Archive for May, 2012

Speed Lighting

Posted: May 21, 2012 in News and Gear

2008 Yamaha Warrior. ISO 400, f13, 1/2500 sec.

Ok, it’s been a while since I’ve had a new post here, but life has been keeping me moving! It’s all very good things though.

When I came home from work this afternoon, my roommate was working on his car in the garage and had moved our motorcycles out into the driveway. I really like my bike, and It was just too tempting a subject to not do a little shooting!!! So after I had managed to settle in, eat dinner and get through a few hundred emails, the sun was setting and leaving me with boring light. I decided to kill it – the ambient light that is. Using Pocket Wizards High-speed synch capabilities to trigger my 430EXII flashes, I was able to shoot with a high enough shutter speed to nearly remove the ambient light. Just kind of awesome really. (Just a note – the main overhead light was actually clipped onto the raised trunk lid of my roommate’s car. Motto –  use what you can for a light stand!)

I really love shooting with the Wizards. They really do allow a ton of flexibility in off-camera flash. But they are pricey!!!  There are a number of cheaper alternatives that will let you get started in off-camera flash without destrying your budget. I’ve used models from Cactus as well as these fantastic triggers from Cowboy Studios with great results. Now…these are cheap triggers, but they’re fairly well made. I haven’t had any trouble with them at all. The only drawback is that they are just rock simple. There’s no TTL computing going on or anything like that. It just triggers your speedlight. Bam! That’s it. You have to set your flash settings manually.

I really think that’s the best way to learn off-camera flash anyway. I know some people refuse to buy anything but the name brand stuff and consider everything else junk – I do see some validity to that because the quality control of cheap-o stuff can be a little lacking. But to learn the techniques and start understanding how off-camera flash works, you can’t really beat a two light set-up for about $100. I got two of these Neewer flashes from Amazon along with the Cowboy Studio triggers and have been completely thrilled with their performance! I even used them to get this action shot at a recent Indianapolis Junior Roller Derby event – which won a First Place vote in a Roller Derby Photo Contest for April.

Indianapolis Junior Roller Derby All Star ‘Punky Bruiser’ in lead jammer position

Happy Shooting!!!-Indyshooter