Hannah Couzens overcomes multiple lighting challenges with the Profoto B10 and light shaping tools


A Bag Full of Light
with Hannah Couzens I am Hannah Couzens and I am
a portrait photographer. My challenge here in Santorini is
to shoot from sunrise to sunset, with just the gear I can carry on
my back – a bag full of light. Waking up early to shoot the sunrise
did not go exactly according to plan. We were greeted with a
thick blanket of cloud. I decided that if there was not to be a warm
golden sunrise, then we should make our own. Using the A1X and Full CTO Gel,
I positioned the light amongst the leaves to cast some natural looking shadows,
in order for the shot to look convincing. After the first shot I wanted to shoot across
the balcony, but realized the wall behind looked cold and needed something else. I angled the B10 with Full CTO Gel to
match my key light on the wall behind my model Maurisa, to keep
the color consistent. Before heading out around the island for the day,
I selected my tools to create my bag of light: Profoto B10 Plus, B10 and the A1X. Also in my bag I have my camera, two lenses,
gels, grids and just two light shapers: the OCF Magnum and the OCF Silver Beauty Dish. All of this fits into my backpack and then I can travel
light, knowing I had all the tools that I needed. With the cloud now completely gone and the sun fully
overhead, I wanted to take advantage of how the mid-day sun cast shadows onto the
church to create shape and form. That also meant that shadows would
be cast onto Maurisa’s face too. I never want the conditions to restrict my creativity.
So to fill the shadows on Maurisa’s face, the B10 Plus and OCF Magnum became the
perfect fill light to work for the Santorini sun. On to our next location to take a break from
the sun: a beautiful, but very dark wine cellar. I love the candles and the existing
warm ambient light of the cellar. This gave me a foundation to build upon. I decided to light the staircase using
the continuous light of the B10 Plus, and adjust the color temperature to
match the warmth of the candles. Only a kiss of light was needed to expose the barrels, so
I could hide the A1X out of shot on a stand and chose to use a CTO Gel to keep the warm ambience. Finally, I wanted to light Maurisa but not flood the scene,
as I needed my light to be far back in my wireless shot. Using a 20 Degree Grid on the B10, I could
control exactly where the light would fall, to ensure I was only lighting Maurisa. Next was the part of the day Santorini is
famous for: the sunsets over the caldera. The thing I love the most about shooting at
sunset, is that the conditions change constantly. Using the B10 and OCF Silver Beauty Dish, allowed
me to work with the conditions and keep up easily while the sky put on a show. Although the warmth of the sun had now left
us, we could not resist one last shot to take in that stunning view
as the hillside lit up at dusk. Using a little shutter drag to capture
the ambient lights to the buildings, balanced with the B10 and OCF Silver
Beauty Dish, allowed me to capture a little of Santorini’s magic and shoot
until the day was completely through.

12 thoughts on “Hannah Couzens overcomes multiple lighting challenges with the Profoto B10 and light shaping tools

  1. In Santorini with no flashes can take better images..nothing special about that video!!!

  2. Never heard of Hannah before, but it seems she did a nice job in Santorini, although at the end, the night portraits would be nicer if she used a full or half CTO on the strobe and set the WB on the camera to match it. This way the background would fall into a nice, deeper blue, creating a nice colour harmony with the warm skin tones.
    Overall – well done, Hannah. 🙂

  3. Great work Hannah. Always enjoy your talks at the Photography Show… great to see you on location. Stunning work

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