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Author Topic: Playing with Speedlights  (Read 3993 times)
cjogo
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« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2014, 01:48:15 AM »
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.   You can imagine the equipment we go through before the day is out.. It's usually me and one more shooter, 2 working as human light stands (their training is critical), water girl, and one more working the social side to go grab the people they want posed together and set them up to be shot..  It's a production,  Western weddings are a breeze in comparison.

What a production !! Can't believe it takes all the gear to take a photograph - I could see back in the 80/90's with film/equipment  & its limitations >  I to took cases of gear back then  >> crazily enough did video and 6X7 stills at the same wedding < by myself ~!   Geeze video was ugly on second generation VHS and the camera was 27lbs and would not look good in even open shade or work more than 30 minutes per battery ...

 I have colleagues who moved into your market ~ about 4 years ago ...hope they don't have heart attacks > they are older than me...;-)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 02:00:09 AM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2014, 01:51:42 AM »
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I went the famous route starting in the late 70's until about 2005 ... Yes, it was great pay ...traveled a lot  ~  rubbed elbows and captured the rich & famous and yes = the budgets were great / but \ guess I got burned out ....and way too old to want to compete..  rather stay 10 minutes from home , these days.  :=)    Free time + ease of life  ==  much more important then the $$$ **  30 years later :-)

In these modern times we'd elevate you above famous to legend.. a rock star level only achieved by dead movie actors and musicians after their untimely demise.  It would help if you had a serious drug habit or worshipped space aliens or some way to explain your unearthly talents unequalled by mere mortals..  and we'd have our legend.  Legends don't have to work much because they get paid fees for speaking and telling the rest of us how we should think..  

There's a place in the hierarchy of the photography famous, an earning position mind you, long after you draw your last breath.  Depending how you're spun.. well.. you could make far more dead than you ever did alive.  You just need to pick a social position, preferably one that's really struggling for acceptance, that will someday have many rich donors willing to pay big to bring down the politician who thinks differently than you.. everyone knows an artist of virtually any type knows what's better for us than any career politician..    You see how all this works?  You just sign over permission to your remains, and everything you  thought and did while alive, and now dead.. and your all set.  It's like a reverse mortgage, but for your morals instead.  Think about it.. we can use you.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2014, 02:03:53 AM »
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What a production !! I have colleagues who moved into that market about 4 years ago ...hope they don't have heart attacks > they are older than me...;-)

It's not so bad when you realise the minimum wage in Thailand is about $10 a day and there's a line out the door and around the block of college graduates willing to work for even less to work with a westerner and learn all of our capitalistic secrets..  Because this was a part time position for most of them, keeping up their training (human light stands actually require knowledge of light and how to work the few buttons on a Quantum) was the hardest part.  I'd get grad students filling most of these, and then the dedicated dual who would spend 2-3 weeks of every month on the road with me as I'd chase other assignments. 

This pair was sometimes one, but never more than two, and they had different requirements.  They had to be fun and enjoyable to virtually live with.. trustworthy enough to risk your life to (this is true most anywhere in SEA, but especially in the insurgent south like Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani.. and have talent getting you into places.. and out of them.   When I got a good one I'd pay them extremely well and they'd stay with me for years.  Every one of them, no exceptions, now have western level educations and are doing well in western countries.  So you could say there was a chance for advancement working for me. 

I could talk forever about this stuff.. I really loved my life there and can't wait to go back.. but I'd hate to annoy people for being off topic..  too late I know.. sorry.
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cjogo
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« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2014, 02:33:18 AM »
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I was a pseudo rock star -- for about 2 years -- but that was way back in the 70's ....Only have 3 Presidents under my belt ( with those protocol FBI checks ).. Countless CEO/Corps ( 10 years HP)  67+ movie stars and 24 Pro athletes >   don't miss the stars ... When you live & work Pebble Beach :: it comes with the territory.........
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 01:08:15 AM by cjogo » Logged
cjogo
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« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2014, 02:35:10 AM »
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OK Back to Playing with Strobes .... with the least amount of pushing buttons :-)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 02:58:26 AM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2014, 08:31:00 AM »
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"As good" as measured in obscure functions only useful in even less obscure scenarios.. or "as good" as measured in how easily a pro can work without the flash getting in the way, missing a shot because the "thermal protection" kicked in, or the entire unit is in for warranty repair. (again).    Or as good by ease of use and light quality?

