Lighting off Camera

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by twocolor, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a session coming up. The father insisted that they do it at 11 in the afternoon. We all know that lighting at that time of the day is terrible. It will be an extended family portrait session, consisting of around 30-40 people. I have photographed this family before, multiple times. I'm doing the son's wedding the day before, and the bride and groom are heading out on their honeymoon at about 1 o'clock the day of the family portrait session - the time is non-negotiable.

    As a fore thought, I am thinking along the lines of fill lighting. I have one flash that can be used off camera, but I'm not sure how y'all support the flash off camera. What type of stand are you using? And will one flash be enough for that many people?

    I also have strobe lights I use in studio. They are NOT battery powered. I have looked around for something that I can take with me and plug my lights into, I guess like a mini generator.

    I'm used to picking the time of day I get to shoot, as well as location. This is getting me a little un-nerved.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Depending how you arrange the group and what flash you're using a single strobe could be enough for fill light. I'd imagine if you're shooting in the bright day light and don't have a very wide lens you probably won't get away with diffusing the light. You'll probably just have to be direct with it and shoot it right at them.

    When I need to set up a speedlight off camera, I use a standard light stand with one of these on the top:
    STR117 Interfit Photographic Umbrella Holder with Hotshoe Adapter

    I don't know what kind of strobes you use in the studio, but I use the Alienbees portable power unit. It's reliable and significantly more affordable that other things on the market. It's here:
    AlienBees: Vagabond II Portable Power System
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :thumbup:

     
  4. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    The SB-600 does not have enough power for this type of application, for shooting mid day outdoors I would think you would need somewhere between 700 to 1000 WS of light to light a group this size. YOu also need to be careful of the smaller generators as they do not have power regulation on them so they can output a range from 80V to 130V and that will destroy a stobe if it is pluged into it.

    As someone sugested the Vegabond II from Alien Bees may work well for this, it is one of the best priced battery packs on the market and I have only heard good things about it.

    One of the lighting shops where I live does rent it so you may want to check some of your local shops and see if they rent one.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ummm.... will you be working outdoors?

    -Pete
     
  6. Nicholas James Photo

    Nicholas James Photo TPF Noob!

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    Reflectors on stands?
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    ^^^ This. Big reflectors on stands. And they'll be more useful later on too.
     
  8. John Owen

    John Owen TPF Noob!

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    Can't post the sample shot here as it has kids in but

    It was shot at 12ish, mid day UK time, bright sun. 8 kids 16 adults

    250th f9 on crop senor, two SB 800's left and right of group fired by PW's. Sky is blue and faces lit

    You can do it with pocket flashes, although they were pumping out at full and 1/2 power so recycle was slower than wanted
     

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