We claim that the Profoto B2 is a portable flash that allows you to keep moving. But to prove it, we asked traveling photographer Rémi Chapeaublanc to bring the B2 with him on one of his photographic expeditions. Here is what he did.
For Rémi Chapeaublanc, travel photography is more than a job, and even more than a way of life. For him it is gives meaning to life.
“I believe the purpose of life is to keep discovering new things and meeting new people,” says Rémi. “Photography is the perfect motor to drive myself to do just that.”
Rémi’s conviction has brought him to places most of us only read about. Last year he got on his motorcycle and drove all the way from his hometown of Paris to the Mongolian steppes to photograph its nomadic inhabitants. In his luggage was a single Profoto flash, which Rémi used not only to light his Mongolian subjects, but also to underexpose the environment and create pitch black, studio-like backgrounds.
For this year’s trip to Laos and Myanmar, however, Rémi wanted to try something different. Instead of darkening the background, he wanted to subtly incorporate it into the image. This required a slightly different lighting solution. Before he needed only one light, but now he needed two. To complicate things further, Rémi would be travelling on even less accessible roads.
“I didn’t know what to expect. So for this trip I didn’t dare to rely on my motorcycle luggage bag. I had to be able to carry everything by myself on my back.”
Rémi solved this by packing a B2 Off-Camera Flash with two B2 Heads and a selection of OCF Light Shaping Tools, tailor-made for on-location photography. The entire kit fitted in a shoulder bag, which Rémi carried with him as he traveled from northern Myanmar to southern Laos, setting up his lights in hut after hut after hut…
“For main light, I used the OCF Softbox 2′ Octa with an OCF Softgrid. I find that it creates a beautiful light that is both hard and smooth at once. For the background I used the Umbrella Deep Silver S.”
Rémi used his background light in a somewhat unusual way. Instead of putting the second B2 Head with the Umbrella Deep in the same room as his subject, he put the head outside and blasted it through the cracks in the bamboo walls. This not only created a shimmering backlight around his subjects, it also helped Rémi achieve his goal to subtly incorporate the background into the portraits.
“As a traveling photographer you have to find a balance between portability and creative freedom,” says Rémi. “For me the B2 is the perfect balance. It’s light enough to fit in my bag, yet versatile enough to help me solve any challenge I face along my trip.”
1 x B2 Off-Camera Flash (2 x Heads)
1 x OCF Softbox 2′ Octa
1 x OCF Softgrid
1 x OCF Speedring
1 x Umbrella Deep Silver S
1 x Air Remote