Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Portraits in the New Year

This year started off with a portrait shoot at Upper Treman State Park. Lovely warm (for January) weather made it much more hospitable. Last year, Stephanie and I did a portrait session further up the gorge in November and I was sure I would end up with frostbite on my fingers and toes. So, yesterday was a nice change from what we normally would expect from January weather.

These images of Lydia were shot as potential images for her website and blog. One of the major obstacles of shooting outdoors in the fall/winter/spring in this area is the lack of light. We started shooting at 3pm, and within 20 minutes most of the light was gone.

To get around the falling light, I employed the new SB-700 speedlight. I was expecting it to be a fickle bugger, but it turned out to be considerably more reliable than my SB-600s. Now I need to save up for a SB-900! Oh, and more light modifiers!

Santa brought me a Nikon SB-700 for Christmas this year. At first my expectation was that this flash would behave just like my SB-600s that I have been using for the past year. Nope. This is such a MUCH better design. I love how the head rotates in both directions! I only wish the sensor was just a touch more sensitive. As it is, it is considerably more sensitive than the SB-600. My biggest hurdle at the moment is trying to figure out a better remote trigger than the Nikon infra-red system. It seems to have a really hard time seeing through the Lastolite EZbox when I am out on location. I've changed the orientation of the head relative to the strobe output, but the softbox still obscures part of the reception I think. Suggestions? I know I should throw my lot in with PocketWizards, and I probably will,... but anything cheaper in the meanwhile would be appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Alex,

    I've been using the Yongnuo RF-602 triggers after the cheapo set I'd been using for a year finally crapped out and I've been ecstatic to have them. Their range is incredible (2.4ghz and the internets has them at like 500m through cinder block walls. I've only taken them to like 50m of free air), I haven't had a misfire yet in probably a thousand or more shots, and they include wired connections that could get the trigger below whatever impediments might (won't) stop their communication. Best part: they can be had for around 30 or 40 bucks.

    I just can't ever justify the cost of pocket wizards to my level of business. I'm not hiring 10k an hour models, I'm not syncing to inside a flying helicopter and I'm not likely to, all I need is something that will trip a flash from a fair distance without making me dick with it all the time. I don't think that should cost me like 300 bucks, that is far too many days of shooting and editing to make it worth the outlay of cost.