject. We are facing a problem because of the flash sync. In my case I was being restricted to a shutter speed of 1/250 s in combination with f11 to get a nice illumination.

Lets have a look at the image:

  • jk_blog_hs_2

– Overpower the sun with more flash power

– Working with closed aperture meaning automatically deep depth of field

– Background boring because restricted to shoot with the flash sync

This image didn’t satisfy me.

My goal was:

– Use high shutter speed to freeze motion

– Overpower the sun with less flash power

– Overpower the sun when your flash is further away from the subject

– Working with open aperture to achieve shallow depth of field

– Create a moody background using faster shutter speeds

The only solution was photographing in HS mode and luckily HS is available now with our Siros L range. All Siros L contain the function HS. It allows you to work with short shutter speeds to underexpose the background and let the flashlight work its magic. The only thing you need is a RFS 2.2 to trigger the HS function. Make sure the HS function is activated on your Siros L and nothing stands in your way for an incredible photo shoot.

My experience was amazing. The photograph I captured was done with a shutter speed of 1/8000 s and f2. Finally the flash sync is not a limitation anymore, no, I’m able to use it in a creative way, it opened up a whole new world while shooting on location for me, disturbing backgrounds will disappear only because working with open aperture is a possibility and you have got a good chance to overpower bright sunlight.