We’re at the beach to capture some golden hour portraits. In this video, I’ll walk through how to balance flash with natural light using the Profoto A2 in 4 simple steps.

Video: How to Balance Flash with Natural Light Using the Profoto A2

The beach is looking beautiful today and I’m here with my friends Olivia and Tyson. I’ll be using the Canon R5 and the RF 15-35mm f/2.8 lens with the new Profoto A2 flash.

Step #1: Get Your Composition

Before we even think about lights, let’s grab our composition. I want to have Olivia and Tyson in the opening of the cave with the ocean behind them.

Step #2: Dial in Ambient Light

Here, we’ll decide what we want our background to look like. The rule of thumb is:

  1. Dramatic: Darker ambient exposure + more flash power.
  2. Natural: Brighter ambient exposure + less flash power.
Even with a low exposure, try to retain some shadow information.

I want this portrait to be dramatic. My settings landed at 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, retaining the color in the sky while lifting some details in the shadows.

Step #3: Add in Your Flash

profoto a2 light position
The Clic Grid funnels the light right onto our subject.

I’m using the Profoto A2 for its incredible power and portability features. I placed the A2 with a Clic Grid on a stand just off camera right. I aimed the light at Olivia to place her as the focus of the image.

profoto a2 power levels

The key is to make our subjects brighter than the background. The Profoto A2 at 9-power (50 watt seconds) was perfect.

Step #4: Photograph!

profoto a2 balance flash
Visual Flow > Modern Pack

After some small posing adjustments, we’re good to start photographing! Check out our final images.


That’s all there is to it! As you can see, balancing flash with ambient light for a dramatic effect is incredibly easy.

I hope you enjoyed this article/video! If you’d like to learn more about working with flash, check out the Flash Photography Training System on SLR Lounge Premium! There, you’ll find complete courses on photography related topics to help you sharpen your skills as a photographer. Also, be sure to head over to Visual Flow for a complete library of Lightroom presets and retouching tools.

Don’t miss our next episode of Mastering Your Craft on Adorama’s YouTube channel next week! If you want to catch up on all the episodes, make sure you check out our playlist!