Owing to my great friend Jenny, I got the opportunity to shoot 4 fun-loving ladies on the beach at Bournemouth on the bank holiday weekend. The shots were to be for promotional material for this dance group to use for publicity to promote some upcoming performances. As usual Jenny was a star for making minor adjustments to poses and similar tweaks that somehow escape me! Its interesting to see how we work differently and get quite different images of the same scene, partly down to our gear and partly down to our preferences.
It seemed like a great opportunity to be brave and bring out the Profoto B1 for a real job, so I packed one in the top compartment of a photo rucksack and travelled light with just a Nikon D600 and 50mm lens. Sand is a big enemy of any photo kit so I did not want to be faffing about changing lenses and putting bags down. I also wanted to work as fast as reasonably possible and so minimal camera kit seemed a good idea.
The ladies were great fun and very resilient considering that, although a beautiful day, there was a chilly snap in the air, especially approaching sundown. The shoot attracted the attention of a few passers by, unsurprisingly, most of whom were good-humoured!
The ladies knew what they wanted in terms of poses and attire so it was simply a process of suggesting some good locations where we could make the best of available light and add strobes where desired. Using the power of the B1 strobe, I was able to reduce ambient exposure to between 1 and 2 stops under by stopping down aperture at the max flash sync speed of 1/200 second and pop in some direct and quite dramatic light. I took no modifiers with me, so the B1 images were all with the bare flash head. The power of the strobe was liberating as it was capable of overpowering the ambient light in the late afternoon and could be moved back to a greater distance to give the necessary spread of illumination to light the group. It also created interesting long shadows as I mounted it no higher than waist high. Only on 1 or 2 shots did I use max power. Most were on 7.0 to 9.5 on the scale to 10, each full increment being a stop of light. On some exposures closer to 0EV it was used more as a fill.
Of course I was still in fully manual mode and to be honest found it pretty easy to nail a decent exposure. I am not familiar enough with the light yet to accurately guess a manual setting all the time, but was rarely significantly out and by the first or second shot usually had it where I wanted it. Having TTL will be a massive bonus for this kind of work as it will speed it up with the confidence that exposures will be right every time a setting, or the position or distance relative to the subject is changed. Even with patient subjects any reduction in time taken is a bonus. Seriously looking forward to the Nikon TTL trigger! After around 280 exposures the clip-in battery had only dropped one of its three bars, so pretty good to be honest.
Here are a few;
And this just happened when a group of passers by wanted to get involved!!