The original plan for this particular shoot was to capture stills with flash and motion with continuous light using the same modifiers.  The actual shoot turned out differently from the shoot I had planned.  Two things happened that altered my intention: The Profoto Daylight 800 Air truly “HMI-ed” — held my interest; and as photographer Ron Herard, who I had invited to shoot stills, began sharing his observations about shooting with HMIs for the first time, I decided to roll with it: We shot stills and motion simultaneously.   The Acute 1200R pack that I had planned to use for still capture was never turned on.

I tend to gravitate towards hard light, so I opted to use the Magnum Reflector instead of the using one of the available soft boxes. An 800-watt HMI placed in a reflector like the Magnum produces a lot of light, so a quarter-stop scrim was placed in front of it to bring it down a tad.

The footage from the shoot which follows only scratches the surface of what can be done with a ProDaylight 800 Air in a studio setting.

A Panasonic GH2 was used to capture motion and a Canon 5D MarkII was used to capture stills.

Ron Herard made the following observations about shooting stills with the ProDaylight.  “It took me a while to get into a rhythm. In working with these lights at ISO 320-400, I found myself shooting at a lower aperture than I’m used to in a studio setting with strobe; this really made nailing focus for each shot critical.”

Picking the right tool for the job is an important part of image-making.  Had the stills called for freezing fast-paced action, for example, we would not have hesitated to turn to the strobes.  Still HMIs, particularly higher wattage models, offer photographers expanded opportunities to capture both stills and motion, during or as part of a single session; or in the case of the Profoto HMI, the ability to shape continuous light in the same way that we have been able to shape light with flash.

Disclosure: No consideration has been received in connection with this blog entry, nor has any manufacturer and/or retailer offered any consideration.

copyright 2011

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