Whenever Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Brian Smith works with new equipment, he likes to put it to the test in the field. Recently, he tried out Profoto’s new Sony-compatible Air Remote TTL-S by photographing a fire-breather on location in the limited window of the golden hour before sunset.
“When I’m trying something new, I want to test the limit, throw in a few variables that I can’t control—like fire,” says Brian, whose Pulitzer came from photographing the Olympics, a world in which fractions of seconds mean everything.
“Things often work flawlessly in the studio and then you go out on location and find out what the problems are,” he notes. “Photography is easy when the stars align. The trick is to pull it together when it looks like a disaster.”
To get his images, Brian used three Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flashes, one light with the OCF Beauty Dish White above facing the subject from slightly above and two B1s with Profoto Zoom reflectors and ½ CTO gels behind the subject. He and fire eater Cirque Bishop started by doing some test runs to get the framing right and get some ideas for different options.