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Old 26th of November 2006 (Sun)   #1
StarFinder
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Red face Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

For my 18th birthday approx. 3 weeks ago I decided to splurge quite a bit and indulge in a pair of Pocket Wizard Plus units, Nikon SB-24 and SB-26 flash units, two 7' light stands, and some umbrellas (gold, silver, and two white shoot throughs). Finally I had a mobile light setup (the only thing keeping me away from some Alien Bees lights was the expensive Vagabond battery system needed for the kind of 'on location' portability that is a must for me). I blame Strobist for this recent camera gear splurge.

Last week I decided to steal away my friend Josh so I can test my flashes out on him (he's always such a willing guinea pig). I'm still figuring out these units, what with thier manual controls and such, but they are indeed fun to play with and I can't wait to work with them some more this week (my boyfriend wants to do a shoot soon).

These were shot at around 4:30-5PM and it was getting dark fast, so they were quite a challenge (I HATE doing night time shoots). This wasn't a serious shoot so much as a "hmm..let's see what these lights can do" type of thing.


Nikon SB-26 with a 32" gold umbrella off to the right of the camera, parallel with him, and Nikon SB-24 shot through a 40" white umbrella off to the left of the camera, next to me.


Nikon SB-26 with a 32" gold umbrella placed behind him (camera right), Nikon SB-24 shot through a 40" white umbrella placed infront of him (camera left).


Bare Nikon SB-26 placed behind him as a backlight, Nikon SB-24 shot through a 40" white umbrella off to the camera right. I should have made him tilt his hat more so as to not catch the backlight and glow so much. Oops.

Hopefully I will get to play with these more, ever since I started working at 'The Picture People' I've had so little time to work on my own shoots. At the very least, I get to learn how to pose large groups and children, which by the way are TOUGH to do, especially large groups WITH (rowdy) children.
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Old 26th of November 2006 (Sun)   #2
bolantej
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

dude these shots are great, and I like the lighting.
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Old 26th of November 2006 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Awesome shots!! I wish I could get shots like that!
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Old 26th of November 2006 (Sun)   #4
Brandon James
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

awesome
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #5
ashleymcnamara
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

AWESOME!!!
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Well done... I like them. one would presume you're happy with your purchase?
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Quote:
Originally Posted by bolantej View Post
dude these shots are great, and I like the lighting.
Thanks I'm still experimenting with lighting, but it is definately fun, and a nice change from my usual 'available light only' shooting that I did before. Much more versatile, and now I get those nice catchlights in the eyes, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timbernet View Post
Awesome shots!! I wish I could get shots like that!
Hehe, after having seen SO many amazing photos taken with flashes/strobes, I just had to get a setup of my own. I've wanted one for a VERY long time now, too. Originally I was going to go with the Canon ST-E2, but my 420EX has no manual contols, and to buy two 550EXs AND a ST-E2 (ontop of the light stands, umbrellas, etc) was way too expensive, so I picked up some Nikon SB-series flashes instead and a pair of Pocket Wizards. It was cheaper, and they offer the full manual control that I desire. Both flashes were under $100, too. Besides, Canon flashes don't offer a sync socket/port and I really didn't want to deal with those hotshoe/sync adaptor things. Shame on Canon for not having those sync ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_miss View Post
Well done... I like them. one would presume you're happy with your purchase?
Ofcourse I am, I love these flashes/strobes and can't wait to use them more! I may be loyal to Canon as far as camera bodies and lenses go, but I must say those Nikon flashes are versatile as heck AND cheap too! I plan on buying a few more SB-26 units eventually and possibly another Pocket Wizard Plus reciever or two. For the most part the optical slave function on the SB-26 unit works well, it goes off when my PocketWizard controlled SB-24 goes off, but sometimes when they are too far apart or something is blocking the SB-26's line of sight, it fails to go off. D'oh! Hmm while I'm at it I should raid B&H for those nifty gel samples to attach to my flash heads.
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Nice work, well done.
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Very Nice, Can you tell me how much PP was applied to these shots?
I really like no.1, have you added any grain to that background?
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Wow amazing lighting!! These shots look so professional. I MUST experiment with reflectors soon. And you said these were taken near 5 o clock? So it was mostly flash just bounced into white/gold reflectors?
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Those are Great!

