Several weeks ago I wrote an article about Profoto's new-ish pack, the Pro-B4, which has a flash duration of 1/25,000th of a second. Well, last week I was finally able to take it for a test drive. And what better way to test an insane flash duration than with water?
I am a speedlite photographer. That's all I own, and for the most part, all I use. Speedlites are also great for freezing liquids because, when fired at a lower output, they have flash durations upwards of 1/30,000th of a second. The problem with using speedlites at low outputs is that you are either stuck with a lower aperture or forced to use a higher ISO to have a greater depth of field.
Power and speed is where the Pro-B4 excels. I do need to note that though the Pro-B4 is a 1,000 watt pack, when you are shooting in "freeze" mode, you using less than half of the 1,000 watts. Even with this wattage handicap, I was still sitting pretty at f/20 with an ISO of 400 during my test. Note that the light on the left side of the model is the sun.
As you can see in the photos, the water is captured in several different ways. To disperse the water, the only tool I had at my disposal was a watering can, which accounts for the longer streaks of water. The droplets in the image, as you can see, are perfectly frozen. Given another opportunity, I'd like to try a different method of getting water into the frame. In hindsight, simply tossing water from a cup may have been a better choice. Either way, I view the test drive as a success.
Unrelated question- do human kidneys fetch anywhere close to $8,000?