Photo: Sal Cincotta

Portrait

Versatility at the Brooklyn Bridge with the Profoto A1 off camera

19 September, 2017

Written by: Seth Chandler

Whether because of the availability of the environment or the subject, sometimes speed is crucial. In an environment like the Brooklyn Bridge you have to run and gun, because unless you book months in advance and have a huge budget to pay for permits, the NYPD will move you along pretty quickly. To shoot there, you need to be inconspicuous, have a small footprint and get in and out fast.

That's where the Profoto A1 really showed its versatility for photographer Sal Cincotta, who used a pair of A1s to turn the famed landmark into his personal studio. "I wanted to create dramatic-looking portraits," he says. "With the Brooklyn Bridge, it's hard to do anything unique, but I wanted to do something unique for me, and still not lose that New York energy."

The shoot was at night, and for the first shot, Sal needed to add light to match the scene in mood and color. So he combined two A1s, both with warming CTO gels and setting one on the ground behind his models for backlight and one on-camera. And because the A1 is so easy to use, all Sal had to do was concentrate on getting the shot he wanted. "With one A1 off camera behind on the ground, I had the leading lines drawing the eye to the couple," he remarks.

For the second close-up shot, Sal actually used 3 A1s. Sal placed one on-camera as a trigger only and then used the modeling light only from the other two A1's as the light sources. The first off-camera A1 had a warm CTO gel added to provide a warm gentle light. The second off-camera A1 without gel was placed behind the couple and acted as a rim-light to separate them from the background. Because the A1 placed behind the couple had no warming gel, the light was cooler giving the impression that the rim light on couple separating them from the background was coming from the lights of Manhattan behind them.

Using the A1 in three completely different ways, the results were everything Sal imagined: A unique perspective on one of the most famed locations in the world.

Written by: Seth Chandler

Products used in this story

Profoto A1

Gel Kit

Wide Lens