Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Previsualisation for Photographers



A common theme among many stunning and successful images is planning & preparation. But before planning and preparation comes previsualisation, which usually starts with an idea, influence or vision.

Previsualisation is looking at a scene or idea and imaging how it will look in the final form. That previsualisation will then drive how the image is shot and post processed.

Previsualisation or Previs has been used by film makers for years, probably since the invention of motion picture production. You may be familiar with storyboards, an essential and integral part of the process for many. A storyboard doesn’t need to be fancy sketches or computer generated images, just a series of representations on which an image or scene can be planned.

For many years I worked as a corporate TV production manager/producer in London where planning whole programmes was an essential part of the production process, especially where clients and financial compliance where concerned.

Once you have your idea, a sketch or whatever, you can begin planning. Look at the images created by others to get an idea of what’s really involved. Look at the work of photographers you admire, magazine ads, editorial images. These images don’t just happen, in some cases the planning is meticulous, in others quick and spontaneous, but they all start with an idea. A fine example is that of Stuart Woods latest wedding image.

Creating an image isn’t about the gear, but the idea. It’s not the photographers with latest or most expensive gear which create stunning images, but those who think their shots through and prepare.

Remember the 7Ps - Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_Ps_(military_adage) Get it right, first time and every time!

Elements to consider when planning your images

Cast & crew - models, talent, hair, makeup, assistants.

Location or studio? Do you need to permission to or a permit to shoot at the location? Does the studio have the lighting you need?

Wardrobe, props - tell the story, communicate the mood or theme.

Time of day, light & lighting. There are any number of online aids and apps to aid planning an outside or location shoot. One of note is Shot Hot Spot http://www.shothotspot.com/ which brings together crowd sourced feedback & images , plus integration with Google maps & The Photographers Ephemeris.

Accessibility, how will you and those involved travel. What about local facilities, drink, food, sanitation?

Cameras, lenses, supports, grip & effects. Often overlooked by many. A tripod not only helps with sharp images, they are an aid to composition. Lenses help focus on a area of the frame (think Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech) or contribute to a sweeping vista (David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia).

Post production - what processing, editing and retouching will be required? Do you need to shoot accordingly.

Whilst not an exhaustive list, you get the idea.

What you exclude from the frame is as important as what’s included. The 35mm slide mount in the image above I use as an aid when framing a shot. Most of the time I shoot full frame, in other words a 36 x 24mm sensor, the same size as an old 35mm stills film frame.

By holding the slide mount to your eye and moving back and forth you get an idea of framing the shot. The closer to your eye simulates a wide angle lens, further away a telephoto lens. So one inch from your eye equates to a 24mm lens, whilst 4 inches 100mm and so on.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lighting Closeup, Garden Orb Spider, Araneus diadematus

Garden Orb Spider, Araneus diadematus

Found one of these in my back yard today, having snared a wasp and wrapped it in silk.

I decided to back light (dark field illumination) to emphasise the web and fine hairs on the spider. A black plastic sheet was suspended behind the spider on a short boom attached to a Kupo Grip C-stand. The flash was modified with a Rogue Flash Bender from Expo Imaging as I knew this would give me both soft and controlled spill to my light. Fill was nothing more than a hand held plastic mirror from a camping shop directly opposite the key light and just out of frame.

Lit with a Canon 580EXII firing into a Rogue Flash Bender, roughly 14 inches away, slightly above spider at 10 o'clock. Fill from a small plastic mirror just out of frame at 4 o'clock (not shown). Placing the flash on a lightweight stand with a tilting umbrella adaptor allows the flash to pan & tilt.

Canon 50D, 100mm ƒ/2.8 EF macro, ƒ/18, 1/160th sec, 320 ISO, WB daylight.b Flash triggered with Yong Nuo YN-622C TTL radio trigger/transceiver.


A tripod for this kind of image is essential as camera shake is exaggerated due to the magnification of the 100mm lens on the 1.6x sensor! Continual focus adjustments were necessary as the spider kept moving and the slightest movement from me or a slight breeze meant I lost sharp focus.

Camera on a Manfrotto 755MF3 carbon fibre tripod with a less than ideal Manfrotto 3 way pan/tilt head. Should have changed to my heavy ball head.

