Mobile Photography Lighting | Dramatic Off-Camera Flash with an iPhone
Profoto recently made a tremendous leap forward when they introduced the ability to sync their lights with the phone via their Profoto Camera App. This is important because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities and images you can take with just your phone. By using professional lights such as the A10 and B10 to control the light, the divide between mobile and traditional cameras are becoming even more blurred. In this video/article, I’ll be demonstrating mobile photography lighting using the Profoto A10 via the Profoto Camera App.
Our model today is my friend, Kiara, so be sure to check her out on Instagram. Let’s jump in.
Video: Mobile Photography Lighting Tutorial With the New Profoto Camera App
Scene #1: Smoke Grenade
I’m starting with this unsightly location to show you that you can create great images no matter where you are. I’ll also be using the MagMod MagShoe as well as the Dome to diffuse and disperse the light from the A10.
I first placed Kiara in the shade and got this shot without any additional light.
The Profoto Camera App features a “Smart Mode” option. This essentially allows us to put our focus on the creative aspect of the shot rather than the technical. After selecting our desired contrast and warmth effects, the app will automatically adjust the A10 to the proper settings. To get high contrast, I selected “Dramatic” for contrast and “Cold -1” for the warmth effect.
I then used Enola Gaye smoke grenades behind Kiara to create the effect I wanted. After a series of bursts, we wound up with this great image.
Related Reading: 5 Tips on How to Use Smoke Grenades for Photography
I edited the photo in Adobe Lightroom Mobile. Here’s the before and after.
Scene #2: Black & White Portrait
The second location is just a basic room and I’ll be using a simple bounce light to get our desired lighting. First, let’s see how our image looks without any additional light.
I positioned the A10 up and toward the wall which will provide a beautiful fill of light from our left side. I distanced it from the wall to fill out the entire wall and create a large soft light source.
This time around, I selected “Classic Mode.” This gives me full control over everything including the light and camera settings. After some trial and error to find the right look, these are the final settings I used.
Then we took this series of images.
Here are the final images edited in Adobe Lightroom Mobile.
Scene #3: Hallway
I chose this brick hallway for our third image. Notice the interesting texture on the walls created by the backlighting. The initial shot with no lighting or composition looks like this.
For the composition, I had Kiara pose low to the ground and I flipped my phone upside down to get as close to the ground as I can.
I positioned the A10 on camera right with a grid to focus the light on Kiara’s face. I also popped on a 1/2 CTO and adjusted the white balance in-camera to match the warm light from the A10. Notice the background becomes cooler while the light on Kiara remains neutral. This completely changes the game for mobile photography lighting by allowing us to introduce off-camera flash into the scene.
I tried to use “Smart Mode,” but it wasn’t quite getting the settings right so I took manual control and landed at these settings.
I took a series of images and got this great final image.
I hope you enjoyed this article/video on mobile photography lighting. With this advancement, we’re a step closer to the future of photography as a whole. The ability to use professional-level gear with our phones opens up the door to take creative photos anywhere with minimal gear. Profoto’s Camera App is intuitive and contains reliable technology makes this process smooth and allows us to put our attention entirely on creating.