Being the team photographer for a professional sports team can be stressful. You are often tasked with capturing publications and marketing-worthy images in unGodly short amounts of time with less than ideal conditions. Luckily, I have a new tool in my kit that saved the day this week when everything seemed to be going wrong, and all of my pre-planning and preparation went out the window.
The tool in this case is the the Profoto B1 Air Kit (http://profoto.com/offcameraflash/the-products/b1/). There was a lot of hype among photographers last year when these lights were first released due largely to one feature in particular, Air TTL. This feature is a game-changer for out-of-studio photographers who need to capture location portraits on the fly and this is the feature that saved my butt this week.
Air TTL essentially allows your camera to communicate with the strobes remotely and make power adjustments based on your camera’s meter reading. Here is how it saved me:
I was tasked with taking back-to-back cover photos mid-day following a team workout. The first was for the team’s Media Guide and would feature four players in a fairly simple lighting and positioning set up. From there we would move on with two of the players, DH David Ortiz and new starting pitcher David Price, and shoot the cover image for the first 2016 Edition of Red Sox Magazine. Simple enough, until the players showed up 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the shoot and were ready to go before we were finished setting up. To make matters worse, all preplanning and test shooting we did earlier in the week went out the window when MLB productions, on site filming a commercial, had placed massive amounts of gear in the our planned location and the golf cart we had planned to use as a prop for the cover shoot was missing. With no time to test exposures I switched to TTL mode and let the Profoto’s control the output power. Luckily, the TTL feature worked like a charm and I was able to focus on communicating with the players and getting the shots and not worrying about proper exposure. Thank you Profoto, your B1 Air TTL’s saved the day!