Tag Archives: Basic Lighting Photography Setup

Profoto B1 500 Air TTL Experience

A photographer’s journey is full of learning, playing and enjoying the art and beauty of photography. As the photographer goes on in their photography exploration and experimentation, they will enter into the world of flash photography. When I started learning flash photography a few years ago, it was quite a challenge and a bit of a steep learning experience. One of my mentors, Daniel from The Camera Workshop taught me very basics of flash photography, it had been a fun learning hands on journey with speedlight photography.

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 As I take the next step into advanced flash photography, it started with using 3 Canon Speedlite 580ex2 to light up my alumni mater Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group Anniversary Dinner Group Photograph in the school hall. It got me started to learn more about using off camera flash and multiple flashes. I slowly read up and researched by reading photography sites, youtube videos and e-guides. One of the key sites was strobist where I started learning basics and built up my basic lighting photography setup kit. During that time, I chanced upon 2 e-guides by Profoto, titled “The Profoto Advantage: For Wedding and Portrait Photographers”. The 2 e-guides introduced Profoto products such as the Profoto D1, modifiers and accessories. There is an article inside titled “Profoto D1 vs Speedlights” and it gets me thinking ahead.

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My strobist flash photography journey gets more interesting and exciting after working with Weili, photographer and owner of Poisonous Online Boutique Store. Weili is very knowledgeable and experienced with strobist/studio lighting photography using Profoto lights. I learned a lot from him by asking him questions and learning from him over coffee sessions. Recently, I was given the opportunity to be his photographer assistant for his Dance Photography Shoot and this was my miaden entry into strobist lighting photography. The experience was great, nothing beats being hands on learning from the expert!

The highlight and euphoria for me came when I was invited by Weili, the golden opportunity to loan and review Profoto latest technology, the Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash for 2 days over the weekend. This was an excellent and golden opportunity that I grabbed with both hands eagerly! I brought the Profoto B1 out for 2 days and I had a very fun self learning, testing and sharing with fellow social media friends and photographers on the Profoto B1.

What are my thoughts and views of the Profoto B1 during the 2 days review period? Here they are below –

 Pros

–       Not too heavy and easily portable

–       Versatile for different photography needs, indoors and outdoors, portraits, products, pets, fast action photography

–       Powerful ~ 500Ws

–       Energy Range ~ 9 f-stops

–       Compact and cordless

–       Good battery life

–       Consistent lighting output

–       Good recycling time for quick burst shoot

–       High speed sync

–       Profoto Air Remote is versatile and can be used on different cameras

–       If equipped with the Air Remote TTL-C for Canon, makes it easier for photographers to carry out their assignment faster.

–       No electrical cords

Cons

–       Price is on the high side for the Profoto B1 light (standalone)

–       Addition of accessories will add up the cost further e.g. remote, modifiers, accessories

–       Too good and smart with the Air-Remote TTL-C feature, that might make photographers lazy

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During the 2 days with the Profoto B1, I went to test and get hands on feel of the Profoto B1 personally, starting with my family dog at home and at the office furniture showroom before meeting my friends later. I had a fun photography testing and sharing session with fellow social media friends/photographers DK and Ridz on a Saturday night at the Esplanade area. The Saturday night shoot and sharing with DK and Ridz was fun and we were able to see for ourselves how 1 off camera flash such as the Profoto B1 can have the impacts to portrait photography!

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Model: Ridz

Photographer: DK

Photographer Assistant: Myself (holding the Profoto B1)

On the Sunday afternoon, I met fellow photographer friend David Tay from David Tay Photography for outdoor portrait photography. We took turns being the photographer and model, exchanging tips, posing, camera settings adjustments while experimenting with the Profoto B1. During this shoot, I had a better understanding and control of the Profoto B1 that gave me two nice portraits that I really like, check them out here on 500px!

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Photographer: David Tay

Model: Myself

If you are looking to buy a studio light or planning to upgrade your studio light, the Profoto B1 Off-Camera flash definitely should be part of your choices for selection. The Profoto B1 can be purchased via Poisonous Online Boutique Store; check out the single unit Profoto B1 or the dual travel kit Profoto B1 package! 

You get what you pay for and for the amount of money invested in the Profoto B1, it’s definitely worth it. Their marketing slogan from Profoto website “Once You Try It, It Changes Everything”, definitely lives up to their branding, marketing and publicity. From a photographer who just entered into advanced strobist lighting and having the Profoto B1 for 2 days, the Profoto B1 lives up to its reputation and quality. I am pretty confident that I am able to tap on the full maximum potential of the Profoto B1, shooting with multiple B1 lights in the future with the TTL capability. The Profoto B1 sounds like an excellent investment for me in the future when I do sports photography shoot/portraits!

I would like to thank Weili from Poisonous Online Boutique Store for the Profoto B1 loan review opportunity.


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My Basic Lighting Photography Setup

The art and world of photography is diverse and exciting with many different photography fields that a photographer will choose to embark on, to learn another skill segment or able to be specialised in that particular field of photography. In my long years of photography shooting, adventure and learning, this particular field of photography, is an area that I wanted to start learning a few years ago from my mentor, yet due to un-forseen circumstances during that point in time, I wasn’t able to learn the art of lighting photography from my mentor. This was thus delayed until I made plans to begin my basic lighting photography setup, after reading and researching on basic lighting, advanced lighting, indoor, outdoor, shooting with strobes, shooting with speed-lights to looking at 3-4 advanced lighting setup by professional photographers that I found in Profoto lighting books such as The Profoto Advantage: For Wedding and Portrait Photographers.

I started saving money, while reading and researching, on how to go about doing it, with tips from a fellow photographer Weili, a knowledgable, highly experienced and expert lighting photographer, who gave me a lot of help and advice on how to plan my basic lighting photography setup. I also received a lot of help and advice from the friendly folks at The Camera Workshop, Daniel and Uncle Nelson, who helped me in getting the whole setup done and giving me advice along the way. As I plan to learn and try out basic lighting photography, learning from my mistakes and accumulating my experiences, I hope to move upwards into advanced lighting photography, with 2-3 speedlights or strobes. This journey is probably going to take 1-2 years depending on how fast and the number of portrait shoots that I am able to do.

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Therefore, what are the items inside my Basic Lighting Photography Setup ?

– 1 x Light Stand
– 1 x Umbrella Swivel Adaptor
– 1 x  2-in-1 Black Reflective + White Umbrella
– 1 x Luxi Incidental Light Meter (via Kickstarter)
– 1 x Canon 580EX2
– 1 x Trans-receiver FlexTT5 & 1 x Transmitter MiniTT1 by Pocket Wizard (Second Hand)
I was fortunate to find good quality second hand Pocket Wizard Trans-receiver FlexTT5 and Transmitter MiniTT1 at half their prices, the Luxi Incidental Light Meter was funded via Kickstarter, my Canon 580EX2 was bought sometime back and finally, my light stand, umbrella swivel adaptor and 2-in-1 Black Reflective + White Umbrella were new. My basic lighting photography setup took me a while because I haven’t decided on the transmitter and trans-receiver brand and model, however, it took off when my Luxi arrived and I found Pocket Wizard at second hand prices!
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My Basic Lighting Photography learning journey had just begun, there is always something new and fun to learn in photography. I am planning to share my photographs and my experiences with my Basic Lighting Photography setup, hoping to encourage fellow photographers to go explore and learn new photography fields too!
Here are some of the links and videos that I used in my learning of basic lighting photography –
Adorama  TV – Small Studio Flash Tips