Tuesday, 14 August 2012

California Sunbounce Pro Reflector

A few weeks ago, prior to their appearance on Big Brothers Bit on the Side I photographed the comedy boy band Rogue 5. Time was tight for this shoot as they travelled from London to Brighton between rehearsals.

Darcy "Winston The Rapper" Rogue 5

Part of the brief was to create head shots as the Rogue 5 characters. Normally I'd use portable battery flash in the form of Elinchrom Ranger Quadras, but as the light and location were so good I opted for available light. I was working with my normal team of Ben Potter assisting and my daughter Hati assisting Ben!

Hati very kindly shot a few BTS frames thus making this post possible.

For the head shots I decided to work in the shade of an old shelter which gave soft natural light from two sides. The background as you can see was a bit grotty and was in need of over lighting - enter the California Sunbounce Pro a 6' x 4' silver/white reflector provided both light on Darcy and the background from the silver surface, effectively doing the work of two smaller reflectors. As you can see in the above shot, the 6' x 4' Pro did a very effective job of lighting two areas in the image.

If you do decide to try this, I suggest you have an able assistant hold the reflector as Sunbounce Pro reflectors also make very effective sails. On light stands, even in light wind conditions they require a lot of sand bags to keep them stable.

That's it, just a quickie today.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Rogue Flash Benders When Time is Tight!

All quiet on the blog front and social media in general as I'm busy working with off-line clients - i.e. face-to-face work and have been lucky enough to have tickets for Olympic sailing and swimming. But back to reality now!

Joe Williams with the Bomber Command Tribute at Beachy Head in East Sussex 

There are times when you have very little chance to get your shots as time and the English weather are conspiring against you. I recently attended the dedication of the Bomber Command Tribute/Memorial at Beachy Head in Sussex and had a brief opportunity to photograph Joe Williams the ex-bomber command tail gunner who bought the whole project together, along with Mr Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Her Majesty The Queen's representative for the county and stand-in when Royalty are otherwise engaged.

During the dedication ceremony the weather held off and the sun shone but close to the end of proceedings the weather closed in and started to rain, leaving a small window for photography. I'm not a fan of on-camera hot shoe flash so try whenever possible to use my Canon Speedlite with an eTTL lead. Ideally I wanted a large light source but there was not the opportunity to set-up a softbox on a lighting stand so used a large Rogue Flash Bender which effectively made my teeny Speedlite into a 11" x 10" soft bounce light source.

The large Rogue Flasbender attached to a Canon Speedlite

As time was against me I literally had one or two frames, no more, so had to make sure everything was set and working as there would be no second chance. The camera was set to Manual exposure with a shutter speed to under expose the ambient light/sky by one stop or so. The flash was set to eTTL with one stop over exposure dialed in - better safe than sorry and as I was shooting RAW and problems could be rectified in post. The Speedlite was held at arms length and positioned based on experience!

Mr Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex

As you can see the Rogue Flash Bender did a great job of modifying a hard native light source. They are easy to use and compact to transport so there's no excuse for not having one with you. I use mine as a wrap for my Speedlite in transit.

Use it as a Speedlite wrap or store flat, you have no excuse not to have one of these beauties in your bag!