I purchased a new reflector yesterday to play around with for my Profoto strobe heads. The new addition is the Profoto zoom reflector and I'm curious what I can do with it so today I decided to put it though a series of test to see first hand want it looks like. I have a new intern as well, so it was the perfect opportunity to get her started with learning to see light.
Before using any new equipment I believe in doing a series of tests and recording them for my records. This is something I did years ago when I was a full time photo assistant and now I have my interns do the same. No matter how much I think I know about light, my tests always show me I have so much to learn.
The following images were all shot with the Sony A900 with an ISO of 160. The lens used for the test was the 35-70 Carl Zeiss zoom lens. We did a series of test with the new reflector bare and then added a 40 degree grid and a 10 degree grid. All test were done at the same height and distance so I can have a direct comparison to judge and make my decisions. This series of test were done in a living environment vs a studio as I am looking for different lighting techniques to use on location.
The test consists of 18 images total but you can do more if you choose. I will share six images here but describe the entire test, and more tests will follow in the coming weeks. Being consistent is very important to this test but the advantage of doing this on digital is that any mistakes can be erased and corrected. Take notes on your tests so you can look back in the future. You will need the following to do this test.
Camera (digital or film)
light shaping tool - zoom reflector set to position 4
10 degree grid
40 degree grid
Light: 1 Profoto strobe head with Profoto Zoom Reflector
(Zoom set to position "4" for entire test)
1) Light positioned 45 degrees on camera right side with Zoom
Height- 7 Feet
Distance - 6 Feet
2) Height - 7 Feet
Distance - 8 Feet
3) Height- 7 Feet
Distance - 10 Feet
This is the part 1 of your test: Check to make sure you're recorded all information correctly. As you adjust your distance you will need to meter each time as the exposure will change as the distance changes.
exactly the same process, but add the 10 degree grid
exactly the same process, but add the 40 degree grid
Change height to 4 feet and keep everything else the same:
no grid - three images
10 degree grid - three images
40 degree grid - three images
Once you have completed the test you can download the images and view them to see the quality of light and discover the position you like best. I use Adobe Lightroom because I can view the images together in groups of three to compare. Again, more tests will following in the coming weeks.
Always Dream Big,
Matthew Jordan Smith