Monday, June 21, 2010

Outdoor Lighting Class

We had a great turn out at Buckroe Beach for the outdoor lighting class. 3 models and about 30 photographers got to together to create some stunning images.

B&H Photo was generous enough to allow us to use some of their gear for the class and all the gear came in real handy.

We started our class with the sun still pretty high in the sky. We had the sun behind the model and used a large reflector to get some light back on her. We used the Impact 42" 5 in 1 Reflector seen being used here:
_MG_0813
It can be used as a gold reflector, silver reflector, zebra (gold/silver) reflector, white reflector, and a translucent diffuser. Once we got the hang of being able to properly bouce light from the sun into the model's face, it worked quite well. The great aspect of using a reflector is, you're not limited to a certain shutter speed to sync to. Most cameras have a max sync speed of 1/200 or 1/250 of a second when using powered lights. Anyone who has metered an exposure in the bright sun will know that using 1/250 shutter speed will probably require an aperture of f/16 or even f/22 meaning everything will be in focus even the distracting elements behind your subject, not to mention the small aperture will dramatically reduce the relative flash power. This is where a large reflector shines (excuse the pun) I can shoot a wide open aperture of f/2.8, focus only on the subject and blur everything else out, and I'm not limited to 1/250 shutter speed. I was taking shots at f/2.8, 1/2000, ISO100, and getting great light on the model.

I was thoroughly impressed with their Impact Century Stand seen here:
Will King Shooting Natalie
The stand is heavy duty and very sturdy. We were able to mount the stand on the beach without any sand bags. The stand supported two 580EXIIs and a beauty dish in a slight wind without a hint of budge. The stand rises to a maximum height of 9.8 feet and can support up to 22 lbs.

Light stands are not a vital ingredient of making an image like a camera body, lens, or lights, but a good light stand can serve as an essential tool to make your job as a photographer so much easier and stress free. The last thing you want to worry about is having your lights fall because of a weak light stand. After using the Impact Master C Stand on two outdoor shoots, I was pleasantly surprised with the contrcution and sturdiness of them, and they are less than $100 compared to the $140 comparable Avenger C Stand.

We were able to remotely trigger both 580EXIIs using the Impact PowerSync 10 transmitter on the hotshoe of the camera and the Impact PowerSync 10 Receiver connected to the 580EXIIs. Transmitter pictured here:
                                                                
                                                                           and receivers pictured here:



The setup worked very reliably and since they are radio triggers, they do not require line of sight to work. Radio triggers also work great in the bright sun where infared triggers would normally fail. We got a consistent pop with this setup from up to about 150 feet away. The range might be longer if used indoors.

All in all it was a fun gathering and hopefully our members learned a lot.

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