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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 18 Mar 2009 (Wednesday) 08:55
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Off camera flash question- small flashes only

 
trailblazer
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Mar 18, 2009 08:55 |  #1

Hey guys,
I am not sure how many of you are into the strobist style of shooting, but I noticed that some of you change locations a lot when shooting people and yet you say you use off camera flashes.

How long does it take for you to setup once you realise the potential of a location?
Do you scout it before hand?
How much gear do you walk with, especially if you are shooting solo?




  
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Nackattack
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May 09, 2011 12:53 |  #2

Great questions...I'm a seattle strobist. Invest in a good carrying bag. I have one for camera and my flashes and more of a duffel for my stands and umbrellas. Scout scout scout! It's best to have a plan, taking in wind, Sun position and weather situations as these can all change.
Spot a location that has many possiblities that look different but are actually close by. It takes quite some time to pack up and move so you are going to want your locations close. If your locations are further away you're going to want to try and use only one light, especially if you are shooting by yourself! Use the Sun as a rim(behind your subject and your light as the key. If you can, get anybody, and I mean anybody to assist for your shoots. It will make a world of difference!


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caught14
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May 11, 2011 08:50 as a reply to  @ Nackattack's post |  #3

I try to keep things light. I will pack a couple speedlights mounted on light stands, all rigged up with radio triggers and ready to go. I can easily carry two of these along with my camera (on a Black Rapid Strap) and my camera bag that holds a couple lenses/battery/cards/e​tc. Clients are almost always willing to help carry something too, although I never ask.

For me, this makes off camera lighting much more manageable in terms of setup time and carrying around equipment. Just put the light stands where I want them, fire a couple test shots, and away we go.

As far as scouting areas - it doesn't hurt. The best thing to do is try to go at the same time you anticipate photographing your client. This way you can get a better idea of what the lighting will be like when you come back. I used to scout before every session when we first started, but after doing this for several years I am confident enough in my ability to be able to assess a location on the spot, evaluate the light, and decide where I want to go without needing to scout ahead of time. (That doesn't mean scouting is for less experienced people -- it's just not a regular part of how we do things, that's all.)

If I have the luxury of an assistant, then I'll also use a portable light stick with a small softbox (and speedlight). This is an extremely versatile piece of equipment. There have also been times where I've brought my AB800's, large softboxes/umbrellas, battery pack (Vagabond), but those are not always practical in terms of setup time and needing an assistant to carry things around. They do give me more power and a better quality of light than my speedlights though.


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L | 35L | 45 TS | 50L | 85IIL | 135L | 16-35IIL | 24-105L | 70-200L
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kevo1586
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May 12, 2011 07:22 |  #4

what's a portable light stick? I googled but didn't anything. I'm still some what of a newbie :D.




  
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JakAHearts
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May 12, 2011 12:36 |  #5

Im not sure exactly what he is refering to but painters poles and this modifier work great. http://flashzebra.com/​products/0152/index.sh​tml (external link)


Shane
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nathancarter
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May 12, 2011 15:13 |  #6

Wonder if I could just take an old paint roller and use my tap-and-die to machine it to the right threads... interesting.


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caught14
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May 16, 2011 10:43 as a reply to  @ nathancarter's post |  #7

The portable light stick I mentioned isn't a specific product but rather something I rigged up. It's quite simple really -- I use a Manfrotto monopod with a Photoflex Softbox. I got the Photoflex Litedome kit (external link) at B&H and I mount a speedlight right on it. It works really well to soften the light and is extremely lightweight and portable. A much better alternative to carrying around a huge softbox, stand, and power source.

Of course it doesn't give you the quality of light that a nice, large light source would, but it's a lot better than a bare flash. And since it's on an adjustable length monopod, an assistant can hold this pretty much however and wherever you want them to, so that flexibility is really nice. It's not going to light up the block, but for individuals and couples it's great.


Colling Photography (external link)
Cameras & Lenses - Canon 5DMkII x 3 | 30D | 24
L | 35L | 45 TS | 50L | 85IIL | 135L | 16-35IIL | 24-105L | 70-200L
www.collingphotogaller​y.com (external link)

  
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Off camera flash question- small flashes only
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