Canon cameras, Elinchrom flash & LEE Filters are available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

Kupo Grip is available in the UK from Ianiro UK. Rest of the world http://www.kupogrip.com/find-a-dealer/ 

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Flirting with Flash - Sarah



Just quickie from a recent test shoot with the lovely Sarah who will be modelling at my Beginners Lighting for Wedding & Portrait Photographers workshop on Sunday 28th September 2014.

A single Canon 580 EXII Speedlite was triggered with a Yong Nuo RF-602 transmitter/receiver set. The flash was zoomed to 105mm to create a beam and give some extra power. The flash was set at ¼ power (I guess). The light was giving some lightweight warmth from a Rosco #302 Pale Bastard Amber gel attached to the flash with a Gel Clip.

Camera & settings:
Canon 5D MkII, Manual, back AF button
Canon 85mm ƒ/1.8 EF, set to AF
WB Daylight
Lens focus 7.3m
100 ISO
1/60th sec
ƒ/6.3


Sarah stood in the shade created by a mature oak tree and positioned so she was against a dark uncluttered area of the background, whilst at the same time catching the back rim light created by sun light, lightly diffused by broken light cloud over a blue sky. The ambient light was under exposed by around 1.5 stops in order that the flash provided to key/side light on Sarah.  The image is essentially straight out of camera, with only my normal processing in Adobe Camera Raw.

The light cloud diffusing the sun acts in a similar way to introducing a net scrim between a hard light source and the model. Spun & Hampshire Frost diffusion gels have a similar effect. Remember with lighting gels you can control the amount of diffusion by using different densities of diffusion gel.

If you go to the LEE Filters website or download the LEE Swatch iPhone app, there are visuals showing the approximate effect of different diffusion gels. There is also a 3D test on this blog showing the effect of diffusion gels in use.

My thanks to Linda Johnstone for acting as VAL (Voice Activated Light Stand).

LEE Filters are available from dealers worldwide.

Canon cameras, Elinchrom flash & LEE Filters are available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

LEE Filters Diffusion Gels Comparison

LEE Filters have an area on their website which shows an approximation of the effect of each gel in two dimensions, you may also see this in the LEE Swatch mobile app. To see the true effect of diffusion gels you need to see the effect on a model - enter Fred the Head.

Fred is a regular in our studio as he's reliable and not demanding! Seriously, it's good to have a constant model and set-up where you can test light and lighting so you can see the effect and later interpret and visualise when on a shoot.


Control image
The unmodified Elinchrom mono bloc flash with an 18cm standard reflector giving an angle of illumination of 60º.


Equipment
The Elinchrom flash head with 18cm reflector. Diffusion gels are held in place with Manfrotto Multiclips. Fred is placed on a bench with a mid-grey background roughy 6 feet away 2 foot 6 inches above head height.


Using the Multiclips is a simple, easy & convenient way to fix the diffusion gels in place and gives a constant distance of around 10 inches from the flash tube for this test. Shown here is 253 Hampshire Frost.

Do remember with all diffusion materials, gel and textile, that the closer to the light source the less pronounced the diffusion effect and the greater the distance from the light the more pronounced the effect. The diffusion effect and optimum distance from the light source will vary between diffusion gels and the effect you are trying to achieve, which is why you may want to consider using larger diffusion gels clipped to a separate scrim frame rather than directly to the rim of a reflector.
















Net curtain, open weave


Net curtain, close weave

LEE Filters are available from dealers worldwide.

Elinchrom flash & LEE Filters are available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.





Tuesday, 24 June 2014

VAL Spigot Companion eBook Free Download

To show the breadth of uses for the 1420 VAL Spigot I've prepared a short eBook which is now available as a free download.


Add to Cart

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Lowepro Pro Roller x200 Light Stand Support

I recently read of someone who had the misfortune to break the tube in one of their Elinchrom Quadra Ranger heads as they were using it with an umbrella outside in less than ideal conditions without any means of stability at the base of the light stand.



Many photographers will opt for a sand bag or bags depending on the size of light and prevailing conditions for stability at the base of their light stand. Sand bags are fine so long as you have the means of transporting the weight and bulk. I do carry an empty sand bag in the outside pocket of my Lowepro Pro Roller x200, but it's not always possible to find suitable material to fill the sand bag. Incidentally, I don;t use sand in my sand bags as when it dries out it produces dust which makes a mess, so instead I use washed 10mm pea shingle which is just as effective and doesn't make a mess.

For those photographers who pack their gear light and tight why not use your camera bag, back pack or rolling case for stability?

