Monday, July 6, 2015

High Speed Sync – Attempt #2

High Speed Sync – Attempt #2

Failed Attempt

My first attempt at using high speed sync in midday beach shoot was a fail. At f/2.8, iso 50, 1/8000 the sky was the perfect deep blue tone I’d like it to be. The flash power of my 500ws Profoto B1 strobe wasn’t enough. The subject was underexposed.

High Speed Sync

I won’t get into the technical side, but in summary, most modern cameras and shutters (I’m shooting a Canon 5dmk3) the sync speed is 1/200, anything faster there will be black bars on the bottom of the image. With high speed sync it allows you to shoot up to the limit eg. 1/8000 without any issues. My einsteins had Hypersync, which allows you to shoot that fast but only at 1/1 full power. I didn’t get a chance to try it out. You can use ND filters to try to keep the shutter speed at 1/200 or under. This is my typical technique but I usually run into some issues with tinting in the ND filters or it’s so dark I can’t see through them properly.

As mentioned above my first attempt at HSS didn’t work, my 500ws strobes didn’t have enough juice. I believe you lose 1-2 stops of power using HSS mode on the B1’s and it only works at 8-10/10 for power. From my guess, my first attempt, I’m about 1-2 stops under exposed on the subject. So for my second attempt, I tried using the Profoto wide zoom reflector which adds I’m guessing 1-2 stops of power of light. So hoping this might be my solution for my HSS attempt.

The settings

The day was hot, I’d say over 34 degrees (registered 37 degrees on my car) bright midday sun, not ideal for shooting. I tried the technique at the end of my shoot, knowing I’ve got the key shots I wanted first before playing around with my gear knowing there’s a chance it won’t work.

The setup

Here’s an image of Sarah, sun slightly behind her to the left side of the camera. (my usual technique). The profoto B1 strobe left side of her, front with the wide zoom reflector. The camera settings are:  f/2.8, iso 50, 1/400, 3 stop nd filter, Profoto B1 strobe with HSS activated. TTL worked perfectly and she’s properly exposed. The wide zoom reflector boosted the light power enough for the exposure. The background is properly exposed to the feel I was looking for.

The Image

Of course the other alternative is to shoot at golden hours (an hour before sunset or before sunrise) but with a small child, I can’t schedule these night shoots all the time.

Next post, I’ll post more about the images from this shoot.
Until next time!

Ray out!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Triggering the Profoto B1 lights with Canon 600ex-rt’s via yn-622C

Triggering the Profoto B1 lights with Canon 600ex-rt’s via yn-622C


Since purchasing my Profoto B1 lights, I do miss multiple light setup’s indoors for studio shooting. I can’t really afford another one or two Profoto B1 yet so I thought it would be awesome to be able to use the b1’s with the Canon 600ex-rt’s together. The B1 will still be the main light, but the Canon 600ex-rt’s will be enough power for so sort of rim lighting. 

The Issue
The Profoto TTL Air remote sits on top of the camera’s hotshoe so there isn’t a pass through for the Canon ST-E3 (I’m using the YN-ST-E3 instead) and the St-E3 doesn’t have a pass through hot shoe either. I could use the optical slave on my B1 and use the 600ex-rt to trigger it, in fact, I did on an night engagement shoot recently. It’s a waste to use my B1 as an optical slave flash, so I wanted a solution where the B1 to still be my main key light.

The Solution
I should have kept the Pocket Wizard TT5’s and TT1’s as this could have resolved my issue but I was on a selling spree of my Einsteins and someone wanted to buy my 2 TT5 and 1 TT1 Pocket Wizard triggers. After selling them, I realized, maybe I should have kept them.

I did some research and a one particular article mentioned the YN-622C triggers will work (with ETTL or manual mode). I’m sure there are other triggers that will work and have a pass through hotshoe without ttl. But TTL’s so convenient. I went on and searched for the YN-622C triggers, and Cowboy Studios Canada had a pair for $85. That’s a fraction of what one single pocket wizard tt5 would cost.

