The Adventitious Photographer _ By Kaye-Sarah Serah
With that in mind I packed the roller bag for yesterday evening's belly dance shoot in Wellard. Not normally known as the capital of Middle Eastern culture, the suburb was playing host to Shimmy Skirt - a Khaleegi group. Khaleegi is colourful, if noisy, and demanded equal colour in the photos.
I've decided to keep the studio Elinchrom flash units in the studio. These days for an outside shoot I pack three Nikon speed lights, three or four different folding light stands or clamps, and a small Lastolite folding softbox. Together with a dreadful old background stand kit, a couple of muslins, and an umbrella, this comprises a pretty good mini studio for groups up to 8 people.
What sort of lighting setup do you get with this? Main through the softbox, fill into the umbrella, and choose whether No.3 light will be a background wash or a hair light suspended from the crossbar of he backdrop set with a Manfrotto nanoclamp. ( Yay nanoclamp. Small and useful.)
As it was Khaleegi, I wanted washes of colour - Honl speed light gels did that - I have indulged in two more packets of assorted colours. If you fire through them onto a light backdrop the colour is pastel - if you fire into a dark backdrop it is intense - so simple. If you look straight into the flash when you fire it you don't see squat for the rest of the evening.
Note that in the small space of a mini studio, the command system of the Nikon D300-series cameras ( and the others of the ilk...) is great - you can order the intensity of two additional groups of flashes as well as the one on the camera and you can vary these right from the camera position itself. It is a light-code control rather than a radio signal, but as long as the remotes can see the command flash, it works brilliantly. If you need to, you can code it up so that the flash from the camera does not actually appear in the final exposure.
So - what was, was. Thank you Doris. And what was looked pretty good - because I planned the shoot and took the right gear. Please come into the shop and let me bore your ears off with other how-to information. They pay me to do it.