All you need to do is put your light stand through the grab or drag handle of the case and rest the loaded bag on one of the light stand legs and rest the weight of the bag onto the tripod stand for stability equal to or better than a humble sand bag.



In this image I used a oriental reproduction of the famous Manfrotto Nano stand as these are what are carried in the case used for this shot. This also the reason I've opted for Elinchrom Ranger Quadra's rather than another brand or portable battery flash. The head is light in weight with a separate battery & controller so the light isn't top-heavy increasing stability issues when on location.

Elinchrom flash is available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

Lowepro camera bags are available worldwide http://www.lowepro.com/about-us/where-to-buy


The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.


If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Working with available light

On Saturday 7th June 2014, a small and perfectly formed group of photographers, all members of the Facebook group, The LIGHT Side met on Brighton Beach in blazing sun and moderate wind to work with basic kit to create some stunning images of a delightful model, Lauren Cole.

Hard sunlight, with intermittent light cloud to provide some softening can be quite a challenge, especially when there is no convenient local shade.

With the aid of California Sunbounce reflectors, a DIY diffuser panel and an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra with the 26cm high efficiency reflector I encouraged and guided the group to think about and create their own images. And create some stunning images they did. There are no CLS (Crappy Lighting Sketches) of the set-ups, but there are a few wide shot BTS images. Considering we only shot for less than 80 minutes much was learned and achieved in such a short time.

My thanks to Lauren Cole for standing in at the 11th hour and to Peter Williams for assisting. Linda Johnston, Neil Hobday & Grzegorz Iwanski you did a great job and created images to be proud of.

© Copyright Grzegorz Iwanski 2014

As you can see here, the back/side light was at times somewhat harsh. That said, nice shot Grzegorz.

© Copyright Linda Johnston 2014

The conditions were fine for soaking up the sun or frolicking in the water, but not for flattering portraits. The sun was high and to camera camera right. In the above image the sun was flagged from Lauren with a white rip stop nylon diffusion panel, aka scrim, and light reflected to camera left.

© Copyright Peter Williams 2014

Behind the scenes - holding the reflectors was a challenge when the wind gusted!

© Copyright Neil Hobday 2014

In this image from Neil Hobday two reflectors were used - a California Sunbounce Micro Mini white/gold zebra to camera right and a white DIY diffusion panel acting as a reflector, low to camera left.

© Copyright Neil Hobday 2014

Another from Neil. I love the spontaneity in this image. Same set-up improved pose.

© Copyright Neil Hobday 2014

Again, same set-up. Nice one Neil.

In addition to various reflectors and diffusers Pete Williams & I both packed a single Elinchrom Quadra head kit into our respective backpacks.

© Copyright Grzegorz Iwanski 2014

Contrary to what some say, it is possible to create images in bright sunlight with portable battery flash without resorting to TTL triggers synchronising the flash at shutter speeds beyond the normal flash sync speed, which in most cases is 1/250th second.

What we did was simple, and simple without complications is good!

The direct sun was blocked or flagged from Lauren with my white diffusion panel creating what was in effect open shade. The Elinchrom Quadra was fitted with a deep 26cm high efficiency reflector (no diffusion or colour correction) and metered at around ƒ/8 +⅓, 1/125th 100 ISO. The daylight exposure was close at ƒ/8, 1/125th 100 ISO with the incident dome pointing to the sky opposite the sun and held close to Lauren's face. This gave an effective ration between the flash and ambient of 1:1 in this case the perfect balance. So no dark and under exposed sky here!

© Copyright Linda Johnston 2014

In this case the perfect balance, a stunning light from a hard and undiffused flash. The Quadra was running at around 25% output which is about the same as the average Speedlite or hot shoe flash at 100%. Basically, you can create this kind of image with Speedlites.

The Quadra was roughly 2 feet above Lauren's heard height and about 10 feet away at about 4 o'clock. Peter Williams acted as the VAL - Voice Activated Light Stand. The Quadra head was attached to a painters extension pole with a 1420 VAL Spigot instead of a light stand, which is far more practical on a beach with pebbles.

© Copyright Grzegorz Iwanski 2014

Did I say no dark skies here! Grzegorz (Greg) a great job with this image, the whole thing pulls together nicely.

Outdoor available light workshops are always fun as you don't know what to expect, especially in England. On the 7th June 2014 we were blessed with blazing sunshine and light broken cloud which acts like a scrim to take the edge of the sun.

