PHLEARN MagazineWhat Gear Does Fine Art Photographer Marek Wurfl Use to Make Painting-Like Photos?

What Gear Does Fine Art Photographer Marek Wurfl Use to Make Painting-Like Photos?

Traditional and fine art photographer Marek Wurfl has been gaining online recognition for his photos that look like oil paintings. Using lighting and posing techniques employed by traditional painters, Marek turns portraits into works of art. But, what exactly is needed to capture images that look like this? Here, we take a look at what’s in Marek’s camera bag.


Canon 5D Mark II

DSLR camera with 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and wide range ISO setting of 100-6400

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Canon 5DS R

50.6MP full-frame CMOS sensor, with dual DIGIC 6 image processors & low-sass filter effect cancellation

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I believe that creativity is the only tool that needs to be upgraded frequently. True to this, I’m still using my good old Canon 5D Mark II, definitely not the latest model, but I didn’t feel the need for a new one until recently. My next upgrade will very likely be to the Canon 5DS R because of the higher resolution, which means larger and sharper prints with more details.


Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

85mm standard lens with f/1.8 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras, Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom Lens

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Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Micro UltraSonic Motor (USM), Ultra-low Dispersion glass with Fluorite elements, inner focusing ring, telephoto lens

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

50mm standard lens with f/1.4 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras, Lens Type: Telephoto Zoom Lens

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My favorite lens is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, and I use it for most of my portraits. I like this focal length because on a 35mm sensor it gives almost the same perspective as the human eye. There are more expensive alternatives, but if you don’t need a 1.2 aperture, this lens is lightweight, super sharp, fast focusing, and I think, at this price level, it’s truly a gem.

When I want a slightly more distant feel to my portraits, I will choose the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM, amazing lens with exceptional sharpness and contrast.

On some occasions, I’ll use the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, mostly when shooting with daylight, because in this case, I prefer the higher contrast of this lens compared to Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM.


Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL

Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL Flash Head with 500Ws adjustable in 1/10 f-stop increments over a 9 f-stop power range

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Not only on location, but also in the studio, I prefer battery powered lights, because it allows me to quickly change position of the light, without worrying about cords. It simply saves time and gives me more freedom to experiment without distracting myself and my model. I choose the Profoto B1X because it’s compact, reliable and easy to operate. And I just love the Profoto OCF gels and grids.

Profoto Deep White Umbrella

Deep umbrella with soft white interior to provides more precise control

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Elinchrom Rotalux Octabox

175cm / 69″ Octabox studio lighting with silver interior, removable front and interior diffusers

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I love how Elinchrom Octaboxes create lighting that is soft, but crisp at the same time. I like to use it in combination with the Profoto Deep Umbrella White XL. It gives me this beautiful window light look. Both of this modifiers are lightweight and very easy to assemble, which for me is really important, as I often shoot without an assistant and assembling some other modifiers can be rather time-consuming and tiring.


Profoto backpack and Ortlieb Velocity backpack with F-Stop ICU.


Macbook Pro, Tether Tools cable, Wacom Intuos Pro.

Read our interview with Marek to find out more about the photographer and his stunning portraiture. You can also keep up with his latest work on his website and Facebook page.

Jennifer Berube

Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, where she helps shape inspiring stories and handy tips for aspiring and seasoned photographers. She has worked as a photography writer for many years, contributing to numerous industry-leading publications. Proudly Canadian, sometimes globetrotter, self-taught photographer, Jen is temporarily settled in Spain.

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