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POWER TEAM, ELINCHROM ELB400

POWER TEAM, ELINCHROM ELB400

POWER TEAM, ELINCHROM ELB400 AND FUJIFILM X-T1 by Peter van Heulen As a landscape photographer I am used to having a jam packed Backpack. Even rain gear, food and drink is stacked in it. It is totally different when you are going to work with models. Then you should also bring other flash equipment along with you. That is why it is important to buy a small but good set with the power of a studio flash. Elinchrom ELB is ideally suited for this. For years now, I work with his little brother, the Ranger Quadra, you can read about user experiences on my blog. In reviews little is written about the experiences according to equipment to carry along. Here are several good alternatives, for example, I am totally hooked on the backpacks of Clikelite and in particular the Volt. Good news, finally we have a good and reliable importer for Europe. The German company Globell.com. Globell is known for its good products and excellent service just like my favorite brand Elinchrom. Globell sell amongst others Meyer-Optik-Görlitz’s, Oberwerth, Datacolor and Dxo, just to name a few. No location too far The Clikelite Volt was designed by the House photographer at Clikelite. Like many others, he was also looking for a good solution to be able to work on location with his Rangers. The ELB 400 comes standard in a Pelican-like case. Indestructible, waterproof, but big and heavy. The whole set, two heads, cables, batteries, everything fits in. Ideal for journeying by car or aircraft. But to be carrying this in outdoor areas a backpack is more practical. The Volt has a light metal frame to increase the wearing comfort. The back features have a Clikstand. This is a unique system to handle the backpack when you put it down.You can reach easier for your items in the backpack, so the Volt is more like a real portable studio. At the top of the frame you have a handy bracket, which you can use as a tripod for a Flash head. This saves you bringing along extras and what’s more the bracket serves as a tripod for the “behind the scenes camera”. By means of an ingenious system the entire front of the backpack can be opened in a jiffy. So you can quickly access your items. There are several useful compartments where cables and other equipment can be stored. If you are a smart packer, you might be able to pack in the DSLR, or a second Quadra. As a standard I carry the following items in the backpack: ELB 400 with two action heads and cables, an ECO Ring Flash with cables, an extra battery, exposure measurement devices, skyports, tripod, Deep octa 100...

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Ranger Quadra on the beach

Ranger Quadra on the beach

              Special flash techniques. When you talk about flashlights, most people think of a photo studio or a system flasher, but there are several possibilities for using flashlights. Some photographers always use flashlights to generate more contrast in the photo. Though, by using a portable flash-system run on batteries you can take photos everywhere by combining daylight with flashlight. You need a special technique to induce flashlights and as soon as you have mastered this technique the most beautiful pictures will appear. During the Summer you would think of beaches with lovely tanned models standing in the rays of a setting sun. But, what if, at the end of the day the sun disappears behind a clouded sky?  You would have to come up with a creative solution. Our model Zoey was posing on the beach when the sun crept behind the clouds. The model still can be prominently featured between shades and lights by using: a Ranger Quadra equipped with a Photoflex Medium OctoDome The Softbox is large enough to generate the light to feature one person. The Octodome is one of the most fully equipped softboxes on the market. It will be delivered with an inner and an outer diffusor. The diffusor generates a softer light and therefore makes the contrast more diffused. The inside layer of the softbox can be coated with a golden or silver reflection-tissue. This can be adjusted, without creases, onto the inside of the box by means of velcro. Furthermore the Octodome can be mounted onto various Flashers with an adaptor, i.e. Elinchrom, Broncolor, Profoto, Visatec, Balcar, Bowens, Calumet, Hensel etc. Over 32 different brands are compatible. So the advantage actually is that you don’t have to buy brand- related  softboxes anymore, it’s just a matter of using a proper compatible adaptor. In that way the photographer can depend on using his/her own Photoflex softbox.   We shot the photo of Zoey in a field with the existing daylight together with a Litepanel reflection screen. The reflection screen generates more light on the featuring shadows of the model to brighten up the shadows. The disadvantage of a shot like this is that the lovely sky disappears because the lighting is set on the model. So, by using an external light source the model is more prominent and it doesn’t affect the background setting. For the proper light adjustment of the background scenery we used a light-measuring tool, (i.e. Gossen Digisky). We set it up at 1/125 sec by a f/8 and did so with the flashlight intensity. By doing so the lighting is balanced out and the background scenery as well as the model...

