Blair Bunting Uses High-Speed Sync to Shoot a Jaw-Droppingly Stunning Super Bowl Commercial | Profoto (CA)

Blair Bunting Uses High-Speed Sync to Shoot a Jaw-Droppingly Stunning Super Bowl Commercial

13 February, 2015

Written by: Fredrik Franzén

Curious to know how Blair Bunting created his jaw-droppingly stunning Super Bowl commercial? We can give you a hint. The B1 and Profoto High-Speed Sync was involved. Keep reading to learn the rest.

Blair Bunting, award-winning commercial photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona, has blown our minds more than once. But this time he took things to a whole new level.

Using B1 Off-Camera Flashes upgraded with the recently released High-Speed Sync upgrade, Blair shot super sharp still images that was layered and fused in post production to create a moving still image (if that makes sense).

The effect is reminiscent of slowmotion video, but with the clarity and detail of a still image.

Blair calls the effect parallax.

“What is parallax?” he asks on his blog. “Think of when you were in grade school and you had to do one of those cheesy plays where every parent in the audience thinks that his or her child should be in search of a talent agency because they memorized 23 words and did not faint on stage. Sorry, got distracted there. Anyway, there is always a part in that play where some kid is on a boat made of a tricycle and cardboard, and they are in the rough ocean. In order to create this imaginary ocean in the elementary school cafeteria, they use whats called parallax. This is where they have on set of blue waves on a stick in front of the kid and one behind. The movement of these waves back and forth creates in your mind the idea of the ocean.”

In order to make the moving images feel as real as possible, Blair needed super sharp images with a natural depth of field.

To achieve this, he relied on three tools: the Nikkor 58 f/1.4 lens, his Nikon D4 and Profoto High-Speed Sync.

“The first thing that grabs the eye of the viewer in these shots would be depth, more specifically how three dimensional they feel,” writes Blair. “To help with this there was one lens that came to mind, the Nikkor 58 f/1.4. While many try to see it as a low light geared lens, it also has a little trick in it that makes it very desirable. It makes images feel 3-D”

“The next item of importance was the camera, the Nikon D4s. Now many of you probably know that my heart resides with the D3x, but for this project resolution was not the determining factor. After all 4k video is still only 8.8 megapixels. What mattered more to us was noise and high ISO performance as we would not be in a studio and environment would matter greatly.”

“Last, but not least, we would need lights that could be remote and enable us to shoot shallow, even in the day. Enter the Profoto B1’s. With the most recent firmware, they are able to shoot at any shutter speed. Proof of this rests in the […] image of the man drinking wine. It was shot at 1/4000th of a second.”


The final result speak for itself. The images are stunning, yes. But the real magic happens when you press play and see them moving. So, please take our advice and do so, if you haven’t already.

If you want to learn a bit more about the process, head over to Blair’s blog.

If you want to try Profoto High-Speed Sync yourself, click here to download the upgrade free of charge.



Written by: Fredrik Franzén