Linda Johnston made the observation that the white Grid Cloth/RipStop diffusion panel was too much for her taste. Basically, the density of weave in the fabric reduces the intensity of the light and makes the shadows loose any edge definition, turning them milky.

Elinchrom flash is available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.














Monday, 16 June 2014

Rogue Flash Bender in use

Today I needed to create a very quick image of a small Jack Russell terrier for a website I designed and manage.


Pip is a working dog so she needs a decent head shot. She greets the clients at her owners stone yard


As these small dogs don't sit still for long, I needed a rapid set-up - enter on-camera flash. Yes, that's right, I used a Canon 580 EXII on my camera hot shoe! I know that I preach off-camera lighting at every opportunity, but there are times when it's just not possible.

To soften the effect of the hard edge light from the Speedlite I used a Stofen Omnibounce in combination with a Large Rogue Flash Bender to give me a double diffused soft light close to the camera lens axis.

Ambient daylight was heavy overcast cloud. The camera was set to Av, 125 ISO.  Camera exposure compensation -1 ⅔ stops - flash exposure compensation +1 ⅓ stops. Lens, 85mm ƒ/1.8 at ƒ/4.

Image is straight out of camera with just my usual processing in Adobe ACR.

Simple is good. As is the ability to relate to and communicate with the client. In this case the owner, with my guidance, was standing behind me with a dog toy to gain Pip's attention. This is frame 3 of about 8. The phone rang which closed the session.

Bill Gekas uses the 1420 VAL Spigot

It's good to get feedback from customers and see the results of images created with such a simple piece of kit. Thank you Bill.

"Great product Ian! It was used on my last photo 'Kilcunda' and much more comfortable for the assistant than holding light stands. It's a very well designed and made product."

http://www.billgekas.com/p1014938437/h2befa497#h2befa497

The 1420 VAL Spigot concerts a simple painters extension pole into a cost-effective lighting boom and has a multitude of other applications and uses for mounting your lights and cameras.

Available from selected photo accessory retailers in the UK and direct from www.gelclip.com

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Diffusing Speedlites with a Translucent Shoot Thro' Umbrella


Just a quick illustration of one of the commonest and least expensive modifiers, the translucent white or shoot through umbrella in use with a Canon 580 EX II Speedlite.

The above illustrations apply with the majority of hot shoe flash or speedlites which have a zoom head with a fresnel lens in front.

Look carefully at the images and compare the areas marked with the yellow arrows and at the the density of the shadow on the backdrop and the area of transition between dark & light on the shadow edges.

The unmodified flash wight the head zoomed to 105mm the flash is effectively a small point light source or hard edge spot light. By placing the umbrella in the beam the photons are deviated from their direct path creating the softening effect.

The angle of the zoom head also has a direct effect with the beam broadening as the head is zoomed wider. This also has the effect of reducing the intensity of the flash by up to one ƒ/stop.

Any modifier will also reduce the amount of light reaching the subject to a lesser or greater extent. Not all translucent umbrellas and diffusion panels reduce the light intensity by the same amount, so it's worth conducting your own tests to see the effect before serious use.

I use Fred the (polystyrene) Head and a grey plastic scoop for consistency, given me an accurate visual comparison between modifiers.

The white translucent umbrella used for this test was the Elinchrom Small 85cm/33.5in translucent umbrella which has a 7mm shaft so is cross compatible with my Elinchrom flash.

In the last two frames LEE Filters 430 or Rosco 3030 grid cloth was stretched on a DIY frame made from plastic overflow water pipe.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

1420 VAL Spigot in the field

Photographer Peter Williams is a serving solider in the British Army so packing his gear light and tight is essential so he's ready to move at a moments notice.

Peter was recently assigned to a shoot for the Army in Gibraltar where he put his 1420 VAL Spigot to good use.


To save space and weight Peter packed a 1420 VAL Spigot, a length of copper pipe, webbing cam lock luggage straps and some adjustable bungees in place of a light stand. As you can see from the image above, providing you can find a sturdy vertical pole, rail, lamp post or whatever you have a light stand.

The 1420 is small enough to tuck in a corner of your camera bag and light enough that you'll not notice it's there until you need it.

For more information on the 1420 VAL Spigot and to order yours online visit www.gelclip.com

My thanks to Peter Williams for sharing this image.

