Blog Image

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!

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…