For years I have contemplated the idea of investing in a portable lighting kit with a battery powered pack which I could use off the beaten track and also in an indoor environment. Finally I’ve taken the plunge and purchased a light weight Off-Camera Flash system by Profoto for the mobile photographer, the Profoto B2 250TTL Location Kit.
The entire kit fits in a bag no larger than your average shoulder bag and is surprisingly lightweight which makes it perfect for on location photography. The Location Kit comes with 2 flash heads and each Profoto Off-Camera Flash heads have built-in reflectors which creates a wide spread of light. But what happens when you add one of the many light shaping tools Profoto have to offer? I put them to the test with the help of model and actress Lucy Scarfe on a shoot in my home studio.
Above: This retouched and cropped image was shot using just one flash head and a Profoto 2' OCF Octabox. The image below is the unedited shot, taken from Adobe Lightroom.
Below: The same image after retouching.
Image below is an unedited image using Profoto Umbrella Deep Silver - small + Diffuser and a second light with 10° OCF Grid for hair light. The lighting set-up used is often referred to as Rembrandt where the light creates a triangle of light on the face.
Below: Another retouched image of model Lucy Scarfe using the Profoto B2 Location Kit.
As you can see from the image below, our subject, Lucy, was positioned close to the backdrop, I used a white polystyrene sheet to her right as a reflector and positioned a Profoto flash high and to one side, approx 45° to her left. I also used the second flash fitted with a 10° OCF Grid for a hair light.
I wanted to create a simple lighting set up where I could quickly change the OCF modifiers and compare the results. All 7 set-up shots took only 15 minutes. It's amazing how easy it is to change them, even setting up the Octabox from flat and attaching it to the speedring can be achieved in just a couple of minutes. For the following images I turned off the rear hair light (seen above) so only shooting with the one single light source. Power on the B2 was set to 8.5, camera settings on my Canon 5D MKIII were 1/160, f11, ISO 100. Below are the unedited results.
Set up 1 - 2' OCF Octabox
Set up 2 - Built-in Profoto reflector, no additional modifiers.
Set up 3 - Profoto B2 Umbrella Deep Silver with diffuser.
Set up 4 Profoto B2 Umbrella Deep Silver-small without a diffuser.
Set up 5 - Profoto OCF Grid Kit
Profoto B2 with 30° OCF Grid
Below when using the OCF Grid Kit the spread of light is significantly reduced creating a much moodier image and harder light.
Set up 6 - Profoto B2 with 20° OCF Grid.
Set up 7 - Profoto B2 with 10° OCF Grid.
Below: Retouched image. Profoto 2' OCF Octabox and 10° Grid for hair light
Below unedited image. Lit with an Umbrella + Diffuser as the key light and a 2' Octabox as a fill light positioned to the models right we then went on to create a series of fashion images, and I can't wait to share them with you soon!
Images below: Final retouched fashion shots.
Image below: Before and After Photoshop Retouching
I'm really pleased with my new kit and have already used it on a few commercial photoshoots but I really can't wait to put it through its paces on one of my many Fantasy Art Photography shoots I have coming up this year. I hear there's a Profoto B1 Location Kit, without cords and cables, now that would be nice!
Thanks to the lovely and brilliant model Lucy Scarfe for all her help. Lucy can be booked via her website www.lucyscarfe.com
To find out more about the Profoto B2 and OCF Light Shaping Tools, please visit their website profoto.com
Please do not use images without written permission.