Photo: Dan Rubin
Photographer

Finn Beales

Location

The Black Mountains, Wales


Keep moving with the Profoto B2
and Finn Beales

 

We claim that the Profoto B2 is a portable flash that allows you to keep moving. But to prove it, we asked travel and lifestyle photographer Finn Beales to bring the B2 with him on location. Here is what he did.

When asked to think of a way to illustrate the portability and flexibility of the Profoto B2, Finn Beales suggested he do a lifestyle shoot in the Black Mountains in Wales.

The assignment required that Finn and his models travelled by car from their hometown Hay-on-Wye to the Brecon Beacons National Park, then further into the wild by canoe, eventually setting up camp in a small forest hut.

The trip posed a number of lighting challenges, requiring a number of different lighting solutions, so Finn came well prepared.

All his lighting gear was packed in a single B2 Location Bag, containing a B2 Off-Camera Flash, an OCF Grid Kit, four spare batteries, chargers and a GorillaPod from Joby®. A large OCF Softbox 2×3′, the smaller OCF Softbox 1,3×1,3′, two OCF Speedrings and an Umbrella Deep Silver S was attached to the bag using its straps.

“I love how much gear you can fit into, and onto, that small bag,” says Finn. “It’s clear a lot of thought went into designing it.”

In some situations, Finn had to keep moving and shoot fast. Here he used a bareheaded B2 on-camera. There were also situations that allowed him to use stands and spend a bit more time shaping his light. On these occasions, he used the larger softbox and the umbrella. But one thing remained the same – Finn was on his own. He had no assistant with him.

“Pre-shoot I figured my greatest challenge would be the lack of an assistant,” says Finn. “But I was genuinely surprised by the portability of these lights. The system is lightweight and compact and I was able to fix the lights in otherwise inaccessible places to create and shape the light all on my own.”

An example of a fast shot is the one of the male model swinging the rope. Here Finn used a bareheaded B2 mounted on his Canon® camera with a Boomerang flash bracket from ProMediaGear®. The B2 was set to High-Speed Sync Mode to freeze the action and capture a deep blue sky.

“I shot with a bare head to overpower the sunlight with quite a harsh and direct light,” says Finn.

Finn had a bit more time to shoot the girl with her legs in the water. For this shot, he mounted the B2 Head on a Manfrotto® stand and equipped it with a large OCF Softbox 2×3’.

“Softboxes are notoriously fiddly to set up and break down, but these OCF Softboxes simply click into place,” says Finn.

The B2 was wirelessly synced and controlled using the Air Remote TTL-C, allowing Finn to place the flash as far from his camera as he pleased.

“I generally prefer the subtle nature of off-camera flash,” says Finn. “Side lighting feels more natural to me and it’s a fairly crucial characteristic to consider if you’re wanting to create authentic looking lifestyle imagery.”

“Having said that, you don’t always have the time to shape light how you wish, especially when on-the-go. Sometimes mobility is a priority and that’s what I enjoy about the B2 – the flexibility. If you’re looking to invest in one photography lighting kit, this is the perfect solution.”