Profoto Tag

I'm going to write a column for you, not for me. Normally I just write on the stuff I want and you get to read over my shoulder, but in this case it's for you. In the Stirling Street shop mooching about for a topic, and the new Profoto B10 Plus was suggested. Thats the unit you see next to the B 10 in the heading image - the longer of the two. I knew a little about the B10 from a launch that CE did of it a while ago - and then brushed up on the basic specs from the Profoto site. Note: if ever you wanted to know about studio and field strobe photography, the main Profoto web site and modifiers catalogue will tell you. Be prepared to spend time, if not money, on reading the advertisement part of it, but concentrate on their careful explanation of what their reflectors, softboxes, grids and fresnels do. It is one of the best and most logical illustrated guides I've ever read - and has busted a few of the misconceptions about...

I have permission to tell you this tale - from the principal in the story. A noted international photographer who lives in Perth worked hard all day - indeed he works hard every day because he is good at what he does and the people who buy photography buy it from him. Anyway, he went home in his car and unloaded it. But due to the hard working day and the need to continue that hard work with the post - processing, he had a little lapse of memory - he left a bag of Profoto portable studio strobes in his car. Don't judge him - we all forget sometimes. He was awoken next morning by the neighbour telling him that his car had been damaged. Indeed - a back window stove in by some random thief and that bag of Profotos gone...

I asked myself this question as I shot a few reportage pictures for the recent Boxing Special at the Photo Live 2018. There were plenty of photographers around the ring with plenty of cameras but few of them besides me seemed to have flash guns in operation. As I am a relic, I wondered if the flash had become a relic too. It all started when the Nikon D3 cameras came into the shop in the 2008-2009 period. it seemed that you could boost the speed of the sensor to impossible heights and that no—one ever need use a flash any more. A couple of staff members and customers with the cameras were taking them into dimly-lit night clubs and returning with fabulously bright pictures. My cameras could not do these high ISOs without terrible colour noise so I settled for lower speed and speedlight flash. And worked my way through various combinations of good old flash, bad old flash, good new flash, and bad new flash. I'm about evenly balanced between the light and dark right now, but I have no...

Okay, let's cut to the punchline straight away. I want one of these. If you are a photographer who shoots weddings, shows, portraits, fashion, or editorial, you want one - or two - as well. Stefan Gosatti does all these things and he's just had a chance to test out the new Profoto B10 over the last few days. He's rapt with them, his pictures prove that they work like a locomotive, and he's spending some of his own money to buy some. He showed us how it all works last night at the Northbridge Hotel - courtesy of Camera Electronic and CR Kennedy. The unit has the classic Profoto mount and controls in a body the size of a large soup can. The style has the sort of Scandinavian slickness that we used to see with B&O and Sonab.  There's a classic Profoto glass diffuser on the front and the large illuminated LCD panel at the back. The lump on the side's the lithium-ion battery. The light stand mount on the bottom is detachable - there is provision to swing any of...

I am a little restricted this week in my typing, being reduced to the right hand and two fingers of the left one - there has been a slight accident in the Little Workshop* and it will be several weeks before the bandages come off. There may be some typographical errors in the meantime. I shall therefore use the facilities of Science and Industry and the spare time of convalescence to answer some questions that have arisen recently. To start with - how good are the portable LED light banks that have been flooding the market? How much light do they actually put out in comparison to other sources? What is the colour temperature of it? What is the spread of the light? Are they a viable alternative to flash? To determine the answers I have brought four different product off the shelf and tried them against a standard studio monolight and a speed light flash. The trials were done at night in the same studio environment that normally sees dancers or toy airplanes - in this case it is the slightly more...

This post is pretty much a cut and paste copy of one I wrote for my own photography blog. I don't normlly plagiarize myself but the whole thing worked out so well that think it can help other people. Here goes:   For years I've been flashing in public. Never arrested for it, I'm proud to say, and in many cases paid good money to do it. It is one of the job advantages of being an event photographer. Of course I flash in the studio too, but no-one ever takes any notice. At the dance shows I cover - the Middle Eastern-flavoured haflas - there is always a good deal of wild colour in the costumes and makeup. The venues are less bright, however, and in some cases the lighting rigs are unbalanced. I've discovered that flash illumination is a good way to overcome this, and I have purchased portable speed lights for my various cameras. These got smaller and more sophisticated as time went by and are little computer powerhouses now. A recent failure of the new flash, however, left me in...

I love photo lights. From the simplest wind-up pocket flashlight to the most expensive studio power pack and heads, I think they are just great. Because I have a simple philosophy when it comes to images - things look better if you can actually see what they are. Those of you who deal in mystery, darkness, underexposure, and lack of focus are welcome to it - I want light on the subject. So I use monolight strobes in the studio and speedlights in the field. Elinchrom and Fujifilm respectively. The former are perfect as they are fed from the mains power and recycle almost instantly. They have massive power and any number of light modifier reflectors and softboxes. They are fully adjustable by simple means - slider controls in the back of the heads and simply moving them back and forth on their studio stands. There are modelling lights to suggest what the actual flash is going to do. ( Though like all suggestions they are open to suspicion...

You must never let me alone with photographic equipment that I haven't seen before. The temptation to paw over it, twist every control, open every flap is overwhelming. I suspect it is the same for other people who are enthusiastic about photography - like kids in a toy store we must just touch and feel everything. We're lucky we don't set fire to more things than we do...

If you've been following the series this week on reflectors in the studio, you'll probably wonder what we have that second head in the two-head Profoto or Elinchrom set. Well this when - when you need to throw fill light in from a distance and you can't get a reflector to do it. Or when you need to flood a subject with light entirely. I won't go into lighting rations for several reasons: a. I don't understand them. After 1:2 the only rule of thumb I know is buckle my shoe...