Thanks for the info, Steve. I've only had to do two weddings since the sixties, thank heaven. I'm glad to hear you're satisfied with your flash setup. I'm happy with mine, and Joe McNally seems happy with the same setup I have. Guess I'll stick with what I have.
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cjogo
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« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2014, 11:15:07 AM »
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 "as good" as measured in how easily a pro can work without the flash getting in the way"


Trying to stay pro -- flash not in the way much > just the bounce card :-)

   The angle of my card/placement of subject & my hand meter reading  = has all to do with my exposures.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 11:17:13 AM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2014, 11:59:43 AM »
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Thanks for the info, Steve. I've only had to do two weddings since the sixties, thank heaven. I'm glad to hear you're satisfied with your flash setup. I'm happy with mine, and Joe McNally seems happy with the same setup I have. Guess I'll stick with what I have.
I can certainly understand Mr. McNally's using Nikon speedlights.. anything else would be like the Gecko using State Farm to ensure his car, or the Stig endorsing a black helmet.   Huh    Some things just aren't done.  Can you imagine Bill Cosby using the store brand of pudding?  The horror..    Shocked   So I can certainly understand your point.
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« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2014, 01:17:07 PM »
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I guess it's a difference between Nikon guys and Canon guys. With Nikon's lineup you don't need to go outside. It's already all there. Grin
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cjogo
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« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2014, 07:37:44 PM »
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I guess it's a difference between Nikon guys and Canon guys. With Nikon's lineup you don't need to go outside. It's already all there. Grin


Love the AUTO settings on the NIKON --fast and easy -- my first Canon digital I used a Nikon flash with a shoe to disable  the Canon circuitry ... Until I got a handle on the 580 strobe..
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 07:48:45 PM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2014, 12:05:22 AM »
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I guess it's a difference between Nikon guys and Canon guys. With Nikon's lineup you don't need to go outside. It's already all there. Grin

Ouch!  Well played sir.   Grin
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« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2014, 12:11:01 AM »
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Love the AUTO settings on the NIKON --fast and easy -- my first Canon digital I used a Nikon flash with a shoe to disable  the Canon circuitry ... Until I got a handle on the 580 strobe..

I sold all three of my 580exII's after discovering they were even less helpful than my three SB800's when I shot Nikon.. Now that I've went to Quantum I can do it all.. without thermal lock outs or damaged gear..  love them.  More, I love their light quality but I risk repeating myself.. Smiley

I've got one of those tiny 280's? Better than nothing and small enough to have with me when I don't want to use ISO 680,000 or whatever..

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cjogo
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« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2014, 01:05:56 AM »
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I sold all three of my 580exII's after discovering they were even less helpful than my three SB800's when I shot Nikon.. Now that I've went to Quantum I can do it all.. without thermal lock outs or damaged gear..  love them.  More, I love their light quality but I risk repeating myself.. Smiley

I've got one of those tiny 280's? Better than nothing and small enough to have with me when I don't want to use ISO 680,000 or whatever..



Still think the Quantum has a beautiful quality of light ... the Automode was very trusted  >>>  just got too lazy to carry a T5d   >  on the shoe of my Canon <  & the Turbo battery around,  at weddings .

 Works perfect for golf work though -- quick recycle at full power for group shots/foursomes  @ a hole = with full daylight in the background.  ( And on a tripod )

    I rarely shoot anything near ISO 500 .. 100 to 400 my usual setting.   Why shoot anything of HI -ISO >  if you have a flash :=)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:07:22 AM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2014, 03:19:17 AM »
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Still think the Quantum has a beautiful quality of light ... the Automode was very trusted  >>>  just got too lazy to carry a T5d   >  on the shoe of my Canon <  & the Turbo battery around,  at weddings .

 Works perfect for golf work though -- quick recycle at full power for group shots/foursomes  @ a hole = with full daylight in the background.  ( And on a tripod )

    I rarely shoot anything near ISO 500 .. 100 to 400 my usual setting.   Why shoot anything of HI -ISO >  if you have a flash :=)

1.  I think it's on par with my strobes and when you couple that with their reflectors, small soft boxes, bare bulb, you go from an attractive hard to a medium soft light in a very small kit.

2.   Their own Automode is foolproof, but your cameras auto modes are available too if you're used to them.  They also have a feature which limits the light for a specific before and after distance.

3.  Their new lithium batteries are so light and small only the light itself is at issue.  I use really right stuff brackets which clamp on to my Lbrackets.. so it makes it easier and very quick to mount an dismount.

4.  Or bikini shoots on the beach.. Smiley

5.  All my best street shooting in Bangkok and the other night life areas requires discreet high ISO shooting  lest a bunch of drunken mongers use you for sport..  Wink
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cjogo
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« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2014, 03:47:58 AM »
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" They also have a feature which limits the light for a specific before and after distance. "

Remember that with the Quantum --worked great.  Use to use the L Bracket --too cumbersome these days...

Just really miss quickly changing the F Stop on the Quantum for my fill & my Metz /Nikon > just takes a different mind set >  with the 580.


I use to shoot a lot at 1/15 in the film days --to get that ambient lite with a little fill strobe..Leaning in door ways to get my steadiness...   SO :: Yes, I welcome the faster ISO --just don't like the "noisy" look .... I know there are post apps for help  > but ISO 600 & I loose interest > and that "clean skin" on the portrait.

" night life areas requires discreet high ISO shooting  lest a bunch of drunken mongers use you for sport.. "
No dangers in this town after dark --everything closes down :-}
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:01:17 PM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2014, 04:24:51 AM »
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" They also have a feature which limits the light for a specific before and after distance. "

Remember that with the Quantum --worked great.  Use to use the L Bracket --too cumbersome these days...

Just really miss quickly changing the F Stop on the Quantum for my fill & my Metz /Nikon > just takes a different mind set >  with the 580.


