Location lighting question

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Shootar401, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    I'm primarily a natural light photographer, but I do own a set of ProFoto strobes I got a deal on, used of course. The only bad part is that are not compatible with a battery system, so taking them outside of my garage/studio is not going to happen unless I have 20,000 feet of extension cords. So I'm thinking of getting a 300 W/S battery powered moonlight to use outdoors as fill light. My question is, if I shoot through, or reflect off an umbrella will 300W/S be enough to use as a fill light? It puts out a GN of 190, and I expect to be 10-20 feet away from the subject.

    I would love to spend more $ on a good light, but I don't do much location work to justify the price.

    Thanks!
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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  3. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Outdoors, you're going to have to keep the shutter speed at sync speed or below. That and film speed will determine your aperture. If it's a small aperture, your portable flash may be fine for individuals and couples and tight shots of small families, but not powerful enough for big group photos. The umbrella will drop your output a bit depending on the style. You can put the flash closer than you are, but just make sure it's not in the photo (not a problem with tele lenses) A fabric reflector kit can also be a good alternative, but sometimes makes people squint if they are not intent on a good photo (such as in a group situation)
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    So why the lights?
     
  5. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    My camera syncs up to 1/400sec so I should have no issues. I usually meter the ambient and set my fill 1/2 stop lower, or at the same. Or for certain shots 1-2 stops above the ambient reading.


    Really?
    Because I shoot PRIMARILY natural light, I still shoot strobes.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Depending on what you do, using strobes with mixed natural light can be tricky. If you just want a simple fill for shadows, just use a reflector. Reflectors don't need time to recycle, what you see is what you get and less complicated than packing and syncing strobes. It all depends on your style.
     
  7. Dan Quan

    Dan Quan Member

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    This seems like a really useful page: http://www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics1c.html

    It seems like you would lose ~ 2 ƒ-stops anyway by bouncing or off or diffusing through an umbrella. Ripstop nylon material is available at most fabric stores and could be hung on a t-bar (made from old tent poles or PVC pipe or whatever) atop a light stand for a larger diffusion source. You could even use a mirror a la Dean Collins and forgo the flash altogether and have auto-colorcorrected light.

    Positioning your subject in the shade and building the lighting up is usually easier and more controllable. If suitable shade is not handy or doesn't offer the view you want consider making your own by positioning a ripstop nylon silk material between your subject and the sun. This alone can offer a beautiful light if the subjects face is lit satisfactorily, if not then add your flash or a reflector and possibly bring in a rim light. Or if you require a deeper shade the position a black material between the sun and your subject, and build up the lighting from there.
     
  8. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Strobist doesn't work that well for film !

    Strobist doesn't work that well for film !

    However, if you forget about the umbrellas, you can use a
    flash with a Lumiquest bounce card w the Silver Mylar insert
    Off - Camera.

    The best solution I've found when shooting film, ( which is all I shoot ),
    is a Quantum X2 w a Lumedyne 067 pack. This is capable of 400 w/s.
    Not quite enough for flash key, but more than enough for flash fill.

    The slower the film speed, the faster the lens & finally
    the faster the synch speed the better.
     
  9. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Chimping is the new Polaroid to check lighting. You can use your digicam as a electronic polaroid. The sensors don't have the same response curve as film though.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    someone here on apug is selling a KILLER location battery pack lumedyne light kit.
    it is priced VERY well, and is a staple for anyone who doesn't want to deal with cords
    if/when using a portable light source.
    lumedyne has been around for a long long time, and is a favorite of wedding photographers and others
    who don't want plugs.
    i have one ( the same kit being sold pretty much ) and it has worked flawlessly since purchased in 1988.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/95079-lumedyne-systems.html

    i don't have any connection with the seller other than having a similar kit ( used for newspaper work for years )
    and wanting to split up his kit to buy a booster :smile: but he wants to sell it all together ...
    good for the buyer, bad for me :smile:

    john
     
  11. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    a KILLER location battery pack lumedyne light kit

    I forgot to say that the Quantum flashes augment my Lumedyne strobe system.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have an earlier version of the larger one here http://paulcbuff.com/vagabond.php

    Works great, recharges from the car or the wall.

    If you can get the car close, all you really need is the inverter.
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Strobist lighting actually works exactly the same for film.

    Any given set of exposure settings, in any given lighting situation, will get very similar responses in A or D.

    The difference is film simply not having instant review. That's not a required element.
     
  14. toolbox

    toolbox Member

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    Yep...and it still has the same limitations. I finally gave up on using hotshoe flashes outdoors for anything other than fill...it just always seemed like there was never enough power. Now I've got a pair of Norman 200b packs with a big custom battery that will give up to 400 w/s if you use both heads. At some point I'd like to pick up an Einstein and a Vagabond Mini Lithium for location work. The Normans work fine, but an Einstein would be a little less to pack around and have more power (and the Normans only have 3 stops of adjustment).
    Oh, and if anyone ever plans on using an inverter plugged into the car, make sure you get a pure sine wave inverter...a standard one can fry your flash.