This had to be one of the most fun "Friday night shoots" so far. The theme was "zombie shoot", also know as "Night of the Walking Dead". Lisa Futterer from "Atelier Hair Art & Design" spent hours creating some fantastic make up effects. This was also our first attempt at shooting with a smoke machine in confined spaces...
by Christian K.
by Markus Meier
by Laura Gube
Next time I think we will use a much smaller smoke machine . We also played around with a few colour gels, the idea was to throw a bit of colour into the smoke. It didn't quite colour the smoke as well as planned, but did create some great hair and rim lighting.
by Scott Lewis
We mixed and matched a few different lighting set-ups. I haven't shown the smoke machine in the diagrams but it was almost always off to the right, I think we will have to add a smoke machine to the list of studio equiptment in the near future (but not one that can fill an entire disco in 2.2 seconds ).
One of the most interesting lighting set-ups we use was the image you see here bottom left. It is a variation of clam lighting. The key light this case is a large soft-box set up high with a a vertical strip light set down low as fill. You shoot from between the soft-boxes to create a fantastic light. I have use this light set up a lot when out and about with shoot through umbrellas, but its also works fantastic in the studio. We also played around with my ring flash for a while... but more about that another day.
I hope everyone enjoyed the workshop. We have few more shoots with Lisa planed for later this year.
I have wanted a ring flash for a long long long long time. My original plan was to save for a while and get the Bowens Ring Flash Pro plus a generator. But when i stumbled across the Godox EXR400 ring flash I thought I would give it a test.
I already have a portable monolight from the same manufacturer so the fact that it used the same battery pack was a large selling point for me. I paid €386,05 + €11,35 postage + €22.50 import tax.
The kit contains:
"I have the power" well I don't but the flash dose, it as a lot of power. At its minimum power setting, ISO 100 I had to work at between f/11 and f/16. I was hoping to use a shallower depth of field. Full power at close range will be very uncomfortable for your models. It has the same basic faults as my other unit from the same manufacturer. They need to have a much lower power out put at minimum level, but you can easily deal with this problem by taking an extra step away from your subject and zooming in a bit more. One item that I found very important is the "Power pack bag" as this gives you more mobility, the cable between the ring flash head and the power pack isn't the longest. If you place the power pack on the ground and shoot you wont be able to move around your location a lot. But the power pack isn't very heavy so by using the shoulder bag that is provided, you will be able to adjust your flash easier and move around your shooting location easier.
We have been looking for a decent "Boom Light Stand" for a while. It needed to have wheels for ease of use in the studio and be stable enough for a large 400w Bowens Gemini flash head with a 160cm octobox. After looking at a lot of stuff we settled on Walimex Balance boom stand. We had bought "Walimex Pro" stuff before and sent it back as it just wasn't upto what I would call PRO standard. So I was a bit apprehensive about this purchace.
We paid €300.00 + approx €30.00 postage. Delivery took 3 working days.
It is large (see table below) and stable it is easy to move around the studio. The counter weigh system works well, so its easy to position your light where you need it. The "construction manual" left a lot to be desired, it was a single photocopied page with 1 image that looked similar to finished product. It came with the necessary tools for construction and took about 30 minutes to put together (it is a 2 person job). I'm actually very impressed with it and hope this is a Walimex product that will stand the test of time.
|Max. length||approx. 290cm|
|Height extension arm (min.-max.)||approx. 35cm - 310cm|
|Counterweight||à approx. 2700g|
|Vertical pivoting radius||approx. 180°|
|Connection||5/8 inch spigot|
|Max. load capacity of the extension arm||approx. 10kg|
|Total weight||approx. 25kg|
|Material||metal (frame), rubber (wheels)|
A while back i reviewed the Phottix Velo camera straps. In general they weren't 100% reliable due to very poor quality metal parts, some of which i have to modify to make them usable. The crew at Blackrapid sent me a set of RS DR-1 Double Straps .....
RS DR-1 Test
Like the "Phottix Velo Quick Strap for two cameras" the "Blackrapid RS DR-1 Double Strap" is a designed for use with 2 cameras. They have a list price of about €130.00 and as far as I know there isn't a lot of variation in the price.
They are very comfortable and easy to adjust (as you would expect). The biggest differences between the 2 systems are the carabiner and the way the camera is attached to the carabiner. The blackrapid system uses high strength steel that feels strong and secure.
To put them to the test I used my 2 heaviest set ups. On the right hand side I had.
- Sony Alpha 900 with Vertical grip and 2 batteries
- Tokina 80-200mm 2.8 ATX-PRO (very heavy old lens)
- Minolta 5600HSD with external battery pack
and on the left side
- Sony Alpha 700 with Vertical grip and 2 batteries
- Zeiss 24-70mm 2.8 SSM
- Sony HVL F42AM
I then ran up and down 2 flights of steeps (hoping that my camera insurance was paid up), but nothing fell off. Then i put the blackrapid to a real test. I attached the carabiner to my work bench and pulled on the straps as hard as I could. I'm not a small guy so the stress I was putting the straps through was a lot more then they would be expected to withstand. I am please to say that they passed with flying colours, if they can withstand the "Scott stress test" then a few kgs of camera is no problem.
A comfortable, easy to use, stable, system that fells like it was designed constant use. I would like to see a base plate that is easier to use with a vertical grip but that is only a miner point. Blackrapid have a product that is superior to the Phottis Velo system simply because you can trust it not to fall apart.