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04/25/2008 04:40:45 PM · #1
After toying with the idea in: Getting Flash Off Camera and after seeing more threads about the subject it seems to me that a lot of people here are interested in "Off Camera Flash". I suggested we start a kinda Strobist group here as well. Only because of the fact the Strobist.com flickr group is quite big and I feel we can all get quicker help here with our new found interest along with fellow DPC'ers.

Now here is what I am thinking. This will be a central place where we can discuss products, accessories, photos, lighting diagrams, and lighting tips. Anyone is welcome to jump in and post questions, hints, or just anything they find that could help.

Just make sure you shot the image you post with some off camera lights.

Anything else we need to add or any questions?

Message edited by author 2008-04-25 16:41:04.
04/25/2008 04:42:48 PM · #2
i am soon to bee a strobist soon as this... http://dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=770632 is answered

Message edited by author 2008-04-25 16:43:04.
04/25/2008 05:27:23 PM · #3
I bought this kit from B&H a few weeks back: Impact Kit

Very nice and sturdy stands, the umbrellas are bounce when the black cover is on and shoot through without the black cover. I bought these with an extra umbrella and stand so I had enough for my three flashes.

Many of you may have seen it and some may not have either way it is a good watch if you are just starting off or just to remind you of a few things to keep in mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKAD7leNOVY

That video is also found on http://www.strobist.com in the Lighting 101 section.
04/25/2008 05:38:40 PM · #4
I think it's a great idea. I've just really gotten started with the whole off-camera flash stuff after discovering Strobist a couple of months ago. All of my latest submissions for challenges have been applying the priciples from the strobist website with mixed results. Always looking for a way to share and learn more.
04/25/2008 05:49:52 PM · #5
No off camera flash yet, but will be a very attentive student..
04/25/2008 06:03:46 PM · #6
I've been playing with off-camera flash since I found Strobist almost a year ago. Having a place here at DPC to work on it sounds like fun, and is probably the push I need to do more practicing. But for starters I'll throw up this shot, which I took with three off-camera strobes

659047.jpg

Strobe 1 on subject w/ a shoot-through umbrella; strobe 2 as a hairlight; strobe 3 geled & shooting through water glasses at the background.
04/25/2008 06:15:34 PM · #7
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

659047.jpg

Strobe 1 on subject w/ a shoot-through umbrella; strobe 2 as a hairlight; strobe 3 geled & shooting through water glasses at the background.


Nice work. If anyone needs a diagram do they can work it up in Photoshop to share then here is a link to the zip file http://www.kevinkertz.com/fm/LightingSetup.psd.zip


04/25/2008 07:42:29 PM · #8
Great idea. I myself just recently got into the whole strobist thing. I'd love to have a place here on DPC to further discuss off camera flash.

Here are a few shots:

672861.jpg
672860.jpg
Set up:
672859.jpg

For these two I used just one flash shooting through an umbrella at camera right.
672862.jpg
672863.jpg

Few more:
672864.jpg
672865.jpg
Set up:
672866.jpg
04/25/2008 09:42:39 PM · #9
In December '07 I purchased equipment to start taking off camera shots. I have had a lot going on and only been able to do a few. This is what I have, would this equipment qualify me to be a strobist and what else do I need? Please! I want to start taking portraits - inside and outside and have been looking on the net and it's hard to find answers. When I do they are sometime hard to understand.


Camera Kit: Canon 40D (Very Pleased)
Lighting: Canon Kit (A little expensive but I wanted portability)
Equip: Impact Kit (Very Nice, Air cushioned is a nice feature, and inexpensive)
bag: Impact Light Kit Bag (nice bag for the price)
Timer: Canon Remote Timer (This item is great, helps a great deal on moon shots)


Message edited by author 2008-04-25 21:45:07.
04/25/2008 09:52:16 PM · #10
Keeping my eye on this group. ;)
04/25/2008 10:04:43 PM · #11
Count me in! Just bought:

2 SB-600s
2 umbrellas
2 stands
2 reflectors

The issue with that is I should have probably bought one SB-800, because I can't use a combo of on and off camera with those two. But if I get serious about portraiture, I'll just buy another one later :) That is if I can resist upgrading my lens collection :)

I'd still like to get a better background for studio work (and for that matter a better place for a studio than my basement).

Of course, the reason (also) I went with a SB-600 flash setup is portability!

But first I need to learn to use my lights better.

I'll have some stuff to post after tomorrow--I have a headshot session with about 20-30 people!

04/25/2008 10:38:04 PM · #12
Nice work there 21.gif breadfan35

21.gif SDW You have what it takes to be a strobist my friend. Oh and check your inbox.

Welcome 21_F.gif RamblinR and 12253.gif nshapiro

I have a very busy weekend myself and will try and get some practice tomorrow.
04/25/2008 11:38:10 PM · #13
I've been doing the strobist thing for a long time myself. I'd be happy to help in any way possible.

04/26/2008 09:40:56 AM · #14
What do you all use for your radio slaves? Pocket Wizards? Cactus?