It arrived at my door about 4 days later and I had a chance to test it out today. It didn’t work!!!!, when I pressed the test button, it’ll trigger the air remote and trigger my b1, but when it’s mounted on my Canon 5dmk3, the signal wasn’t getting passed through. I did some manual reading, google research, then I realized one thing, the Profoto Air TTL remote kept going into HSS mode. So with that, I turned off the HSS mode on my camera flash setting and BAM everything works.

The YN-622C transceiver is sandwiched between the Profoto Air TTL remote and the camera. I did a few quick tests and everything is working perfectly. The advantage of having the Canon 600ex-rt as a kicker or rim light is, it’s super light weight, and I don’t need a heavy duty light stand, which I can move around freely, especially when I am shooting a portrait session outdoors solo without an assistant.

The real test will be on Sat. when I try out a  shoot with the 2 light setup. I do have 2 Canon 600ex-rt’s so I’ll need to purchase 1 or more YN-622C transceiver. The Canon 600ex-rt wireless system with the ST-E3 works perfectly fine but I needed a way to combine two systems together with the Profoto lights.

The Future
I’ll be purchasing two more YN-622C transceivers later (at $85 CAD + $5 shipping, it’s a great deal) and I’ll be trying out some YN-600-ex-rt’s for $150 CAD at a fraction compared to the Canon 600ex-rt’s at a retail of $550 CAD + taxes. I’ll be keeping my two Canon 600ex-rt’s but will try to add 2 YN-600ex-rt’s and see how they fit.

Inside the studio, multiple flashes are a lot of fun to play with. Outdoors, it’ll be mainly my Profoto B1 and I’ll try it with the 600ex-rt also as a rim light.

I’ll report back after my next shoot to see how things work with this two light setup and how the triggers are with this hybrid system.

Ray out!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Faye photoshoot @ Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond

Faye photoshoot @ Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond

Wow it’s been almost two years since I’ve last shot with Faye. Always a pleasure shooting with her. It was quite windy that day so her hair was everywhereJ. We tried three different looks. First was a top with a maxi dress bottom, second was with a shorts bottom, third look was in a bikini top and bottom and one bonus look was bikini top with a maxi dress bottom.

If I were going to do this shoot again, I’m going to start to aim for shooting more at sunset. Shooting at noon isn’t the best idea, unless there’s lots of shade.

Technical: Used my new lights, Profoto B1 with a 22” Kacey Beauty Dish (non socked), shot mostly in ttl and gave HSS a try. The conditions were pretty harsh as we started shooting right at noon. The sun was blazing and the beach is pretty much, sand and sky, no shade or covering at all. I wasn’t able to tame the sun as I would like, shooting at f/2.8 or f/2.0 iso 50 I needed about 1/640th of a second to darken the sky, but the strobe in HSS wasn’t powerful enough to light the model. Probably by about 2 stops. I’ll have to seriously give HSS a test again shortly.

The TTL feature worked flawlessly, gave me accurate exposure readings on the first shot then switched to manual to adjust the power up or down to my preference. This allowed me to adjust the power to my taste. Tried a few walking shots and the TTL worked flawlessly.
I can’t wait to try some of the hard light reflectors like the Magnum or the Wide Zoom for a different look. But I might save that for in studio shots.

behind the scene shot

thanks for looking


Jenny photoshoot @ Bill Reid Park

Jenny photoshoot @ Bill Reid Park

I haven’t shot in a while but it was great shooting with Jenny and meeting her and her 2 sisters. Her sisters were quite funny and kept us quite entertained. We shot in pretty harsh conditions but loved how the photos turned out. (I’m going to aim more for sunset and golden hour photos soon.)  This was my second shoot of the day as my time’s really limited with trying to spend more time with my son.

The shoot: Using my favorite technique which is my beauty dish socked like a solid softbox on my Einstein lights. This is my last shoot ever using these lights as I’ve sold them off for something else. We tried a few different looks on the covered stage, in the field and beside a little pond.

Post processing: I’m a sucker for VSCO film packs and post processing, especially using the Kodak Portra series without the grain. The sky is blown out, unfortunately couldn’t tame the sky well enough. Otherwise, using studio lights and a softbox modifier, the results straight out of the camera are quite pleasing.

Here are some of the photos from the series. Great shoot and I had a lot of fun. Loved the photos from this series.

Thanks for looking