See Peter on the web

Website: http://www.petewilliamsphotography.co.uk

Twitter: @P_WPhotography https://twitter.com/P_WPhotography

Instagram: petewilliamsphotography

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 with Elinchrom Flash



It's amazing what can be packed into some bags with a little thought. I've been using the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 as a day-to-day bag for 3 or 4 years now. As with all Think Tank Photo products it's exceptionally well made* and the layout thought through.

The kit illustrated in the image above is as exactly as packed when I travelled to London in 2012 with a group of local photographers to meet Charlie Waite, landscape photographer, author, founder of Landscape Photographer of the Year in UK & US and just a really decent sort of guy.

http://ianpack.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/shooting-charlie-waite-landscape.html

What's in the bag?

Less is more leaving me unencumbered by kit and consequently weight, but allowing me to concentrate on getting the shot.

The Elinchrom 56cm Portalite Octa soft box is a compact, lightweight and versatile piece of kit giving you a diffuse light source or even more diffuse light with a deflector in place. A beauty dish if you use a deflector and remove the from diffuser or remove the deflector and you have a very wide hard light.

From the top of frame, clockwise from left:

  1. Canon 5D MkII with 85mm ƒ/1.8 prime lens
  2. Elinchrom 56cm Portalite Octa soft box for RQ heads, plus connecting rod for deflectors (see below)
  3. Elinchrom Quadra Ranger pack & old style lead acid battery
  4. White & silver deflectors, 2'x2' sheet Rosco ½ CTS Grid Cloth, C47 wooden clothes pegs/pins
  5. Canon 35mm ƒ/2 prime lens - a compromise between weight/size and speed
  6. Elinchrom 2.5m Quadra lead & adaptor plate for the 56cm Octa
  7. 1420 VAL Spigot prototype
  8. Elinchrom RQ A head with Wilson Cap from The Flash Centre
  9. Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 shoulder bag - the bag features here is he original, not V2.0
It doesn't sound a lot, but the two lenses on full frame would cover my needs for this particular assignment. OK, there is no contingency kit but sometimes sense prevails - i.e. I was travelling by train to London during the afternoon/evening rush hours so didn't want or need to be burdened by my normal wheeled case with bag strapped on top!

Even with this inventory in the bag, there is still room for personal bits and pieces including an iPad, phone, water bottle(s) in the stretch pockets either end of the bag, or even a Speedlite etc if you're brave enough to go for a two light rig.


The 56cm Octa sits snugly in the rear outside pocket of the bag.



In the main compartment fit the Quadra head under the camera separated by a padded divider with the camera and lens wrapped in black protective fleece. It's not exactly a tight fit either.



There is sufficient space for the C47s, grid cloth & deflectors to slide between the bag & Quadra pack.



The 56cm Octa adaptor plate, Quadra lead and 35mm lens (wrapped in black fleece) and the prototype 1420 VAL Spigot neatly slip in to one of the expanding front pockets, leaving the other empty.



With care the Quadra lead may be coiled and the 56cm Octa adaptor plate sits within the coils with the lens inside the adaptor plate offering protection from knocks in transit.



That's it for now, don't forget to read about behind the scenes for the image of Charlie Waite.

http://ianpack.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/shooting-charlie-waite-landscape.html

Elinchrom flash is available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

Think Tank Photo bags ware available from many suppliers worldwide.

The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.

* The friction material on some TTP shoulder straps is susceptible to wear rendering the anti-slip properties useless!


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Lowepro Pro Roller x200 & Elinchrom Quadra Flash

Following on from my post about utilising the Lowepro Pro Roller x200, painters extension pole and my 1420 VAL Spigot as a portable light stand.

http://ianpack.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/1420-val-spigot-lowepro-pro-roller-x200.html

This blog will show the comprehensive Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit in the x200.


This kit I find provides the basis for much of my location work. It may added to as necessary, but in this form it's packed and ready to go. The cameras and lenses are in a Lowepro Magnum 400 AW.

