Emiliano Leonardi Photography | Flour Power!!

Flour Power!!

It is amazing how from a fun chat in front of beer, two can generate an ideas that grows into a crazy photo session!

Every monday a photography meet up takes place in Rostock. That is where I meet other photogs, either beginners or pros. What I find disappointing is the lack of initiative and it feels more like a show and tell kind of thing. I was talking to some there who actually had some ideas going one and started a wonderful exchange. 

Now being a father of two, finding time to do other things apart from work is hard. But there is always space for some photos!! So I try really had to get engaged and finally managed a slot where to fit a shooting session. The topic was chosen by one of the members of this community. I will not mention his name as he prefers to remain anonymous. He went on talking about some Indian Holi festival.

Click HERE if you would like to know more about it.

The most important thing about this festival was the colored powder flying in the air forming multicolored people walking and throwing this fog around. This "dust" could've been recreated with flour. How much is flour? 0.45 cents per kilo. And yes I bought 67 kilos of flour!

For starters 67 are way to many for what we wanted to do. Because thirty are still in my cellar and we shot so much with it!!

So I will proceed with my beloved 5W:

Who? The shooting session was thought by a friend (who prefers to stay anonymous) and I, backed up by three models from model-kartei and volunteers from a photography community in Rostock.

Originally the idea wasn't ours to start with, but it came from several videos of other photographers who have already attempted the same experiment.

When? What day it was doesn't matter, but we the time of the day might play a role. It was shortly past 1pm. The light that spilled from the windows helped at times, but created blown out flour powder which gave unwanted effects other times.

Where? We used a very popular location used by many in Rostock. It is located nearby the Ikea. Here is a map!

View Larger Map

We inside this abandoned building which I believe used to be a garage for trucks. Apart from being filthy, dangerous and dusty it is a really cool place to get some nice shots with grunge style backgrounds.

What? So my friend set up his prop and started shooting while I went with David to scout around the place. The assistants were learning how to throw the flour. Apparently you can get so many different effects depending on the way you throw it.

We used dustpans as you can see here.

Here is a picture of me playing with flour! Shot by Tom.

And here are Thomas and Gerd "exercising"(=playing).

Be warned! It was going to get messy so we were ready with towels for the models. From other videos I saw online it is not a very good choice to use water to get the flour off as it gets sticky and a lot more difficult to get off.

I would suggest to use the hands, towels or brushes.


Problem! So always by doing our researches on the net, we found out that flour is highly flammable and could cause explosions if in contact with heat or highly concentrated. Our location, being an old abandoned building, offered many open windows. 

Although the helpers had another idea in mind. Knowing that flour was flammable, the created a little fire in the middle of the room and then threw flour over it. You can imagine next!

Never EVER try this!! I was not convinced either. Although I had to shoot one!

This is what it looked like

Emiliano Leonardi

         The guy in the back was hilarious. Never afraid to go the extra mile to see if it comes out cool... :-)


Why? I believe that there needs to always an exchange. In this case I wanted to experiment something new and gained some interesting insights. Many have helped me realize this and I feel that I gave something back to them. They had fun just being there and having the chance to play with the flour themselves! They also had their chance to play with some of my gear and take their own shots.


All in all it was a fabulous day!


I know many want to see some more specific details about how it was shot. So if you are still interested in that kind of stuff feel free to email me!

Here is one I shot.

Emiliano Leonardi

A different version for our Facebook group

and some more edited on the go

09/05/13 Note:


Here is a fun slideshow I prepared for those who participated. Enjoy!


Haha! Anvedi! fighissimo! Ma quando the Ne torni a Roma a fa un workshop?
Ma c'è l'hai un blog in italiano?
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