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Flash and Studio Lighting Equipment, Techniques and Setup: Discuss Lighting issue - Profoto B1 off-camera flash kit sequence of photos, movement...I'm going to be photographing a footballer doing a trick with a ball (called around the world) and I need ...
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Old 31-10-2015, 21:10   #1 (permalink)
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Lighting issue - Profoto B1 off-camera flash kit sequence of photos, movement

I'm going to be photographing a footballer doing a trick with a ball (called around the world) and I need to photograph a sequence, of about 5 images while he's doing that. I'm using a Nikon D700, I was advised to photograph using a shutter of about 1/1000 sec and using Profoto B1 off-camera flash kit.


The trouble I'm having is the flashes do not recycle fast enough, so when shooting a fast sequence the lights are uneven, or don't fire. I found that you can use the flashes in a Quick Burst Mode, which means the following:*When the output is set to three stops below full power, you will empty 1/8 of the tank with every flash, which means that you can flash eight consecutive times with almost no delay in between.


When setting the camera to the flash/bracketing option of 1/135 which allows me to photograph on any chosen shutter speed with flash, and shooting on a range between 1/500-1000 sec, the flashes lock to the range 8-10 (10 is max) and I can't reduce them any more than two stops, the Air TTL-N remote switches into the high sync mode - and still flashes don't recycle fast enough and are uneven if I attempt to shoot a sequence.


I'm really struggling to find a solution to this, so I would appreciate any advise on the above and how I can improve the situation and the set up to get this right. The location of the photoshoot means I won't be able to plug into the mains.
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Old 31-10-2015, 23:36   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting issue - Profoto B1 off-camera flash kit sequence of photos, movement

Welcome to Pixalo Gosia 1234

I think you have two issues here. First is that your D700 will only sync at a maximum of about 1/320th in high speed flash mode IIRC. The second is that studio flash is not the right vehicle in my view to get the effect that you want. They not only take too long to recycle, but also the duration of a studio flash is too slow to do what you want - even if you can get them to repeat.

I might not have explained this well, but studio flash, from the time it is triggered until it reaches the set power is much slower comparatively than a speedlight.

Speedlights will be able to fire in burst mode if they are set at a low power and their flash duration, from when they are triggered to when they get to the set power, is also much, much faster and this is what will freeze the action rather than using a high shutter speed. They might well perform better in manual mode too.

Have you tried it in ambient light with burst mode using a high shutter speed?

I've just re-read your post. Are you trying to do this in TTL mode?
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Old 01-11-2015, 19:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting issue - Profoto B1 off-camera flash kit sequence of photos, movement

Hi there,

Thank you for your advice. If I swithc the camera to the 1/350s FP I can shoot in a manual mode on any shutter speed. I've just tested few things, and the profoto flashes indeed have the capacity to recycle faster, if not used on the full power, and not in the High speed sync mode. 1/250s - with a fast recycle worked, and I can achieve about 5 frames per second, with an even Quick burst of the flash. However in terms of ambient light and potential bleed (which happens if there is too much ei. daylight) and as there is a possibility of the shoot happening outdoors, during the day - I may encounter too much of the ambient light, which will create a blur - based on the test shoots around the white ball. This is where the high speed sync would come in handy - because that would reduce the ambient light, but again, the flash wouldn't recycle in this setting to photograph the sequence (as soon as you which to the high speed mode the flashes lock themselves in the range of 8-10; 10 is maximum). I've tested the flash in the manual mode, today on the 1/250sec. Any ideas or recommendations on how to solve this? If I turn the aperture up, this might help, but means I have to use flashes on the higher power, which depending on the conditions and how much I need to increase the flash may bring me back down to the situation where the flash power is too high to recycle fast enough. I need as little ambient light as possible, any ideas on perhaps how to block it/go about this in an outdoor setting?

Thanks so much, Gosia
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Old 01-11-2015, 20:55   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Lighting issue - Profoto B1 off-camera flash kit sequence of photos, movement

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Originally Posted by gosia1234 View Post
any ideas on perhaps how to block it/go about this in an outdoor setting?

Thanks so much, Gosia
If you are getting blur on the ball in ambient light I would have thought that your shutter speed was not high enough.

I'd look at using speedlights or maybe hire an Elinchrom Ranger set. They will allow you to shoot in burst mode with the flash firing reliably, but as far as I know you will need to use a sync cable. I don't think that the Nikon CLS will do this in wireless mode.

The normal studio head is not going to give you what you want in this situation. However to overpower ambient in daylight is going to require a lot of power and this might lead you into unacceptable recycling times even with speedlights or the Elinchrom unit.

Does it have to be stills? You could shoot video if you have a camera that will shoot video - or hire one.
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