What's in the bag?
  1. 2 x Quadra A Heads with Wilson caps from The Flash Centre.
  2. 2 x 2.5m Quadra leads
  3. 1 x 5m Quadra lead
  4. 1 x Quadra controller
  5. 2 x Quadra batteries (not the new Lithium ones)
  6. 1 x Quadra battery charger
  7. 1 x 18cm Quadra fit standard reflector
  8. 1 x grid for 18cm Quadra fit standard reflector
  9. 1 x case with Skyport trigger and receiver for Speedlite, spare batteries etc
  10. 1 x Skyport receiver charger
  11. 1 x 13.5cm Quadra reflector modified with barn doors
  12. 1 x 56cm Elinchrom Portalite Octa softbox
  13. 1 x 60cm Elinchrom Portalite Square softbox NB I carry only one adaptor for this and the Octa
  14. 1 x Elinchrom small translucent umbrella
  15. 1 x Lastolite Ezybox to Quadra adaptor
  16. 1 x Elinchrom deflector set (silver, gold, white, translucent)
  17. 2 x Nano stand rip-offs
  18. 1 x short length 16mm aluminium tube wrapped with pipe insulation as a handle for a Quadra head
  19. 1 x 1420 VAL Spigot
  20. White grid cloth diffusion material
  21. ½ CTS Grid Cloth colour corrected diffusion material
  22. ½ CTB Grid Cloth colour corrected diffusion material
  23. Few feet of Black Wrap/Cinefoil for creating shoots and general light control
  24. 20" white translucent pop-up Lastolite reflector/diffuser
  25. 2 x double clips for attaching gels and/or diffusion material to 18cm reflector
  26. C47 Clothes pegs/pins and holdback spring clips
  27. Micro gaffer tape
  28. LEE Filters Colour Magic Saturates pack lighting filters
  29. LEE Filters Colour Magic Cosmetics pack lighting filters
  30. 1 x sandbag, empty
  31. Folder containing printed Quadra instruction manual, lighting modifer test sheets and Rosco Filter Facts
Outside the bag I may strap a California Sunbounce Micro Mini gold zebra/white and even a carbon fibre tripod.

That is a lot of kit in a relatively small bag! Lightweight lighting on the move.

Elinchrom flash is available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

1420 VAL Spigot & Lowepro Pro Roller x200

Back in October 2012 I blogged about one of the ways I utilise the Lowepro Pro Roller x200 rolling camera case http://ianpack.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/lowepro-pro-roller-x200.html

I'm still using the bag on location even though the current content has altered.

Over the last few weeks I've been exploring the multitude of uses for the 1420 VAL Spigot which I originally designed to convert a painters pole into a cost effective handheld lighting boom.

Buy your 1420 VAL Spigot online

Not everyone chooses to work with an assistant or is lucky enough to know a decent VAL (Voice Activated Light stand). Many of the additional applications and uses described elsewhere in this blog show the versatility of a singular lightweight and compact photography lighting accessory, namely the 1420 VAL Spigot.

Enter the Lowepro Pro Roller x200




When the people at Lowepro designed the Pro Roller x200 someone thought to put a ¼" 20 UNC adaptor on the drag handle to take lighting accessories. This is fine if you want a 3 foot light stand, which is why I've worked out how to use your 1420 VAL Spigot boom pole when assistance isn't too hand.

There are two options:


Keep the bag upright and extend the drag handle. To the extended handle attach your boom pole with 1420 VAL Spigot attached. In this case I've attached the pole with adjustable elastic bungees. You could use electrical tape or even gaffer tape. Bungees are quick, efficient, don't leave a sticky adhesive residue and are reusable.

The main problem with this method is the Pro Roller x200 is inherently unstable when in this position, which is why I prefer the following method.


Put the bag onto it's work support strut. Put your pole tipped with the 1420 VAL Spigot through the top carry handle loop. Attach the end of your pole to the strut by a secure method.


I use a looped length of Para Cord and a couple of key chain karabiner clips. This method creates what is in effect a cantilever allowing a stable base for your pole. I've extended my pole to 3m/10' aided by this method. It's also a reason I favour the Harris 3 Section 10 foot Extension Pole as the grip at the end has a hole which is ideal for attaching a clip by means of more Para Cord.


A snap of Monty, for no reason other than he's a cute dog:)


Elinchrom flash is available from The Flash Centre. Email Simon Burfoot or call Brian Collier at the Birmingham branch.

The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.




Monday, 12 May 2014

1420 VAL Spigot with Frio Cold Shoe for Off Camera Flash

 


1420 VAL Spigot with James Madelin's Enlight Photo Frio Cold Shoe. The versatile lightweight lighting accessory designed to work with most ¼" 20 UNC and ⅝" 16mm lighting accessories. Make a lighting boom from a painters extension pole. More applications elsewhere on this blog http://ianpack.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/1420-val-spigot-practical-applications.html

www.gelclip.com order yours online for next day despatch.