For portrait and wedding photographer Sal Cincotta, photographing couples against epic, cinematic landscapes in which the bride plays a starring role is a trademark. So what could be more apt than photographing a bride and groom on top of a skyscraper against a skyline that screams New York City?
To get his shot in the rapidly fading light, Sal had to move quickly, using two Profoto A1s and the powerful Profoto B1X together in a system. “This was New York at its finest, but we were losing available light fast,” he recalls. “The sun was setting behind buildings and not even lighting the rooftop at all—it was in shadow. I wanted to be able to control the light and separate the couple from the background, so that they popped off the city skyline.”
To do that, Sal positioned one A1 behind the couple to backlight the model’s wedding dress and the B1X with an OCF Beauty Dish White 2’ on the right side of the frame to bring out details in the flowing fabric, subtle shadows around their faces, and detail in the dark suit.
The second A1 was on camera and played two roles. First, it was an Air Remote trigger controlling the freestanding lights. Its second role was as a gentle fill light to help bring out more details in the dress and the suit. Sal further softened the already soft, beautiful light using a Dome Diffuser that he quickly clicked onto the head of the flash. This kept the shadows and the skin tones of the models as natural as possible despite the brightness of the sky behind them.
“The A1 provided the perfect fill light. Because of its round head, it looked and felt natural vs the artificial look and feel of other flash alternatives,” Sal says.
Recycling time is always key
With a recycling time four times faster than other on camera solutions, Sal had a huge advantage in the fading light. “When the light is perfect, the dress falls just right, and the chemistry between them is perfect, I can’t afford to miss that moment,” he says.
“And with AirTTL I could lock in the exposure yet still make small adjustments in manual; as a result, my focus is where it needed to be, on my creativity and achieving the best result possible.”