Thanks imaginara and ched, your thoughts are appreciated!!
Does anyone have any thoughts on the optimal way to make a 580 EXII flash wireless on a canon 5d markII? I just bought an ST-E2, but I've been hearing more and more about pocket wizards being more versatile especially for outdoor shoots. Most of the feedback I have is from nature/wedding photographers, it would be nice to get a fashion photographer's perspective! Thanks everyone!
Pocketwizards are sort of the industry standard these days and they have been around for ages. They can trigger (with the right connectors) both cameras and flashes and have very good range.
As a fashion photographer when using flash in outdoor shoots you tend to use battery packs rather than the Strobist variant. If you cannot afford one, renting one is a good investment to create that extra kick in the shot (since if its not a client based shot its usually for your portfolio, and thus worth a little investment).
Now i'm not saying that you cannot use a 580 with a radiocontrol, it's actually a very good investment to any flash system, it's just that one 580 will work for some shots, but not all. The second you need to use larger octa's, softboxes or stripboxes, you will need more than one 580 (often many more and that becomes both costly and cumbersome to use compared to renting one batterypack for a day.
Anyway, to answer the original question, i use pocketwizards myself to trigger my flashes, both the packs and the 580's.
I used babypowder which we put onto the model, then had her throw her head around and do small jumps and skips to make it blow out from the shoulders and hair. Then we shot powder against the black background where we just blew and threw it but without a model and then composited this together afterwards. Reason for this was that too much fine powder in the air is very hazardous to your health, so we played it safe. And it turned out pretty neat ;D
Has anyone experience with Anamorphic lenses? We have an Iscorama lying around and I'm going to do some test shoots with it over the weekend with friends.
Just in cinema. The problem with anamorphic lenses is that you need a matched anamorphic lens to get the recorded image back or there will be distortions. For example, movies recorded with anamorphic lenses require an anamorphic projector lens to be shown on a screen at the proper aspect ratio. There is a lot of math involved if you want Photoshop to do the re-enlargement for you.
this is a great thread!
i have a question about studio lighting. i'm relatively new to fashion photography and have only been shooting outdoors with a minolta xg9. (film)
what are the essentials for a basic studio shoot and how much does this equipment cost? i'm a high school student so i need to scrounge. i would love to hear your tips and suggestions
Well, when you say studio shoot i assume you mean a shoot with a solid background (usually black, grey or white) and either hot lights (continuous light) or flashes.
bare minimum would be 1 light (i prefere flashes, some like continous light more) and some sort of background (usually paper, but can be pretty much anything).
The rest of the advice is the same as for any shoot, lightshapers that works for your style of shooting (softboxes, beautydishes, snoots, spots, ringlights, etc. ).
What can be an issue in a studio environment is to control the light, how it bounces around the studio, so some way to block light is usually very good to have (normally screens painted black on one side (to block) and white on the other (to reflect).
Now to keep cost down, i would suggest going for a medium-high end budget light with a good reflector. Avoid the cheapest china brands, and if you can get a used Profoto/Broncolor/Hensel/Bowens/Alienbee etc. its probably better than buying too cheap. There are tons of ways to do simple softboxes yourself and even improvise using thin white fabric acting as curtains to mimic window light.
Then everything also depends on what you will be using as your studio environment, if its the living room wall or a huge former industrial building As i suspect it will be the former rather than the later, i'd say keep it simple. Use whatever backgrounds you have, and use fabrics and wallpapers on screens to easilly switch backgrounds.
And another tip when it comes to backgrounds. If you have the space and money to buy paper backgrounds (on rolls), once they get a bit murky and gritty (which they do don't cut them down or throw them away. Instead you can paint on them and create a new background with a unique look. Here is one example where i took a white background and painted with a normal household mop dipped in coffee =)
So you can get creative with very little means. Now once you start working with paying clients, your image becomes fairly important aswell, and if you use homemade softboxes with duct-tape and cardboard boxes, the clients may think twice... unless you produce outstanding images ofcourse
thank you so much for your prompt response!!
this is really helpful. i'm guessing the first three images were shot with continuous lights, and the other one with a flash?
i think i'm going to diy everything i can or buy medium to high-end used equipment as you advised...any suggestions for that?
i found some really good setups on stefantell.se too
If i dont remember wrongly from a comment on here by one of his assistants, Paolo uses a lot of continous light. There is no real advantage over each light if used properly, its more a matter of what you prefere and what you have accessible.
The picture i showed btw, uses 1 light with a softbox attached, a 90x120 size.
As for used equipment, i prefere profoto myself, but its all up to what you can find. The reason for getting used higher end gear is that even though old, they can be a lot more reliable than new cheaper brands.
The heat is definately why they are nick-named "hot lights" Though, to be fair, this time of year in a cold studio, they can be quite good :P
The shutter speeds will be longer in general (and even force you to shoot at a higher ISO), but thats also part of the "look" you get with hot lights.
Strobist is a good place to start. Just remember that there is a huge difference in power output between a normal hotshoe flash and a studio strobe. And if you are going to match the power by slaving several hotshoe flashes together you quickly end up with a much more expensive solution than getting a studio strobe. Having this in mind however, strobist is a very good source for DYI information.
There are ways to get faster syncs than 1/180th but faster than the max of 1/250 usually means using leaf shutters or similar lenses and generally means way out of the normal pricerange (unless you shoot the Mamiya RZ system or Large Format).
A great thing about Profoto monolights is that you can flip a circuit and they'll go from US 110V to European 220V electrical current compatibility instantly, so if you're back and forth between the US and London/Paris/Milan they're perfect for sticking in a suitcase, compatible on both continents. You just change the cord.