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See the light

About the blog

I'm a freelance photographer who's very interested in lighting. I do not know everything about light so feel free to comment if I get something wrong :-) I'm using Profoto gear and I'm a big fan of Profoto but I try to keep this blog as objective as I can haha!


This blog reflects only my personal thoughts and opinions!

How does HSS work

Light theory Posted on Sun, July 15, 2018 01:03:26

Here are the images from the live stream I did on Profoto’s Facebook page. We do this live stream every Wednesday at 17:00 Central European Time.

This episode was the seventh one and is also available on Youtube (https://youtu.be/3LUUNAJx7Qo).

https://youtube.com/watch?v=3LUUNAJx7Qo%3Frel%3D0
I went thru how HSS work, do’s and don’ts with HSS and Boost.

First, here is the animation of how the curtains move at flash sync speed when the whole sensor gets exposed to light at the same time vs 1/4000 when the curtains move at same time and only a thin part of the sensor is exposed to light.

Here are the images of a fan showing how HSS does NOT freeze motion and how a single flash can freeze motion.

This image was taken in ambient light of a stationary fan. Settings were: Aperture: f3.5, Shutter speed: 1/125, Iso: 250

This image was taken in ambient light of a moving fan. Settings were: Aperture: f3.5, Shutter speed: 1/125, Iso: 250

This image was taken in ambient light of a moving fan. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 5000

This image was taken HSS of a moving fan. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 160, flash power 8.7

This image was taken normal flash of a moving fan. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/125, Iso: 160, flash power 2.0

So, don’t use HSS to freeze motion. It’s the shutter speed that freezes motion and not the HSS flash. A single flash on the other hand can freeze motion much better than a fast shutter speed, no matter what flash you use.

Here’s a graph showing a regular flash in yellow, A1 HSS in red and the A1 HSS Boost in blue. You can see that the yellow regular flash is much shorter in time compared to HSS. You also see that the A1 HSS Boost (blue) gives four times more light compared to regular HSS (red).

Now, lets move outside and shoot in bright sunshine. First session with the sun in the back of the subject.

This image was taken in ambient light exposed for the face but the sky is burnt out. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/800, Iso: 100

This image was taken in ambient light exposed for the sky but then the face is too dark. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 100

This image was taken with flash at sync speed so I had to close the aperture to f14 so now the background is sharper. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/200, Iso: 100, flash power 8.0

This image was taken with flash HSS so I can open the aperture to f2.8 to get the background blurry. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 100, flash power 10.0

Now I’ve turned so the sun is shining on the face of the subject.

This image was taken in ambient light exposed for the sky. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 100

This image was taken with flash HSS and the flash is lightening up the shadows. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/8000, Iso: 100, flash power 10.0

This image was taken with flash HSS Boost and the flash is lightening up the shadows even more. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/8000, Iso: 100, flash power 10.0

Now back indoors to black out the background with HSS.

This image was taken in ambient light. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/125, Iso: 2000

This image was taken with flash HSS. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 100, flash power 10.0

This image was taken with flash HSS and a collapsible reflector to lighten up the shadows. Settings were: Aperture: f2.8, Shutter speed: 1/4000, Iso: 100, flash power 10.0

I hope this helps! Check out the Youtube clip (https://youtu.be/3LUUNAJx7Qo). Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

/Anders



A1 modifiers

Light theory Posted on Mon, June 25, 2018 12:17:41

Here are the images from the live stream David Bicho and I did on Profoto’s Facebook page. We do this live stream every Wednesday at 17:00 Central European Time.

This episode was the fourth one and is also available on Youtube (https://youtu.be/cbOggnGNnSg).

We went thru the different modifiers for Profoto A1 and their impact. Since you can zoom the A1 we have images for both zoomed in and out. The power loss is not really a power loss since it is all about how the light is spread out and I was only measuring one small spot in the middle. It is always the same amount of power and light but spread out in different ways. The flash was 2 meters from the wall and it was shot with a 24mm lens to include the whole light pattern.

This image is the A1 with no modifier at all and in the most zoomed in position.

This image is the A1 with no modifier at all and in the most zoomed out position.

This image is the A1 with the dome and in the most zoomed in position. You will loose 1 stop of power.

