Off camera flash



After a while the blog posts reappear. The pause has been due to my collaboration with the Profoto blog, a brand for which I am an ambassador. The first post I did for the brand coincided with the arrival of Spring. I thought of making a photograph that would somehow commemorate this season, when nature wakes up from the long sleep that occurs in winter and a warmer, more pleasant air is breathed.

lighting scheme I

A girl “lying” on the water, as if she were in a shallow pond, seemed to me to be an idea that could illustrate very well the feeling I wanted to convey. For this we set up a kind of pond with a resistant black plastic. The airtightness was good but the background color was not adequate. We then placed a blue canvas that “looked” like the bottom of a swimming pool, although the texture of the canvas was distracting. Then in post production we remove its texture.

The first image was made only with a small octagonal window, 60 centimeters in diameter. Since the shot wasn’t very open and the focus was on the face I was already doing well with the light concentrating on her face and losing power as it moved away from the face, creating a beautiful, very natural looking light.
The day was clear and the sunlight was very harsh and powerful. The first thing I did was to place a diffuser surface over the “watertight” to reduce the influence of sunlight on the set. Then I placed the window almost zenithally, a little from behind to achieve some volume on the model’s face.

For the second photo, I placed a second flash to the left of the camera with a rectangular light box and a blue jelly inside. The Profoto OCF gelatin kit is very easy to assemble and features the most popular colors in use. On this occasion I applied a CTB (color temperature blue) gel to “set” the dominant color on the face with the background color of the “pool”. In both cases I worked with Profoto B1 flashes for the convenience of working wirelessly on such a set.
The second spot of light fulfilled the task of being an effect light on her hair and face, slightly tinting her skin blue. Because it was a soft light source, it did not cast shadows on the face and evenly distributed the bluish hue. The light produced by this effect light was one step below the power of the main light produced by the small octagonal window.

Finally I opened up the framing a bit and complemented her clothes with white accessories to have more textures in the final image.

To take advantage of the session I took a second photograph with the model standing against a slate wall. The wall was very dark so I decided to wet it and produce glitter around his head. I again used the small octagonal window to achieve a circular glow.

Since the photograph was taken outdoors, I took advantage of some of the natural light to act as a fill light for the light produced by the eighth window. For this I worked with a not very fast shutter speed and with a somewhat open diaphragm.

Finally, I wanted to take advantage of the session and test the Profoto Monolights D2 and their high shutter speed. With its ability to freeze action at speeds up to 1/63,000 of a second, the D2 redefines the concept of speed for compact flashes. But we will try it with another subject as after a few photos the model felt very cold and we decided that these photos were better left for the summer.

lighting scheme of a photograph of a girl floating in the water

lighting scheme I


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