Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alien Bees and Speedlights Comparison

Yesterday (Tuesday, October 14th 2008) fellow strobist Shelley and I embarked on a little test of lighting and props on the lake shore of Toronto. We started out using an AB1600 on a medium octabox and tried to balance the ambient light but the problem was that the light was fading rapidly and the AB became to powerful (even at its lowest setting) so the highlights were constantly being blown out. The obvious option was to stand further away from the light, but as you can see in this example Shelley was not standing in the best of terrains and it just got plain dangerous as you tried to step further away from the octabox:

Dr. Doom is coming for your - Part 2
In this sample, the WB was set to Flash and the ISO was at 2000 in order to capture the ambient light without a tripod. The picture control was set to landscape (I had left it that way from a previous outing the day before)

As you can see, in the sample above, we were not quite capturing that dark gloomy mood we were looking for, so we decided to switch over to SB-800s triggered via Nikon CLS. To get the bluish color on the ambient, we dropped the WB to around 2600K (temp) and put on a daylight balance gel on the off-camera SB-800. The power output on the off-camera flash was 1/64th. Note: bring a flash light with you to find a focus point, otherwise use a cellphone as shown in this pic.
Dr. Doom looking to hook up this Halloween
Looking back on the shot, we should've set up a second flash to light the upper body but I still like the way this one came out.

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