This image is the A1 with the dome and in the most zoomed out position. You will loose 0,5 stop of power.

This image is the A1 with the wide lens and in the most zoomed in position. You will loose 1,8 stop of power.

This image is the A1 with the wide lens and in the most zoomed out position. You will loose 1,2 stop of power.

I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

/Anders



Ambient vs flash vs HSS

Light theory Posted on Sat, May 20, 2017 22:03:24

Here are my observation when taking a portrait with blurry background outdoors in ambient light and adding a flash. I used a Profoto A1.
Most flashes have TTL (automatic light exposure Thru The Lens) and HSS (High Speed Sync allows flash sync at higher shutter speeds) but few uses them so I had to try to see what difference they do. I also used some simple accessories to shape light.
Model: Josefine Forsberg

Picture 1:
Ambient light and no flash
Settings: ISO 100, f2.8, 1/800s
Good exposure on talent but the sky is burnt out and boring.

Picture 2:
Ambient light and no flash
Settings: ISO 100, f2.8, 1/2500s
Here I bumped up the shutter speed to get the sky blue but then the talent is underexposed. Background is still blurry.

Picture 3:
Flash added
Settings: ISO 100, f14, 1/200s
Now I added a flash which forces the camera shutter speed to 1/200s so the aperture needs to be bumped up to f14. Good exposure on talent and background has blue sky but the background is sharper due to aperture f14. There is a typical “flashy” feel to the picture with highlights in the face.

Picture 4:
HSS turned on
Settings: ISO 100, f2.8, 1/2000
With High Speed Sync I can sync the flash even with faster shutter speeds. Now I get a good exposure on talent and the background is blurry with blue sky.

Picture 5
HSS flash with a dome
Settings: ISO 320, f2.8, 1/2000
I added an accessory to diffuse the light on talent keeping the background blurry with blue sky. Very natural feeling to the light and the sun created a halo effect around the talent. The diffusor required more light so I bumped up the ISO.

Picture 6:
HSS flash, Profoto A1 with Soft Bounce.
Settings: ISO 320, f2.8, 1/3200
Softer light on talent and background is blurry with blue sky. This did not require as much light as the diffusor so I bumped up the shutter speed. Alternatively I could have taken down the ISO to 100.

As always when you work with light there is no right or wrong. It’s all about what mood or feeling the photographer wants to create but it’s good to know what happens when you use specific settings or functions so that you faster can create what you want smiley



New OCF Reflectors

OCF - Off Camera Flash Posted on Sat, May 20, 2017 12:22:19

So… I finally got started with a blog to write about my favorite topic Lighting.

I just got hold of the new OCF reflectors from Profoto and tested them against the wall so I can see how the zoom function impacts the light picture and how they compare against the standard Zoom and standard Magnum reflectors when they are mounted on a flat front monolight i.e. Profoto B1.

The setup was very simple, I put the light at 2 meters away from the wall and the camera with a 24-70mm lens on a stand 1 meter behind the light. I shot a picture at every zoom position (4-8) and made an animated GIF to show the effect.

I found the OCF reflectors much more effective since they are designed for the flat fronts that already have the built-in reflector. The OCF Zoom reflector gives you one f-stop more making a Profoto B1 equal to 1000Ws and the OCF Magnum reflector gives you two f-stop more making a Profoto B1 equal to 2000Ws. More than enough power for most of my type of shoots smiley

The size is really small on both of these and the OCF Zoom reflector can even be mounted on the B1 and still fit in the bags that the flashes come with.
For those of you who wants a grid or filter holder or snoot etc. the standard reflectors will still be available with all the modifiers you want. These OCF reflectors are optimized to be small and for the mobile warrior out there so there are no grids, shoots, filter holders etc making you bulky again.

If you want more technical data like exact size etc. go to Profoto’s B1X webpage

If you read Swedish I strongly recommend you to go to Stefan Tells blog (http://www.stefantell.se/blogg/2017/05/profoto-b1x-test-recension/) where he has posted an objective review of the B1X with the OCF Zoom reflector.

You will find my animated pics here:

Next step is to compare how the OCF Magnum reflector on a B1 looks like compared with a standard Magnum on a ProHead. Coming soon…