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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 21 Nov 2012 (Wednesday) 10:21
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Using umbrella outdoors in Downtown setting

 
Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Nov 21, 2012 10:21 |  #1

In two weekends I have lined up a couple TFCD shoots with some local "talent", to do some fall/winter outdoor type shots. I recently added an umbrella to my lighting kit and would like to see about using it for some of these shoots (in Portland its gray and gloomy this time of year, however I dont intend to get much sky in the shots). I will be setting up the umbrella to practice with this weekend (wife and daughter get to be test subjects lol).

Anyways question, how would you go about setting up for a wondering around town shoot? Should I set up the flash and umbrella on my monopod and have my wife/assistant hold it? Deal with light stand?

What would you guys do?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.




  
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cdifoto
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Nov 21, 2012 10:25 |  #2

Why don't you try both with the test shoot and see which you prefer? I use light stands personally, but I also work alone.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Nov 21, 2012 10:42 |  #3

cdifoto wrote in post #15272295 (external link)
Why don't you try both with the test shoot and see which you prefer? I use light stands personally, but I also work alone.

Hmmm I just figured I would use the light stand indoors but was not sure I wanted to deal with that in a public setting. But your thought makes sense, I will try out both this weekend and even toss both in the car for the following. If one is not working out to will I will grab the other.




  
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JakAHearts
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Nov 21, 2012 10:46 |  #4

Having a voice activated light stand (aka, person) is fantatsic. If you get get a wife/daughter/friend to help you, I think thats your best bet. No need to heavy sandbags either. :D


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doidinho
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Nov 21, 2012 10:48 |  #5

I would do a light stand and then have your wife hold that, that way she doesn't have to worry about moving the light out of position. It's pretty windy right now, if it keeps up it may be too windy to use an umbrella, even with an assistant.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Nov 21, 2012 11:05 |  #6

doidinho wrote in post #15272400 (external link)
I would do a light stand and then have your wife hold that, that way she doesn't have to worry about moving the light out of position. It's pretty windy right now, if it keeps up it may be too windy to use an umbrella, even with an assistant.

Yes also its been to wet down here to even think of doing an outdoor shoot. This is all weather dependent lol.

Voice activated light stand I like that lol. I have alredy trained her how to turn up and down the power level on the flash :) She makes a great assistant and helps newer talent feel at ease that theres another female there.




  
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Nov 21, 2012 12:16 |  #7

I would contact city hall to see if you need a permit to shoot. In some states and city you have to apply for a permit and carry million dollar coverage to shoot on locations. Not saying you need one in the location your at, but its always good to check. Some places allow stand and some don't because of foot path area that can be all answered by contacting city hall.

You can do a gun and shoot kinda shoot, but if your breaking the law and get caught you can be fined and your gear confiscated (most of the time they tell you to stop or slap on the wrist and they tell you to move on).


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BrickR
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Nov 21, 2012 12:46 |  #8

An assistant would be best, but a sandbag will keep an umbrella from flying off. I use a sandbag but use dolly wheels on the stand. It's faster to flick a lock with your toe and roll the stand than to pick up the sandbag and the light stand, move both, then place the bag back on it. Even worse when I need to move it just a little more than I just did LOL!


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Nov 21, 2012 12:56 |  #9

When I do outdoor shoots downtown, using OCF, I have an assistant with me, who acts as a voice-activated boom. He positions and repositions the light as per my instructions — the only issue is adding more than one light.

I usually shoot with the stylist and MUA on location, so sometimes I get them to hold a reflector or flag.

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From what I've heard, you don't need a permit to shoot unless your equipment touches the ground. If your assistants carry your lights during your shoot, you "can" shoot.

Obviously it depends when/where you're shooting. I tend to shoot in relatively un-cluttered spaces. You can't avoid every single car in traffic, so I shoot in alleys, doorways, etc.


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Nov 21, 2012 13:15 |  #10

Monopod and wife is the best idea. If your umbrella is a shoot through then that might be easier to deal with in the wind. If the umbrella isn't working out at all then just ditch it, shoot in the shade, and use the bare flash as backlighting.


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drvnbysound
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Nov 21, 2012 13:36 |  #11

doidinho wrote in post #15272400 (external link)
I would do a light stand and then have your wife hold that, that way she doesn't have to worry about moving the light out of position. It's pretty windy right now, if it keeps up it may be too windy to use an umbrella, even with an assistant.

This would be my recommendation as well. This way she can also be a little more interactive with the subject too...


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Nov 21, 2012 16:02 |  #12

Light stand and check what the city requires if any. How big an umbrella. I got booted off Port of Seattle property trying to do a family shoot. Apparently my 5' umbrella attracted the attention of the bureaucrats. The city of Seattle is pretty loose if you're crew is small.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Nov 21, 2012 16:13 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #13

Thanks everyone, I check with the city (its a small one lol) and everything is fine as long as I am not obstructing traffic or businesses.

I will toss the light stand in the car along with monopod. The umbrella is not to big I think 43" would have to double check which one I actually ordered lol was looking at so many.




  
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Mark1
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Nov 21, 2012 19:57 |  #14

Assistants are great but I do it with stands as well. It all depends on how much room I will have and how much activity will be around us.

One tip I use, I have a string on my light pole that I use with assistants. I tie it off at the distance I want the light to be from the subject. It makes it extremely easy to keep the light a consistent distance. they just grab the string, hold the end to their chin and let go. And they are exactly the same distance every time we make adjustments or locations. Makes it very easy when Mom or Dad or other escorts are holding the light.


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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Nov 21, 2012 20:23 |  #15

Mark1 wrote in post #15274228 (external link)
Assistants are great but I do it with stands as well. It all depends on how much room I will have and how much activity will be around us.

One tip I use, I have a string on my light pole that I use with assistants. I tie it off at the distance I want the light to be from the subject. It makes it extremely easy to keep the light a consistent distance. they just grab the string, hold the end to their chin and let go. And they are exactly the same distance every time we make adjustments or locations. Makes it very easy when Mom or Dad or other escorts are holding the light.

The string idea is great, I will have to give that a try




  
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Using umbrella outdoors in Downtown setting
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