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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Awesome lighting dude, well done
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #13
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny View Post
Very Nice, Can you tell me how much PP was applied to these shots?
I really like no.1, have you added any grain to that background?
The post processing work on these shots was minimal actually, all I did was tweak the curves a little to make the colors more 'interesting'. In the un-processed, out of camera shots he was a more pinkish tone and the sky was more blue. I subdued both and added a slight desaturation to the blue channel followed by a green bias. The grain however is natural, it is the result of shooting at ISO 800, as it was the only way I could get the proper exposure for the background (my ambient light was fading FAST!). The specs for these shots are as follows:

Photo 1: ISO800, 1/160 sec, f/3.5
Photo 2: ISO800, 1/80 sec, f/3.5
Photo 3: ISO800, 1/30 sec, f/3.5

You can see how as the shoot progressed, I had to use slower and slower shutter speeds. All of these shots are hand-held using the 70-200mm f/2.8L (non IS, because like a schmuck I figured "Nah, I won't NEED IS").

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiepeter View Post
Wow amazing lighting!! These shots look so professional. I MUST experiment with reflectors soon. And you said these were taken near 5 o clock? So it was mostly flash just bounced into white/gold reflectors?
Yep, I used one large 40" white shoot through umbrella and one 32" gold reflector umbrella which I bought that morning from Canoga Camera (I am fortunate enough to live only 10 minutes or so from Canoga Camera's physical store, so I had raided them that morning for two 40" shoot throughs, a 32" gold reflector umbrella, and another 7' light stand to compliment my ebay-bought light stand + 32" silver reflector umbrella. For this shoot I used the large shoot through umbrella as a main/fill light, and the gold reflector was used mostly to add a secondary 'accent' light. In the third shot, only one umbrella was used.

Light is a fun thing, as I am quickly discovering. And, if one can't afford a set of Alien Bees with a Vagabond pack for on-location lighting, flashes are the next best thing. Oh, and don't listen to the folks at the store who will try to tell you that your shoe-mount flash can not put out enough light for an umbrella larger than 30" or so, it is not true. I find that I can NOT use my flashes at 1/1 power because they are so strong, unless I move them far far away (often no need, plus I like to be able to be pretty close to my units should I need to make settings/position changes). I tend to use my lights at the 1/8 to 1/16 (sometimes even 1/32 for the SB-26) power settings and I get by fine. As soon as I figure out a good, sturdy way to mount a softbox to a flash head/light stand, I will be adding some of those to my kit as well. I will then more than likely make my own grids and screens to cast light patterns on the walls/backgrounds for some of my shoots which require such 'special' lighting effects.
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #14
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

You did a great job on all of them!

I am still @ that experimental stage where i just do a lot of trial and error type things with my lighting! (and it will be even tougher now that i am getting 2 more strobes for Christmas)

Keep on practicing and you'll find all the nice tricks the pro's use! ...then you can share them with me! lol
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Old 27th of November 2006 (Mon)   #15
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Default Re: Flash/Strobe tests and my friend Josh

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkWeEkiE View Post
You did a great job on all of them!

I am still @ that experimental stage where i just do a lot of trial and error type things with my lighting! (and it will be even tougher now that i am getting 2 more strobes for Christmas)

Keep on practicing and you'll find all the nice tricks the pro's use! ...then you can share them with me! lol
I'm at the experimental stage too, actually. I haven't even gotten to try my lights out on a more 'serious' shoot yet, just testing them out on my guinea pig..err..I mean..friend, Josh. Hehe. I'll definately be posting more often to POTN again and sharing any new tricks I learn with these, plus any 'home made' light modifiers I may come up with to further control my lights.

What kind of strobes are you getting, anyway? Alien Bees, or flash units?
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