Olle Bengtsson is a self-taught photographer from Sweden who currently lives in Paris. A few months ago he decided to quit his position as a graphic designer at the Parisian Advertising Agency to focus full-time on still life photography.

Photography has always been his passion, like many other creative people, but he realised nothing was ever going to happen as long as he stayed at the agency.

He took the bull by the horns and followed his heart. Olle is currently developing his portfolio, mainly by doing personal projects. As a starter in this business he shoots everything in his little apartment, a 33m space in the middle of Paris. Every time he shoots, Olle has to rearrange his living room in order to get enough space and make it a kind of “home studio”. The neighbor must surely love him by now. We asked him to show us one of his personal work he created with a bunch of Elinchrom ELC Pro HD compact flashes.

The result is something completely new, creative and full of color with abstract forms made by paint and water.


One day I bought an aquarium and started experimenting with different types of paint in water. I found this amazing high-density acrylic color from an old French brand called Pebeo. I tried dripping it, pouring it and even mixing it with other liquids. The photos looked nice but the result wasn’t really spectacular, and there were already too many photographers shooting just liquids in tanks.

My idea was to capture a paint explosion underwater from a water balloon full of air. It was a long process, I really had in mind to capture an interesting color structure as well as the beautiful metallic air shape, which only exists for a very brief moment. It’s a very fine line between chaos and control. I shot around 70 explosions and in the end only a few of them had the look I was aiming for.

Everything was done directly from the camera, except for some minor dust and bubble removal.


I knew I wanted to invest in good equipment already from the start. I was mainly looking for three things: fantastic light quality, flash duration and good value. I did a lot of research and came across the ELC Pro HD. It basically seemed to be the perfect flash for me. I bought two of them and it didn’t take long before I got myself another pair. I’ve actually prioritized this investment over upgrading my DSLR camera from 2005. I’m new to Elinchrom and I absolutely love them.


Two of the ELCs were positioned on each side of the aquarium to lighten the paint and two others were positioned on the background. I set the power to 3.0, primarily because it means a flash duration of 5000th of a second. I used the reflectors that came with the ELCs to get a crisp and hard light in order to make the air bubbles really pop out. And here is the result. Simple and explosive.

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