How to freeze motion in the studio | Profoto (SE)

How to freeze motion in the studio

09 October, 2020

Written by: Profoto

Did you know that a flash doesn't automatically freeze your motion perfectly still? But there are a few tricks you can learn in order to achieve that. Here are top fashion and portrait photographer Lindsay Adler's 3 best tips on how to freeze motion in the studio using flash.

Tip 1 - Avoid or reduce ambient light 

When you're shooting in the studio, you want to avoid too much ambient or constant light around you in this space. If the ambient light is too strong, you will get ghosting or motion blur, because the constant light is going to be registered in your frame. So how do you block it? Simply by turning off the lights in the room, closing the curtains and maybe even turning down the power of your modelling lights. 

Tip 2 - Faster flash duration by lowering the power

The best way to freeze motion in the studio is by working with a fast flash duration. If you're photographing water, a dancer or other fast-moving objects, a fast flash duration is very important. With modern flashes like the Profoto D2 that Lindsay is using, flash duration is tied to flash power. That means that the lower power setting you're on, the faster the flash duration will be (up to 1/63,000s on the lowest power). However, traditional studio flashes like the Profoto D1 has the shortest flash duration on max power. For more details, check the specifications for your flash. 

Tip 3 - Faster flash duration through Freeze Mode

With the Profoto D2, you have the ability to use it in a mode called Freeze Mode. This will reduce the flash duration significantly. The flash duration in freeze mode is more than twice as fast on average, and at low energies about four times faster than normal mode. You will find the freeze mode setting under the menu: Mode - Freeze.

Light setup: 
Main light: Profoto D2 with a Softlight Reflector White
Fill light: Profoto D2 with a Zoom Reflector and blue gels
Rim light: Profoto D2 with barndoors

Written by: Profoto

Products used in this story

Profoto D2

The world’s fastest monolight with TTL
From 22 396 kr

Softlight Reflector White

Our classic beauty dish
From 4 355,20 kr

Zoom Reflector

A classic among our light shaping tools
2 451,20 kr

Barndoor for Zoom Reflector

Used to control and flag off light from the Zoom Reflector
2 583,20 kr

Air Remote TTL

Wirelessly connects your AirTTL light with your camera
From 1 996 kr