I'm eagerly awaiting the Radio Popper Jr's, if they are anywhere near as good as the reports on the full-featured Radio Poppers. In the meantime I have the Cactus 16-channel system from eBay. I cut the large jacks off the Rx units and spliced on PC heads to use with my two Nikons and spliced a hotshoe head for use with my Canon strobe. The Canon setup is a bit flaky at times, but the Nikons + Cactus work like a charm.
04/26/2008 09:51:46 AM · #15
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

What do you all use for your radio slaves? Pocket Wizards? Cactus?

I'm eagerly awaiting the Radio Popper Jr's, if they are anywhere near as good as the reports on the full-featured Radio Poppers. In the meantime I have the Cactus 16-channel system from eBay. I cut the large jacks off the Rx units and spliced on PC heads to use with my two Nikons and spliced a hotshoe head for use with my Canon strobe. The Canon setup is a bit flaky at times, but the Nikons + Cactus work like a charm.


I too am waiting for the RadioPopper Jr. to be released. I have been using Nikon's CLS and when I'm able, I borrow my buddy's Pocket Wizards. They are by far a better way to shoot for me. The only reason I haven't bought my own set yet is be because I'm waiting for the RP Jr.'s to come out. (not to mention the price for them) If they are as good as the P1's and are priced anywhere near what they were advertising early on, they'll have been well worth the wait!
04/26/2008 10:08:02 AM · #16
I ordered the regular Radio Poppers. They are supposed to ship sometime this week. I'm excited. I'll finally be able to put the flash where I want without regard for line of sight.

04/26/2008 10:30:54 AM · #17
I just ordered this yesterday. Same flash unit we use at the Picture People but one model down. We use 1600s.

Also ordered a 34X40 softbox with it. Soon I will start the strobe light photography myself. Am I now DPC strobist too? I do have external flash but I don't have the remote trigger for it or stand. I will only have the big strobe light with wireless trigger.

hidden.png 665227.jpg

This photo is not a strobe photo but. I just put here to show some other lights can help you to get good results...

I have two umbrella lights. I also have a white cover sheet that I use from time to time as backdrop until I get my kit.

I hanged the sheet and put one of the umbrellas behind it. Other umbrella is front of the model angled from top. I used fast shutter speed to keep things a bit darker, but not that dark.

Message edited by author 2008-04-26 10:45:10.
04/26/2008 04:34:42 PM · #18
Originally posted by OdysseyF22:

What do you all use for your radio slaves? Pocket Wizards? Cactus?

I'm eagerly awaiting the Radio Popper Jr's, if they are anywhere near as good as the reports on the full-featured Radio Poppers. In the meantime I have the Cactus 16-channel system from eBay. I cut the large jacks off the Rx units and spliced on PC heads to use with my two Nikons and spliced a hotshoe head for use with my Canon strobe. The Canon setup is a bit flaky at times, but the Nikons + Cactus work like a charm.


Yes, I have the Cactus triggers (1 Trans & 2 Rec) and they work extremely well with my SB-28 and SB26. If I need three flashes I add the 430ex and use the SB-26's optical trigger but the 430ex doesn't like to play as smoothly. I'm also looking forward to the Radio Popper Jr's but not having to much trouble at this stage.
04/26/2008 06:38:46 PM · #19
Originally posted by dwterry:

I ordered the regular Radio Poppers. They are supposed to ship sometime this week. I'm excited. I'll finally be able to put the flash where I want without regard for line of sight.


I to am going to save up the money for the radio poppers. From what I understand the Jr's do not have TTL capability. So I will need to buy a transmitter and three receivers. SO I am looking at $720
04/26/2008 08:47:22 PM · #20
I bought two transmitters and two receivers. That lets me place two slaves on the reception floor and use either of two cameras to fire them, without having to switch the flashes back and forth. Seems like it's going to be extremely handy. My only complaint about the Canon system has been the difficulty in getting the slaves to fire when I'm across the floor and may not have a direct line of sight. This will solve everything. I can't wait ... they're supposed to be here soon. :-)

04/26/2008 09:22:44 PM · #21
Watching this thread too.
I just got back from the USA, with lots of great new stuff.

Nikon D300
SB800 and SB600 speedlights
Impact monolight 100 set, with softbox. Great stuff, BH Photo, for stocking Australian voltage too (210V).
Impact umbrella and stand set
Gary Fong cloud diffuser
Reflector holder and stand

I really am all set now, and having great fun. Just rejoined DPC, and am reading it again. Now all I have to do is actually get out there, take some pictures, and enter some challenges.

I'm really loving the whole appeal of off-camera flash, and especially the Nikon CLS system...makes it so easy. I'm so pleased I dedided to go with this setup, rather than Alien bees, or monolights. These Nikon speedlights really are excellent. I read that the SB800, for example, has a higher guide number than an Alien Bee 400.

Spent lots of time this weekend reading these blogs, and playing at indoor portraits with off-camera fill flash bounced off walls and ceilings, to supplement ambient light, including tungsten room light, with the ISO set up high, and manual colour balance. Superb stuff this, from an excellent blog by Neil van Niekerk.

