Opposite page: The final shot of Yessica Borroto. Above: Clay Cook and his team on location.
If Your end goal Is sof T lIgh T, do
not point the light toward the subject.
feather the light by bouncing off a wall,
ceiling or reflector, and allow the light to
wrap around the subjects face.
don’T forge T The fIll lIgh T. It can
raise the ambient level of the scene
and really add a natural dimension to
your photograph. Keep it subtle, keep it
Con Trol The flash Color wITh
CTo gels. If you’re stuck in a room filled
with the warm glow of Tungsten lighting,
make sure to throw a CTo gel over the
strobe to guarantee a color consistency
with the ambient light. This will reduce
time spent on white balance and color
TurnInG challenGeS In To
an oppor TunITy To make
beau TIful ImaGeS.
Brought to you by
BEHIND The SceneS
ThIs pas T fall,
I received a call
regarding a project
in havana, Cuba, for
the firm Blue equity.
The project consisted
of a twenty-page
fashion editorial and
a large feature on the rich culture, communist
government and beautiful society of Cuba.
Cuba is still a communist country with a
trade embargo, and we needed permission
from the Cuban government for the shoot. for
scouting, we hired a tour guide and consulted
with the government for permission to host
a production on each location. we wanted to
scout the popular places, but also wanted to
search the back-alleys and dirt paths.
fashion in Cuba is huge. It’s a melting
pot of style, filled with color, vibrancy and
texture, with influences all over the map. The
architecture varies from spanish neoclassical
to french-influenced art deco. It’s a visual
The creative directors, models, makeup
artists, hair stylists, wardrobe designers,
assistants, finance consultants, agency
representatives, drivers, translators and the
clients made up a team of over 40 people
from both the united states and Cuba on set.
It was chaos, but controlled chaos.
I knew we would be jumping from location
to location, and carting a lot of lighting would
be impractical. The profoto B2 location Kit is
portable and would be a good balance to the
strong sunlight. we also brought a 46-inch
umbrella to provide a soft fill.
This image comes from the beginning
of the five-day production. during a quick
morning scout of our first locale, I had
stumbled upon a man selling coconuts in a
small hut on the side of the road. when I saw
the dramatic dappled light on a path beyond
his hut, I knew this was our location. he
appears in the background of this image.
Because of the sun, I needed to implement
high-speed sync between my phase one
IQ250 medium-format camera and the B2 air
remote, firing off at 1/640 of a second at f/11.
with our composition in mind, I directed
our beautiful Cuban model Yessica Borroto
into a statuesque pose on a tree stump. we
had our shot in less than 20 frames.
To learn more about the Profoto B2 Off-Camera Flash Location Kit, visit www.profoto.
com/offcameraflash. See more from Clay
Cook at www.clay-cook.com.
cLay cook explores cuba with
the b2 location kit.