HOW I GOT
ROB WOODCOX WEATHERS THE STORM WITH THE PROFOTO B2
I interact with a lot of people as I travel but there
are a few that stand out to me: they are the
quickest to smile, the fastest to share a meal and
the first to offer assistance with no additional
cost or strings attached. It’s these people I’ve
chosen to document in my new personal series,
This particular image is of my good friend,
Long Tran, a fellow photographer and explorer. We shot this photo on a
secluded stretch of the Mekong River in southwest Vietnam.
Creating this photo was quite an adventure in itself. My team and I arrived
at the sunny Mekong River late morning. The plan was to explore for a bit
and then shoot a small photo series of Long near sunset; as we stopped
along the river for lunch however, we noticed some clouds in the distance.
We had to decide whether to immediately go in for the shoot, or risk
waiting out the storm and potentially getting no photos. I decided to go for it.
Our canoe guides rowed us into the storm, and we had plastic bags to cover
the lights and enough crew members to hold the boats in place as I shot.
The lighting setup for this image was actually quite simple, I chose a
single Profoto B2 light with a Profoto RFi 2 x 3-foot Softbox to accent Long
and make him really stand out from the naturally lit scene. There were three
boats involved in achieving this look: one to hold the subject, one to hold me
and one to house my lighting assistant at camera right, achieving a dramatic
side light. My goal was to give a look of strength and power to the subject by
making him the most prominent element in the photo.
Natural and artificial light are brilliant complements to each other, and I
prefer to have the most natural and realistic look possible with my lighting.
I shoot on location—often in very secluded areas—and a small lighting kit is
preferable. It’s especially helpful in impromptu situations such as this one.
Although my original intention wasn’t to risk our lives in a tropical downpour,
my creation was definitely better because of the unexpected circumstances.
As the first bolt of lightning struck, that’s when we knew we might actually be
crazy—and just like that, “Electric Auras” was born.
To learn more about the Profoto B2 Off-Camera Flash systems, please visit www.
profoto.com/offcameraflash. See more from Rob Woodcox at www.robwoodcox.com.