Mobile lightstand for events
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Old 06-26-2007   #1
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Default Mobile lightstand for events

I've reached the point where I only want flash if it's off-camera. There's something wonderful about quartering light diffused by a white shoot through umbrella .



But that presents a problem for event photography. Using a lightstand is too restrictive, and aiming a flash with my left hand while shooting with my right hand is out of the question, since I use a big lens for events (28-70/2.8 ). I think I've found a solution.... the human lightstand .

I was wrapping up an event on Sunday, and the light was fading. So I hooked up a strobe and a tiny 32" umbrella. Then I checked around for someone who looked bored... and it just turned out to be a lovely young lady. Imagine that . I put the flash in manual at 1/2 power, knowing the umbrella would eat up a stop or two, and instructed my lightstand to position herself 5 feet away from the subject, at camera left, and to find an angle where she could only see one ear. Then she was to point the tip of the umbrella at the subject's nose.

I took some test shots to determine settings that balanced the flash with the ambient (1/160s f/4.0 at 85.0mm iso200), and locked them down in manual mode. Then I was free to move around the subject and find a good perspective and a good expression. Note that as the light fell, I re-adjusted the shutter speed to keep the ambient balanced with the flash.









This final shot isn't very sharp, because I was holding the flash in my left hand. But I wanted to have a picture of my "lightstand"... the lovely young lady at frame left .


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Old 06-26-2007   #2
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

Uncle Frank,
I would suggest one slight modification to where you point the light source. I would point it about 2 feet in front of the subject, it will feather the light just slightly and the shadows won't quite be as harsh, imo. But, aside from that, very nice images.
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Old 06-26-2007   #3
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

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Originally Posted by Unkl Buck View Post
Uncle Frank,
I would suggest one slight modification to where you point the light source. I would point it about 2 feet in front of the subject, it will feather the light just slightly and the shadows won't quite be as harsh, imo. But, aside from that, very nice images.
Thanks for the suggestion, Buck. Actually, I prefer a high ratio between the key and fill lights, and set up for that effect. But I'm sure it's not to everyone's tastes... and, if history is any guide, my own preferences will change over time.
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Old 06-27-2007   #4
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

Unkle Frank,

As they are posted here, I think the shot with the guy with the mike is the best lighting. See,the highlights are not blown, there is good soft transition to the shadow side that is not blocked up. If you had that ratio and alignment on the rest, I think they would have all been improved. It is a very natural and rich look.
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Old 06-27-2007   #5
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

Nice work, Frank. Another little toy you need

ItemDetail

Make sure you get the one with the stud. You can even get real fancy, and attach the umbrella holder to the clamp.
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Old 06-27-2007   #6
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

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Originally Posted by kgphoto View Post
Unkle Frank,

As they are posted here, I think the shot with the guy with the mike is the best lighting. See,the highlights are not blown, there is good soft transition to the shadow side that is not blocked up. If you had that ratio and alignment on the rest, I think they would have all been improved. It is a very natural and rich look.
Thanks, KG. I like that one best in terms of lighting, too. But the light in the shot of the two girls isn't too bad, and it trumps the other shots in terms of content. It's my overall fave by a mile.

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DSLR Cameras: D700, D200,
AF Primes: 35/1.8DX, 60/2.8G, 85/1.4, 180/2.8
MF Primes: 20/3.5UD, 28/3.5K, CV40/2, 105/2.5
Zooms: 24-120/4VR, 70-300VR
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Old 06-27-2007   #7
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

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Originally Posted by jfrancho View Post
Nice work, Frank. Another little toy you need

ItemDetail

Make sure you get the one with the stud. You can even get real fancy, and attach the umbrella holder to the clamp.
There are soooo many toys .

Personally, I prefer a lightstand for everthing but an event.

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Warm regards, Frank
------------------------------------
DSLR Cameras: D700, D200,
AF Primes: 35/1.8DX, 60/2.8G, 85/1.4, 180/2.8
MF Primes: 20/3.5UD, 28/3.5K, CV40/2, 105/2.5
Zooms: 24-120/4VR, 70-300VR
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Old 06-27-2007   #8
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

Frank,

I agree for content and expression that one is stronger. Now if the lighting was just a little more like the other guy, you wouldn't have distracting shadows competing for attention.
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Old 06-27-2007   #9
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

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Originally Posted by kgphoto View Post
Frank,

I agree for content and expression that one is stronger. Now if the lighting was just a little more like the other guy, you wouldn't have distracting shadows competing for attention.
I see what you mean, and if it was studio work, I'd agree. But in my book, shadows are OK for outdoor event photography. I guess this falls under the heading of different strokes .
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DSLR Cameras: D700, D200,
AF Primes: 35/1.8DX, 60/2.8G, 85/1.4, 180/2.8
MF Primes: 20/3.5UD, 28/3.5K, CV40/2, 105/2.5
Zooms: 24-120/4VR, 70-300VR
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Old 06-27-2007   #10
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Default Re: Mobile lightstand for events

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Originally Posted by Uncle Frank View Post
There are soooo many toys .

Personally, I prefer a light stand for everthing but an event.
I prefer a light stand, whenever possible as well. The super clamp is handy when a light stand isn't possible. And, BTW, you can mount your camera on that, too.


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