On to Light Shaping is a new video series in which get to see 18 renowned portrait and wedding photographer create magic with Profoto Off-Camera Flash. In this video we join wedding photographers Justin & Mary Marantz as they capture a lovely winter portrait. When you are done watching, click here to see the rest of the series.
Aside from being within reasonable driving distance to and from Manhattan, New Haven Connecticut is also home of Yale and its uniquely picturesque campus, which according to husband & wife team Mary & Justin Marantz, looks especially enchanting when it snows. They should know – they’ve been shooting wedding portraits there since they first opened their doors in 2006. In fact, they met on the Yale campus when Mary was working on her law degree.
This portrait was captured on the Yale campus on a cold, overcast day. As Mary tells it, they were hoping and praying for snow when planning this shoot. The forecast wasn’t promising. It was cold however, which meant they had to work fast. The ambient light was a lifeless flat gray so they broke out their new Off-Camera Flash system. Not much larger or heavier than TTL speedlights, the B2 Heads are designed for easy set-up, run-and-gun location shoots like these.
The lighting was simple. A single B2 with an OCF Softbox 2′ Octa was attached to the center pole of a light stand and suspended boom-like about 10′ above and off to the left side of the couple. “Because the B2 Heads are so light and compact, even with a softbox attached, it’s easy to hold them extended outward on a boom while tracking the models,” says Justin. “It’s far more strenuous to try this sort of lighting with heavier wireless off-camera flash systems.”
As luck would have it, even though it rained everywhere else in the vicinity, snow started falling on the Yale campus as they set up and began getting everybody into position. Mary captured this portrait using a Nikon D4 with a Nikon AF-S 50mm/f1.4G lens.
To ‘cool’ the ambient light and warm up the light falling on the couple, the camera’s White Balance was set to 3400K and a Full CTO gel was placed in front of the flash. The final exposure was 1/125th-second at f2.5 with the ISO set to 500.
Justin is particularly impressed with the exposure accuracy of his new lighting solution. ” The exposures remained constant even though the light-to-subject distance was constantly changing. I also thinks it’s awesome that I can use the B2 in conjunction with my B1. We’ve done it several times and it works beautifully.”