Profoto: The Light Shaping Retina Searing Company

Remember the guy who zapped words into German tourists' photos with his DIY flash projector gun?

Suffice to say when you swap out the speedlight for 4800 watt-seconds worth of Profoto Pro-7B, things can get a little more interesting.

(Tip via Joel)



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Blogger IsaacMTSU said...

That's awesome!

December 14, 2010 12:18 AM  
Blogger David.Capino said...

This reminds me of the time I accidentally shot myself in the face with a full power ring flash in the dark.

December 14, 2010 12:53 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

Is it what they call subliminal message ? Really good idea !

December 14, 2010 12:57 AM  
Blogger dath1974 said...

@David.Capino - At least I'm not the only one who's done some variant of the high-powered ring shot at close range. . . I wanted a larger ring catch for a self portrait and didn't have anything like a moonunit. . . 1/2 power on an ABR800 in a dark room at 2' isn't a good idea in retrospect;-> I could see the tube pattern very clearly for a little bit.

December 14, 2010 1:58 AM  
Blogger GT said...

Those aren't Profoto 7B's. They look like 7A's to me...

December 14, 2010 4:10 AM  
Blogger gretsch said...

BMW did the same sort of immersive thing for the (then) new Bi Xenon headlights where they raised the audience lighting and switched it off when the headlights turned off on the video. Very clever and memorable (which is what an ad should be, shouldn't it?).

December 14, 2010 4:58 AM  
OpenID andrewoa5 said...

Fortunately that's well known and illegal in Britain. Look up subliminal advertising

December 14, 2010 6:53 AM  
Blogger Bill Morgan said...

It's "interesting" from a photography point of view.

Doesn't anyone think it's scary at all?

Think of how this could be abused to plant seeds in a person's brain against their consent and knowledge that it's happened.

Just sayin'.

December 14, 2010 7:44 AM  
Blogger carlos neto said...


December 14, 2010 7:52 AM  
Blogger Bill Morgan said...

Photographically very interesting technique.

The uses of this without viewers permission or consent is more than a bit scary!

December 14, 2010 7:52 AM  
Blogger P. Bartlett Scott said...

It's interesting that it can be done
but I'm not sure it should be.

December 14, 2010 8:22 AM  
Blogger G3 said...

BMW S 1000 RR. I have GOT to get me some of THAT!

December 14, 2010 9:17 AM  
Blogger greenphoto said...

Isn't this akin to the old movie theater tactic to sell more popcorn, a single frame of a mouthwatering item would play during the movie hopefully sending everyone to snack counter. Supposedly didn't really work and I think may have been banned. Nice trick though on BMW's part.

December 14, 2010 10:38 AM  
Blogger Jakob said...

That's so cool. I mean more power to the commercials and less to the free will - who needs that cheap stuff anyway ;-)

December 14, 2010 11:25 AM  
Blogger Paul Bennett said...

Isn't that kind of subliminal advertising legislated against?

December 14, 2010 12:05 PM  
Blogger -FD- said...

That is a neat twist. Anytime BMW wants to install a 7B in the back of my television they are more than welcome!

As for it being subliminal messaging... not too sure about that. Subliminal messages purposely do not trigger conscious perception whereas the goal of this is very much for the viewer to be conscious of the "BMW" burned into their head.

December 14, 2010 12:43 PM  
Blogger Jason Anderson said...

There was a great podcast on how repeating patterns can carry over from your active consciousness to your subconscious a while back on Radio Lab (WNYC). The example given was music where if you practice something over and over and over, the next day you'll remember it because of the repetition. I am sure the same holds true for images as well.

When I was doing a school system deployment several years ago, the Windows logo and startup sound carried over into my dreams in an unusual way. Just goes to show the power that images can have on us, whether we are aware of their presence or not!

December 14, 2010 1:38 PM  
Blogger Bill Bogle, Jr. said...

What's next? A chip that gets inserted like a mosquito bite to send out the advertising images? Not as much Big Brother as Clockwork Orange.

December 14, 2010 1:49 PM  
Blogger Mike Roberts said...

It is considered a deceptive advertising practice in the US and is banned here, I believe.

December 14, 2010 2:44 PM  
Blogger wade_beard said...