Planet Neil

And this is another really good blog, about flash, and Nikon CLS in particular.
Nikon CLS explained
04/26/2008 10:52:25 PM · #22
I had a great time today! I shot about 22 kids and young adults from a local theatre group performance of "A Chorus Line". The ambient light in the room was pretty good to begin with, the young actors were very photogenic, and although I could have used a third strobe for the BG, it went very well.

Having read all the light setups, and starting with a "standard": strobe upper left in shoot through umbrella, other umbrella above behind serving as hair light and a reflector for fill (as well as side light from the window and white walls reflecting.)

But then as the shoot went on, I moved lights to where I liked them per the shots. My final setup was probaby a bit unconventional, as I settled for one light high to my left (shoot through), a reflector to their right, and the silver umbrella to my right, low, shooting upwards.

I'm happy with most of what turned out. What I wish I could have done better is to get more light on the backdrop (which was a projection screen), and if I had watched for a few cases where I lost the catchlights or had a bit darker eyes. (I didn't lose them on all poses of the given models, but the pose that we selected for the headshots is where they are missing.) In general, I was pulling them out of rehearsal one at a time, and I shot between 3 and 15 shots for each of them (mainly to get their expressions right; I was to keep these all "similar", they all had to be vertical, etc., as some are to be used IN the show (and some for the show brochure.)

What I really liked in the resulting lighting was beautiful variations of facial tones from the soft light! Especially the brighter shots, which slighty reminds me of the tonality I see and like in Dave Hill photos. I didn't go for any dramatic shots, i.e., dramatic shadows. With fewer models and more time, I may have tried moving the lights around more.

These are unedited. Converted to RAW, using lightroom, default settings. Any that are 8x10 were from the cropped set (we need to print 8x10s. I still need to do the adjustments for these, and touch up skin, etc., as well as turn them into black and white.

All were shot with my D80 and my 18-200 VR lens.

Advice and critical comments welcome! I had fun, and plan to do more. And of course, while this shoot was "practical", I want to experiment more.

673152.jpg 673153.jpg 673154.jpg
673155.jpg [thumb]673156[/thumb]
673157.jpg 673158.jpg
673159.jpg 673160.jpg
[thumb]673161[/thumb] 673162.jpg 673163.jpg
673164.jpg

Thanks in advance for any comments/advice! (I did take a couple shots of my two main light setups with my p&s, will post later.)

Message edited by author 2008-04-26 22:54:39.
04/27/2008 07:41:25 AM · #23
We have been doing the strobist thing for the past 6 months or so when we picked up the 580exII to go with our 420ex. Basically any shot in our portfolio that has a studio feel to it is lit with that pair. I want to trade in my 420 and replace it with a pair of 430s at some point in the near future. Radio Poppers will be a little further down the road (maybe alot further).

Fortunate thing for us here in Columbus is that the "Strobist kit" supplier resides in Columbus. MidWest Photo Exchange is local for me so I can pick up kits or gear right here when I need it. Great people to deal with.
04/27/2008 09:33:32 AM · #24
Originally posted by nshapiro:


Advice and critical comments welcome! I had fun, and plan to do more. And of course, while this shoot was "practical", I want to experiment more.

673152.jpg 673153.jpg 673154.jpg
673155.jpg [thumb]673156[/thumb]
673157.jpg 673158.jpg
673159.jpg 673160.jpg
[thumb]673161[/thumb] 673162.jpg 673163.jpg
673164.jpg

Thanks in advance for any comments/advice! (I did take a couple shots of my two main light setups with my p&s, will post later.)


Neil those are some EXCELLENT shots. I think your client will be pleased with those results. My only nit pick is I am not sure I like the two catch lights on some of those. I think it would be better if in those you cloned out the smaller catchlight. Just my opinion though. Good job on these.
04/27/2008 09:55:36 AM · #25
Originally posted by nshapiro:

But then as the shoot went on, I moved lights to where I liked them per the shots. My final setup was probaby a bit unconventional, as I settled for one light high to my left (shoot through), a reflector to their right, and the silver umbrella to my right, low, shooting upwards.

I'm happy with most of what turned out. What I wish I could have done better is to get more light on the backdrop (which was a projection screen), and if I had watched for a few cases where I lost the catchlights or had a bit darker eyes.

What I really liked in the resulting lighting was beautiful variations of facial tones from the soft light! Especially the brighter shots, which slighty reminds me of the tonality I see and like in Dave Hill photos. I didn't go for any dramatic shots, i.e., dramatic shadows. With fewer models and more time, I may have tried moving the lights around more.

Your final setup may not be in any books, but it sounds (and looks) like it worked really well. And when you think about it, it what you did was really create a nice wrap-around effect with the light. I tend to think it's this level balance that gives you the facial tones that you like. Dramatic shots tend to user harder light, which can be cool, but I think the ones you did here are really great as-is!

As for lighting the backdrop better, another strobe is the easiest answer to that. Have it next to/behind the model and aimed at the backdrop. Although honestly, I like the darker, toned down backgrounds on these; I think that if you had blasted the backgrounds pure, bright white, the subtle lighting you used on the models might have gotten a bit lost.
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