Profoto D2: Freezing in Summer

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Photos and text by Glenn Carpenter, Moraine Valley Community College

Look at any of Nate Edwards’ or Jaren Wilkey’s studio action photos and you will notice one dominant characteristic: Tack-sharp motion. At the symposium we discussed this and came to the conclusion that you can spot an image made with Profoto lights a mile away.

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Recently we replaced our 23 year old studio lights with Profoto D2 lights and I was chomping at the bit to shoot in “Freeze” mode with the Air TTL remote. What makes this setup so amazing is its simplicity. Using a Nikon D5 and setting menu item e1--Flash Sync to Speed 1/250 (auto FP)--High Speed Sync (HSS) is seamless. As the shutter speed moves above 1/250 the Air Remote and camera switch to HSS. This will work with other Nikon bodies, just check for the proper menu item to choose HSS.

Each year we shoot the promotion photos for athletics in July and we shoot every sport in two days. This is done to keep the same look and feel to the photos in order to stay on brand and to make everyone's job much easier.

Currently we are in the middle of a rebranding effort of our athletics program and the first sport to get the new look will be basketball. This presents a problem for the year-long promotional shoot since we want to keep the new look secret until we announce it with basketball. To solve this we decided to shoot silhouettes for the promotion campaign. This will protect the new look until we want to reveal it and it provides striking images for promotional publications, like posters, schedules, and the website, all the while keeping a consistent look for the year.









The flash duration of the D2 lights took care of freezing the action and the HSS eliminated any ambient light or spill from the cyc to help create the silhouette. Equipment doesn’t make a photo, but it really can help remove obstacles to creativity.



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