Do you want to get the most out of your Profoto lights and modifiers? Discover lighting evangelist Chris Fain's top 10 product hacks that will make your next shoot even smoother. Watch the video for a quick overview, or read more below about each hack in detail.
1. Use a bounce card as a flag
The bounce card for A-series flashes is great for letting you bounce your light off of a surface while still kicking it a little forward. But there's more to it; Did you know that you can flip the card to the black side and use it as a flag? It allows you to bounce the light without kicking any forward. You can even stack two bounce cards together to carve out just a sliver of light right where you want it.
2. Open your umbrella just slightly
Umbrellas are very versatile modifiers. They can be set up and broken down with incredible speed and produce a beautiful soft light quality. But a silver umbrella can do even more than that. Because of its directionality, you can drastically change the look of your image by simply positioning it closer or farther from the flash. Turn on the modeling light to ensure the light is pointing where you want it to.
3. Create a blue tone with freeze mode
Ever found yourself in a situation where the ambient light is a little bluer than your flash, and you forgot to pack any gels? Just set your flash to freeze mode, and et voilà! As freeze mode chops off the warmer tones in the flash pulse, it naturally produces a bluer light. The lower the power of the flash, the bluer that light will be.
4. Keep your remote from turning off
Have you ever been on a shoot and needed to direct the talent, make a set adjustment or take a break and when you came back your air remote shut off? With this trick, your remote will stay on. Deactivate sleep mode by holding down the plus button when powering up your remote. To reactivate sleep mode, simply repeat the process. Keep in mind that your batteries will drain if you forget to turn off the remote.
5. Using a D2 or Pro-11 on a generator
If you find yourself at a location with a less-than-ideal power supply or if you're using a generator, this tip may just come in handy. The Pro-11 and D2 have the ability to reduce the unit's recycling speed. Depending on your needs, you can select between max, 50%, and 25% speed. This allows you to run your flash on almost any system. When using a smaller generator or battery pack, make sure you turn the speed down on mains power first, as sometimes the power draw won't allow for the flash to power up.
6. Flip the display on your D2
Rail systems are a great method of keeping your floors clear of extra light stands. Especially in a studio with a lot of traffic. However, many photographers don’t realize that now their flash, including all settings, is upside down. To flip the screen orientation, just hold down the settings button for a couple of seconds to open the special settings menu. From here, just choose the "upside down" display setting, and you’re good to go!
7. Quickly set up your diffused umbrella
Umbrella diffusers are a great way of turning your umbrella into a softbox. This accessory gives a smooth, even light to the umbrella. But, for some people, putting on the diffuser can be a little frustrating. This is how you set it up in no time; Simply insert the closed umbrella into the center of the diffuser and open it up. The umbrella will naturally expand and grab onto the diffuser.
8. Turn off the flash head on your A10
You can deactivate the flash head on your A10 to solely use it as an air remote. If you hold down the modeling light button for just a moment, you can turn the flash head on and off without having to fumble through the menu.
9. Trigger the Profoto Camera from your flash
What if you’ve set your phone up on a tripod and need to move the light around to find the right placement? Save time walking back and forth between your phone and light; Simply activate the shutter on the Profoto camera by pressing the test button on the back of the flash.
10. Activate burst mode on Profoto Camera
How do you handle fast-moving subjects when using the Profoto Camera app? Hold down one of the volume buttons on your phone to activate burst mode. This gives you the ability to take multiple shots with the click of one button.