With the new High-Speed Sync (HSS) upgrade installed in his B1 Off-Camera Flash, photographer Little Shao was able to shoot with shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000 of a second. Did it make a difference? See for yourself.
Ambient light can be beautiful. But it can also be troublesome. For instance, if you want to light someone properly with flash in harsh sun, you will run into a hurdle. The so-called x-sync for flash is usually set to something like 1/250 of a second. What this means is that you usually cannot shoot with shutter speeds shorter than 1/250 of a second when shooting with flash. This in turns means that the camera will pick up a lot of ambient light during that relatively long timeframe. You can, of course, overpower the ambient light by aiming a powerful flash at your subject. But that will only help to a certain degree. The sky will still burn out, and there will be some motion blur caused by the ambient light.
The solution to that problem is Profoto High-Speed Sync, also known as HSS. Profoto HSS allows you to shoot with shutter speeds as fast 1/8000 of a second even when shooting with flash. Combine that with the fact that the B1 Off-Camera Flash is powerful. Packed with 500Ws of power, you will have enough light even at that super short time frame.
Well, that all sounds good in theory. But how does it actually work in practice?
To find out, we asked Paris-based photographer Little Shao to try it out. Little Shao is renowned for his amazing images of people doing amazing things on the streets. He shoots a lot in the sun. He shoots people moving fast. So who better to try it out?
In this video we get to join Little Shao on a trip to the streets of la Havana and Trinidad, Cuba, as he pushes the limits of his B1 Off-Camera Flash, recently updated with the new Profoto HSS upgrade.
Shooting a dancer, a break-dancer and a young skateboarder, you can easily see that Little Shao faced a few challenges, with fast movement and extreme sunshine conditions being the greatest.
So what gear did he need to succeed? Little Shao shot with a Nikon D810 together with a B1 Off-Camera Flash, an Umbrella Shallow Silver M and a standard Zoom Reflector. But most importantly, he used Profoto HSS.
“With HSS you are now able to increase the shutter speed and be more creative,” says Little Shao. “As an action photographer, using the Profoto B1 with the HSS allows me to shape fast movements on another level. For me, this is a revolution.”
Want to join the revolution? Go ahead! The Profoto HSS upgrade is free of charge and can be downloaded here! All you need to get going is a B1 Off-Camera Flash and an Air Remote TTL-C or an Air Remote TTL-N.
Have fun with it!
Follow Little Shao on Instagram: @littleshao
Photographer: Little Shao
Video Recap by: Kreate Lamine
Dancer With Ribbon: Soleila Chaou (France)
BreakDancer: Bboy 90 (Cuba)
Skateboarder: Jessy (Cuba)
Music: Trio Sabor Cubano – Chan Chan