I don't think it is technically subliminal if you can actually see what they are selling you. Subliminal is at or below your level of consciousness. Actually seeing the BMW in your closed eyes is pretty conscious and noticeable.

Very, very cool. I would like to have experienced it.

December 14, 2010 2:48 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

It reminds me of Tyler Druden in fight club.

In the middle of a kid's movie he would put a single frame of a giant c*ck.

Funny, yet so moraly wrong.

December 14, 2010 3:24 PM  
Blogger Steve Kalman said...

Props for the technology, but this is scary as heck. (Not my first word of choice).

Imagine what I could do as a trial lawyer when presenting a video to the jury. Float the word "guilty" or "not guilty" just before asking them to close their eyes and evaluate the "evidence"

December 14, 2010 3:32 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

As it is in Britain it is in the US, Illegal. Andrewoa5 is right.

Also to Greenphoto, it actually did work which is why they made it illegal in the US. But they did sell a lot of popcorn! For a little while.

December 14, 2010 3:57 PM  
OpenID yo-sarrian said...

For all the people scared of the "subliminal" nature of the advertising, keep in mind that subliminal advertising has been proven time and again to have no more effect than normal advertising. It doesn't make you want the product any more or any less than a normal ad does because contrary to popular opinion your brain just isn't THAT susceptible to believing things that it doesn't want to believe.

I think it's really cool, but I'm a little concerned from an optical health perspective.

December 14, 2010 5:12 PM  
Blogger junyo said...

Subliminal is at or below your level of consciousness. Actually seeing the BMW in your closed eyes is pretty conscious and noticeable.

At the risk of being "that guy", God thank you for grasping this.

This IS NOT subliminal advertising. They're not hiding the advertisement, or being deceptive. This is pretty standard advertising using a cool persistence of vision trick, which means it works on the same principle as the oh so sinister flipbook. Scary.

December 14, 2010 11:32 PM  
Blogger golftooter said...

If advertising wasn't effective we wouldn't be subjected to it on TV, or all over the internet. What company is going to spend big bucks on something they know doesn't work?

This method bothers me less than the subliminal messages put into movies because it is meant to be noticed. The law against subliminal messages is very specific and has been worked around numerous times.

December 15, 2010 1:50 AM  
Blogger DanW said...

Subliminal? Well technically yes since you don't perceive the message in the flash. But they turn it into a bad girl gone good (with apologies to Rihanna) by telling you it's there and to look for it! Hardly maliciously subliminal if you ask me. Scary, threatening, immoral, risk to free will? Potentially maybe, but I don't think so here unless you are predisposed to see things in that way. Cool and creative technique? Very! Do something similar yourself... in color. Get out your color wheel and Photoshop the US flag using the compliments of its colors. Stare at it for 30 seconds without moving your eyes. Close your eyes and see the flag in all of its red white and blue glory! But don't blame me for any subliminal patriotism you feel afterwards :)

December 15, 2010 12:08 PM  
Blogger mickeyjuice said...

Fortunately that's well known and illegal in Britain. Look up subliminal advertising

Perhaps taking some of your own advice might be in order here, BEFORE making comments like this.

The amount of incorrect commenting and conclusion-jumping in this comment stream is unreal.

December 15, 2010 1:06 PM  
Blogger Alex Kotlik said...

Cool idea. Great implementation! But I know a lot of people will be concerned about their eyes :)
As for me I don't like when somebody plays tricks on me :o) so I'd ban such type of ads ;)

December 15, 2010 10:31 PM  
Blogger Ray Abel said...

Without a doubt, subliminal. Probably not legal in the US. Very cool though.

December 16, 2010 9:43 PM  
Blogger contact said...

This is absolutely not a new concept or new brilliant idea. It's been done for decades (until prohibited) by Marlboro, Mars, Camel etcetc. WTF they invented the wheel again!

December 20, 2010 4:31 AM  
Blogger LOUDFAST said...

Subliminal advertising is not illegal in the US, precisely because it *doesn't* work.

December 29, 2010 7:52 PM  
Blogger Happy Photography Blog said...

awesome technique!

January 10, 2011 12:41 PM  
Blogger Parklife said...

This is sick. Would be nice if the technique would be used for something useful instead of advertising!

April 16, 2011 12:28 PM  

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