Photographer Neil van Niekerk wanted to shoot with super-shallow depth-of-field. But he also wanted to shoot with flash. So he decided to update his trusted B1 Off-Camera Flash with the new High-Speed Sync upgrade and take it for a spin. Here are the results.
High-Speed Sync (HSS) is the technical term for syncing flash with shutter speeds shorter than the so-called x-sync, typically 1/250 of a second. With the free Profoto HSS upgrade installed in your B1 Off-Camera Flash, you can shoot at shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 of a second. Which is crazy fast, we might add.
Having the option to shoot this fast even with a flash as powerful as the B1 gives you unparalleled control of the ambient light. For example, you may shoot with a large aperture in super bright conditions and get a shallow depth and a deep blue sky. Which is exactly what photographer Neil van Niekerk did.
“The photo above was taken at 1/2000 @ f/1.4 @ 100 ISO,” writes Neil on his blog. “I wanted that super-shallow depth-of-field, and I wanted the light to be more flattering than you’d get from a bare speedlight. In this case, I used a Profoto Softbox RFi 1×3′ with the Profoto B1. (I kept both baffles on the softbox.)”
After trying it for a while and wrapping up the shoot, Neil reached a conclusion:
“Even with these few limitations and things you’d have to adjust for, the Profoto B1 500 W/s AirTTL flash has now been improved to the point where it truly is an exceptional on-location light.”
Thanks for the kind words, Neil. Happy to hear you like it!
Click here to visit Neils’ blog and read the rest of the review.