I use to shoot a lot at 1/15 in the film days --to get that ambient lite with a little fill strobe..Leaning in door ways to get my steadiness...   SO :: Yes, I welcome the faster ISO --just don't like the noisy look .... I know there are post apps > but 600 & loose interest > and that "clean skin" on the portrait.

No dangers in this town after dark --everything closes down :-}

I'll still shoot a burst down to 1/5th to keep a lower ISO.. We all employ many techniques to get that shot, but in addition to bracing I find a burst of 2-4 shots almost always yields one more in focus than the others.

I think I'm going to a town like that later this week.  Supposedly -40ish with the chill.  Taking a course.  Hopefully the pool is steamy..
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cjogo
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« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2014, 12:42:29 PM »
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Still summer like weather in Carmel Valley -- shorts still the attire.

  I never have my Canon camera on more than one shot ..just don't have to fire so fast  >>   its just the old school of 120 film for so many years.  With the RB67 you hand to wind two levers for every exposure...no zooms and 10 exp backs !!  

  Most of my candid's are "setup" shots .. just old ways never change --I guess.  When I work a crowd > totally different MO of the new shooters. No 2-3 frames a sec with bursting flash in your subjects faces.   I need DOF for a bounce strobe into a card at 7/9ft  = F5 = at least with a 28mm and a group of four.     Would hate to come home from a 4-6 hour event and have to load over a 1,000 RAW files for a job and edit.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 01:58:21 PM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2014, 02:23:58 PM »
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I agree with you cjogo. Nobody in his right mind flashes flashes in people's faces on the street. Only Bruce Gilden does that. And people who shoot in bursts rarely end up with anything really interesting. On the other hand, if you're doing a wedding, what people want is clichés, so it probably doesn't matter. What the bride's mother wants is "wedding pictures." That translates as pictures just like all the other "wedding pictures" she's seen. But I'll bet that if you're doing a large group you shoot a bunch of exposures. If you don't, you surely won't be able to find one where everybody's eyes are open.
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« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2014, 05:25:24 PM »
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Still summer like weather in Carmel Valley -- shorts still the attire.

  I never have my Canon camera on more than one shot ..just don't have to fire so fast  >>   its just the old school of 120 film for so many years.  With the RB67 you hand to wind two levers for every exposure...no zooms and 10 exp backs !!  

  Most of my candid's are "setup" shots .. just old ways never change --I guess.  When I work a crowd > totally different MO of the new shooters. No 2-3 frames a sec with bursting flash in your subjects faces.   I need DOF for a bounce strobe into a card at 7/9ft  = F5 = at least with a 28mm and a group of four.     Would hate to come home from a 4-6 hour event and have to load over a 1,000 RAW files for a job and edit.

1.  I only go back to high capacity 35mm backs but with a 5fps motor.. so that dates me.  Having your camera on one shot vs. continuous is a matter of choice of technique.  A modern Canon camera in continuous mode can easily shoot single shots all day long, in fact many students come to class set to continuous mode and are surprised to find this, they think they're in single shot.  So you can easily set it to continuous with nary a disadvantage.

This leaves you free to use continuous mode to your advantage dependent on your style.  I gave an example earlier how burst mode helps you get a clear shot at low shutter speeds.  Try it.. For a day, try shooting 2-4 frames the same way you now shoot a single frame.  Then go back later in post and see if you aren't finding a significant number of sets with one frame focused better than the other.  I do this with students workshop after workshop and it's never failed.  So a technique.

It's also a technique to catch action, either anticipated or unanticipated.  Developing your timing is always great, but anyone who tells me their timing beats 10fps is probably telling a whopper.  I say why not have both tools in your arsenal?  Sometimes you know you'll need burst, other times you might need it, and other times you might not think so.. but what does it hurt?  We're not paying for film any more and I don't think anyone here is prematurely wearing out shutters..

Old school is great, but perhaps we shouldn't let it define too much of how we learn the new.   

2.  You'll have to teach me that one.. Smiley   Isn't candid the very definition of "unposed?"  Which we should't confused with "anticipated" which is any experienced photographers friend.

3.    We all hate it, but sometimes that's the job.  We've already established that as experience grows the shot count decreases, but we shouldn't let a desired shot count rule the job.  If you can do it with fewer great, but if not run up the count and deliver a good job to your client.
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« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2014, 05:29:48 PM »
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I agree with you cjogo. Nobody in his right mind flashes flashes in people's faces on the street. Only Bruce Gilden does that. And people who shoot in bursts rarely end up with anything really interesting. On the other hand, if you're doing a wedding, what people want is clichés, so it probably doesn't matter. What the bride's mother wants is "wedding pictures." That translates as pictures just like all the other "wedding pictures" she's seen. But I'll bet that if you're doing a large group you shoot a bunch of exposures. If you don't, you surely won't be able to find one where everybody's eyes are open.

1.  Yep, always listen carefully to the person writing your check.. not necessarily the bride.  I like to do a good mix of traditional and contemporary and allow them to choose.  And I like to do at least one meeting in the home of the person writing the check, good examples of what they expect will be on their best walls, piano, or mantel. 
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