All posts tagged: off camera flash

Transformation

Came across this fascinating digital painting that was based on one of the outtakes from the 2016 “fisherman” shoot with Michael Lynch for the Pentax K-1 exhibition. UP! from hashem alshaer on Vimeo. Michael was mugging for the camera and staring wildly at the sky. The digital painting version transforms the picture to a whole new level. Here’s my finished photo of the wild seafaring Michael.

Off Camera Flash with the Profoto B2

During the 2017 Kyoto Workshop it was great that I could introduce new pieces of equipment and techniques to others in the group.  One of these was the Profoto B2 Off Camera Flash System. This strobe allows me to add light to my images to make the subject pop a little more and add catchlights to the eyes. I also use it to fill in shadows. In the featured image taken at Fushimi Inari Shrine I used the Profoto B2 with no modifier, while the image taken at the Philosopher’s walk below (right) was with a shoot-through umbrella. The system works really well. Dividing the head and the battery pack makes life for the assistant easier as holding a B1 light on the end of a pole can be top heavy. The option to use the pack with two lights is useful, and also gives you redundancy if a flash bulb stops working.  I used the Profoto Air Remote triggers with my Pentax cameras, as there is still no Pentax TTL/HSS trigger (unlike Canon, Nikon …

100 Kobudo Kata Challenge at the Karate Kaikan, Okinawa

A few pics from today’s 100 Kobudo Kata Challenge at the new Karate Kaikan in Tomigusku, Okinawa. The event was organized by James Pankiewicz of the Dojo Bar in Naha. The welcoming message was given by Toshimitsu Arakaki, 10th dan Matsubayashi-ryu karate. Participants spent 2 to 3 hours performing a hundred kata with various weapons including bo staff and sai. Congratulations to all that took part, it was great to see people actively helping keep Okinawan traditions alive. I also got to take a few new “Beyond the Dojo” pics of Arakaki sensei outside of the new Karate Kaikan building. Arakaki-sensei demonstrates a technique with two sai, while also reminding me that “Iron Fist” isn’t just something from comic books.   Gear: Pentax 645Z with 25mm lens. Profoto B1 with softlight reflector white.

Medieval Studio Workshop

A fun day at the medieval studio workshop. Charles brought his armor with surcoats of the Knights Hospitaller, a crusader and his family crest. Charles competes in the “Armored Combat League” where you wear historically accurate armor, and then fight with blunted weapons. Images were shot using variations of natural light, a single Profoto B1  strobe outdoors, and multiple studio strobes indoors. I used the Pentax 645Z with either the 90mm or 55mm lens. Charles also brought another one of his military uniforms, this one from a galaxy far far away. Huge thanks to Charles for bringing all his gear, I learned a huge amount about medieval and scout trooper armor!   Good luck in your next armored combat league battle.

From Princess to Queen

Last Saturday I had a great location / studio shoot with Kelley. Kelley’s husband gave her a portrait session as a Christmas present and she had some magical ideas about what she’d like to do.  Her initial idea was to be a queen for a day, but with a change of outfit and makeup we realized we could first shoot softer images of “the princess” before turning to the dark side as “the queen”. Cosmos fields are blooming at the moment so they made a beautiful background. I shot with the Pentax 645Z along with the 90mm and 300mm lenses. For light I used the Profoto B1 with a softlight reflector white. After the softer images, makeup artist Audra Pesicka switched the hair and makeup to the second look. We first shot in the studio with a simple 3 light studio setup. ( Profoto D2 with beauty dish, and a Profoto 7a generator to 2 proheads in 1×4′ softboxes.) Then we headed out to the village of Bise and its roads lined with Fukugi trees. …

Pentax K1 -Fisherman

A visit by friend Mike Lynch is always a great photo opportunity because he looks fantastic and tolerates my crazy ideas. Ideas such as making him stand outside on a bright sunny day wearing a sou’wester and bring sprayed with water. Gear used: Pentax K1 with 28-105mm lens at 105mm      1/4000 sec f6.3 ISO 100 Priolite M-Pack 1000 HotSync strobe with white beauty dish full power In most cases when shooting with strobes your shutter speed is restricted to the maximum sync speed of the camera. This is usually around 1/200 sec or 1/125 sec. In turn this then forces you to shoot at small apertures or with dark neutral density filters to control the amount of light.  The Priolite system however has a long enough flash duration that you can sync with fast shutter speeds such as 1/4000 second. With a standard strobe the water droplets would be frozen by the very short duration of the flash, with the Priolite system they are frozen by the short duration of the shutter. Thanks to …

Channeling Michael Bay

It’s only when I start looking through images in Lightroom that I notice that I’m picking up certain habits while shooting. When using the Profoto B1 strobe, I tend to position it off to my right and a little higher than the subject. For natural light portraits I usually have eye contact, but with off camera flash I seem to prefer them looking out of the frame towards the light. The unexpected result is that several of the images look like stills from a Michael Bay movie. All you need in the next frame is an asteroid, an autobot, or an alien spaceship.

Narihiro Shinjo with the Profoto B1 on location

After taking the studio images against the black background for the Karate Masters Portrait Project, I asked Shinjo sensei if we could walk down to the beach and get a few location portraits. I unplugged, then packed up the Profoto 7a generator and pro head I’d used in the dojo, and grabbed the new Profoto B1 battery powered head and the beauty dish. Set ambient exposure for the desired background then light up the subject with the flash. On location lighting with a bit of punch 🙂

Profoto B1 Review

What is it? The Profoto B1 500 AirTTL, a powerful flash you can take on location. It’s like a cordless version of the Profoto D1 monolight.  Power comes from a lithium battery pack. 500Ws makes it approximately 10 times more powerful than a speedlight. Clever electronics allow you to control the output accurately over 9 stops (full to 1/256). The lithium battery gives enough power for 220 full power shots. It’s also capable of operating in TTL mode with certain cameras. Flash duration is also rapid. A Profoto radio trigger is integrated into the head. Accepts Profoto’s light shaping modifiers. Why did you buy one?  Power and a fast recycle time so that on location I can balance ambient light with flash to create both the shot I want, and also capture the moment after. The high capacity of the lithium battery means I’m not going to run out of juice during a standard shoot. As with all Profoto equipment the head is designed around a cylinder approximately 10cm in diameter. This means all my heads from …

Off Camera Flash Workshop – December 7 & 8, 2013

Off Camera Flash Workshop Move your flash away from your camera to create more natural images or to give your photographs a drop of magical light. December 7 & 8 2013 1PM to 6PM Class Size: Max 12  Location: Ishikawa, Uruma City, Okinawa (Maps and pins will be sent out) Instructors: Pete Leong & Chris Willson Price US$150   To book a place on the course please email me on chris(at)travel67.com I will send you a paypal request for the class fee. Payment secures your place on the course. Pete uses off camera flash everyday as an wedding photographer. He can use it to overpower the sun, and create flattering light for the bride and groom. He’s very good a what he does, and a great person to learn from. On the first day we will talk about the different types of strobes and how to get the most out of them on and off camera. The second day we will move from TTL to manual flash control, and from wired to wireless triggers. At the end …