Model photographed by Tim Bauer using the new Profoto B2 flash system..
Last week, L&P Digital Photographic had portrait masters like Tim Bauer and David Oliver testing out the new Profoto B2 flash system. It was interesting to watch them work - David because he was genuinely enjoying using flash, depite his affirmed love for natural light, and Tim with his secret weapon, a garden air blower used for hair, veils and anything else that moves.
The B2 is a small, portable, battery-powered flash pack (about the size of two small bricks) to which you can attach one or two flash heads and any light shaper you like. It means you can have studio-quality lighting anywhere and you're not tied to the mains power.
The new Profoto B2 flash system - it can be purchased with just one head,
or as a kit with two heads and an extra battery.
Of course, there are other portable flash units around with similar features, but none that I am aware of that give you full TTL flash control with Canon and Nikon DSLRs. The flash is fired remotely using a special transmitter/receiver (available separately) which link directly into the camera's exposure system to provide fully automatic control. If you want it.
I used a pre-production B2 system with a Canon DSLR last month and found the TTL flash worked brilliantly well, but it's hard to change experienced photographers around overnight and I saw both Tim and David using manual exposure control - simply because that's what they are used to.
While Tim and David had a host of L&P staff around to help, the Profoto B2 could be used on your own with a light stand, or your assistant can sling it over their shoulder and follow you around as you shoot. There are also camera brackets so you can mount the B2 flash head over your camera, put the B2 pack over your shoulder and you're self-contained.
Both David and Tim were shooting outdoors where they used the flash in conjunction with sunlight and ambient illumination.
And a blatant plug: if you want to learn all about portrait photography and lighting, David Oliver and I have a workshop coming up the weekend after next (21 and 22 March) and there are still places available. It's at David's studio in Pennant Hills - click on the links at the top of the newsletter for more information.
Clare Oliver photographed by David Oliver using the new Profoto B2 flash system.
Recently married, Clare was happy to give her wedding dress a second airing!