Photo of The Day (Autumn Sun)

1/200 sec at f/6.3 ISO 100 168mm Model Kendall Strampel

1/200 sec at f/6.3 ISO 100 168mm Model Kendall Strampel

Last Sunday we took the recently acquired posing chair to a wonderful location high atop a mountain and placed it in a field of wild grasses in the midday autumn sun. As for the technical difficulty in capturing an image like this… It really is not all that hard. As you can see the model’s back is to the bright sunlight. I am using a 22 inch white beauty dish for flash to light the model’s face. The camera is in “Manual” mode. The settings are 1/200 sec at f/6.3 ISO 100 168mm. 1/200 is the limit for my sync speed with the flash, I wanted to go as fast as possible with shutter speed to slow down the hair blowing in the wind. The lens was the ever so awesome EF70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM and the flash was a Paul C Buff (rest his soul) Einstein 640 powered by the PCB Vagabond Lithium Extreme.

So in the end it was… get to the location, set the chair in the field, set the model in the chair, take a few test shots and then fire away.

Editing started with  Lightroom CC and moved to Photoshop CC using my own methods with some Emily Soto magic added at the end, then back to Lightroom CC for cropping and watermarking.

Studio Lighting Outdoors ( I fired 174 shots and it worked flawlessly. )

1/100 sec at f/7.1 ISO 160 70mm with flash from PCB Einstein.

1/100 sec at f/7.1 ISO 160 70mm with flash from PCB Einstein.

I just wrapped up an outdoor shoot with male model and motocross racer Greg Sampson. I really had a chance to put the Paul C Buff Einstein strobes and the Vagabond Lithium Extreme battery pack through some testing. Although I used one of the PCB’s yesterday for an outdoor shoot, it was very minimal. But today I fired 174 shots and it worked flawlessly. I didn’t even once think about recharge time. I am not a fast shooter any way so it was not a problem at all. I used one Einstein strobe in a 7 foot Westcott umbrella with no diffusion. The shoot started very late in the day and light was fading as cloud cover came in. I started with some available light shots and they looked good, but I wanted to stay “clean” with the ISO so I brought out the newly acquired PCB system. Because it was late in the day there was no wind at all, zero. So I was able to use a 7 foot umbrella and that too was amazing. Most times it would be virtually impossible to use a large umbrella outside. In fact, I don’t think I have ever used a large umbrella anywhere but in the studio.

I really can’t say enough at this point about the PCB system. I really need to use the lights more before I could give a full review. However I can tell you the one thing I have noticed is that I had no white balance issues. I use an X-Rite Passport color checker for all my shoots, because I make a camera profile/s for each location and I use the X-Rite for setting white balance. Moving up & down through the power range of the PCB I still had very close white balance readings.

The Vagabond Lithium Extreme battery is amazingly light in weight and so easy to work with. Just clamp to a light stand, plug in and turn it on, that’s it.

Mostly I have used Speedlites when shooting on location and I loved my Speedlites, but to be able to take studio lighting on location… It was incredible!

Greg was amazing; he is a great model and so easy to work with. He takes direction so well. Today was a relaxed shoot and we were going for a rather natural look. I wanted to capture Greg in normal clothing as if he were just hanging out with friends. In fact to make the shoot very relaxed Greg chose a location that was very peaceful and it is a place he is very comfortable with. It was the location where he very first learned to ride a dirt bike as a young boy, so not only was it peaceful the location had meaning and a sense of value. In the past I have found that when capturing a person as they truly are, doing it in a place they love really makes it easier.

Motocross is just one side of Greg’s life so we have a shoot planned that will expose another side of Greg. You’ll have to wait and see.