Beauty and the Flash Tube Saga

So I was on location, at a neighbor’s friend’s backyard pool (sounds suspicious already doesn’t it), with a young and talented model. So far so good. Itching to go, I plug in my Quadra head to its pack, turn it on, press the test button. And nothing. Nadda. Zilch.

Brand new flash tube too.

Rut-ro.

I’ve realized how dependent I’ve become to this little Swiss beauty. Dependency is probably not good.

Plan “B” was either no flash (gasp) or go with a speedlight. SB-900 it was then.

Our model, Alexandra, brought some beautiful clothes and a great attitude. Works for me. Although I intend to do some heavy post processing on these images, with background replacement, for now I worked with what we were given (well, mostly what we were given ;)) and came up with shots like this:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

I say “we’ since my bud Chuck was there photographing as well, with Dale assisting.

Alexandra was also a dancer (funny that). She brought her pointe shoes, and an attitude that didn’t hesitate when I suggested that the pool would look really cool with her in it wearing that white dress …

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

I confess I did miss the Quadra though. Not the most powerful of lights, it is still a studio head with about 3-4 stops of light (every stop doubles the light) advantage on that speedlight. As a studio head, its flash tube is large and exposed, meaning it can cover a larger area and do so evenly. And beautifully thanks to Elinchrom’s mods.

That spread of light and extra power means more flexibility. You could use more than 1 flash to achieve the same results if using speedlights, but more = more complex. More stuff to juggle, to go wrong. With the ambient and the way that I shoot I have an additional 2 lights already provided by the sun – fill and rim – so I generally get by with 1 supplemental light on location.

But you have to play the hand you are dealt. Such is life.

The good news is that, with a model such as Alexandra, technical issues are relegated to the back seat. She is also a reminder of how much I enjoy working with talented people. Then the tools don’t matter as much – which is the way it probably should be anyways.

 

This entry was posted in Photo Shoot.