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Softbox review

Softbox review

During the last PI-Fair I incidentally found “Photoflex“, a well-known brand on the market of professional photography equipment.PHOTOFLEX manufactures, among other things, speed-flash units for all brands of cameras. They are particularly known for their softboxes, roadflags and umbrellas. EYES On Media (importer for Photoflex in the Netherlands)) gave us several devices to test: a Halfdome 39×140 cm, an Octodome 139cm and a silver umbrella of 180 cm. Yes, that’s right: a 180 cm umbrella. An umbrella to diffuse light I never was a big fan of umbrellas. At workshops and courses I used to tell my audience that they were only good for when it’s raining. However, having worked with this 180cm monster umbrella really has made me a convert. With an umbrella of that size, it’s as if you have a huge sun behind you. When you want to shoot a group of people or a model into certain scene, all you have to do is unfold the umbrella and the entire scene is more distinctively lighted up. Needless to say, the lightspread you get from an umbrella this size is enormous. The outside of the umbrella is black and the inner part is silver, rendering the light beautifully soft, which gradually fades towards the periphery of you scene. It’s as if the light diffuses to the outer perimeter, comparable to a graduated filter, which gives a nice effect on the whole picture. By using a silver reflective layer you get a few more notches of brightness than using a white one. At approximately €108 it certainly is a good buy, considering quality and in comparison to similar brands. The stiffeners are made out of fiberglass, which is very flexible and strong. Octodome and Halfdome (Striplight) most flash manufacturers produce softboxes that only fit their own flash devices. Usually there are adaptors to make the softboxes compatible with any other brand. While Photoflex makes their own flashes, their softboxes are compatible with all brands. I, myself, connected a Halfdome Medium (Striplight) and a Octodome Medium to my Elinchrom flashes to test this out. Let us start with the Halfdome Medium; it comes with both an indoor and outdoor diffuser plus a mask for reducing the lightspread towards the outer edges.The quality of the fabric is very solid. The seams of the material allow for no light leaking through at all. Assembly of the softboxes is quick and easy; by means of a patented system, the stiffeners are attached on the outside of the softbox. The same goes for the Octodome, which is available in a heat-resistant version to allow for continuous lighting, which is ideal for filming. Many other brands of softboxes can’t endure the sustained heat from these light sources, causing...

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Workshop Pin-Up 40/50

Workshop Pin-Up 40/50

Workshop Pin-up 40/50 On Friday July 4th Fotoflits organized the much anticipated workshop ‘Pin-up Photography’ with Richard Terborgh and Peter van Heulen. With these two photographers it promised to be an instructive and yet relaxed event. It is kind of strange to toot your own horn, but participants have been telling me this so often I take it as a compliment. With pin-up photography you have a large range of possibilities. For this reason you need an excellent model, along with the right kind of clothing and accessories. Daisy Versluis is our usual Pin-up Model, whose make-up is done by our in-house stylist and visamake-up artist Desiree Klink Logeman. Without proper make-up and stylefull clothing the shoot is doomed to fail. Many beginning photographers allow the models to do their own make up, thinking that is sufficient and save the extra expenses from hiring a make-up artist, but that’s non-sense – a good make-up artist is worth every penny. Clothing is usually rented, whereas the accessories for this particular shoot were provided by Lex Wijermans. I myself still have some original items from that period; though I’m not that old… The workshop further discussed the various kinds of light modifiers. Lots of people think any softbox is the same as the next, but by looking at the many examples it becomes clear that there are huge differences among the types. And so participants learn how to work with contrast lighting, or with low-light conditions. For example, using an Elinchrom ELC 1000 you can reduce the light source to 7 Watts, meaning you can use flashlight by candlelight. The workshop also touches upon the different types of flash units. It is very satisfying to see how, at the end of the worksop, participants start having doubts about B-brand flash units like Linkstar, Falconeyes and similar  rubbish. After the morning session, participants are able to meter properly, and know how to choose from the different reflectors and soft boxes. Traditionally, Fotoflits provides us with a delicious lunch, actually too much to be able to continue working. Once again, Desiree Klink Logeman did her utmost best and transformed Daisy Versluis into a true Pin-up model. With the practice sessions, participants learn through trial and error about the kind of effects that can be created with the various lightmodifiers with regard to the model and the pose. The most challenging part of the workshop is to instruct the participants, by using proper metering, how to foresee what their picture will look like in terms of lighting. If one knows how to meter and can tell how lighting will impact the picture, then one can work the camera settings quickly and efficiently and...

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