Testing Testing

It never ends…new toys…photographers are dangerous.

If you’re in a relationship with one, be careful.  They can justify any new purchase.  Oh, that’s right if you’re reading this, you’re the dangerous one.

Case in point, the new IPhone…you don’t need it, you just want it.

The IPad was last months news

Stuff that’s quicker, smaller, faster, bigger, slimmer…less expensive, more expensive; the adjectives are juicy.

I want to shoot faster and quicker.  I decided on 580ex ii’s, quantum turbo 3’s and radio poppers x 2.  Yep, bought them.  I can’t afford them, shouldn’t afford them and if they don’t work to my expectations I’ll be pissed.  The amount of research is even greater when you can’t afford something but feel it will help your shooting.  You have to exhaust everything and convince yourself to the tenth degree (not sure what that means, sounds good though).  Buying new things doesn’t make me happy, I look at it as a big pain in the butt, fraught with peril.   New directions, software, testing…

This setup will not shoot faster, actually they shoot slower than my current set up, which is a Profoto 600 ws mono light, beauty dish and vagabond x 2.  I’m tired of lugging it around and setting it up, so that’s the slow part.

When I did art shows years ago the more expensive artists would be sitting around while all the art goers were walking around with art on a pole or stick.  One of the artists nicknamed it “sh-t on a stick”.  The artists who made things that stuck in the ground cleaned up at these shows while we sat around twiddling our thumbs.  We were jealous and didn’t consider them our peers, but wished our cash registers were ringing like theirs!

Speedlights always remind me of “sh.t on a stick,” so the jury is still out.  I plan on leaving the lights on the end of a light stand with the battery pack attached to it and just throw it into the back of my car.

I bought this set up to do simple comp card shooting like pictured above.  What appealed to me was the High Speed Sync capabilities.  Apparently the radio poppers will now work with Alien Bee 800 mono lights in HSS mode too.  HSS allows you to shoot wide open during the day in sunlight.  You can darken the ambient light by simply dialing down the exposure compensation from the camera, so they say.

So I’m getting back to testing and will fill you in to my findings.  Just doing some quick model shoots outside.  I have decided that I can’t live without my TV screen and will be taking that, using the Hoodman actually seemed to be slower than viewing my screen

The model shows up with her makeup and hair done, a couple hour shoot, nothing special.  No assistants, just the model and I,  see what I can come up with on the spot.  Stay tuned for the results.

1 comment category: Lighting,Photographing models,Testing

1 Aurora Vanderbosch June 25, 2010 at 7:25 am

This post was my first good laugh of the day, Mary–it was SO easy to relate to! Oh, the hours I’ve spent researching each and every purchase, before I finally decide it’s worth it…and OH the pain, when it turns out it WASN’T. (Although, when it works out the other way, it’s awesome! ;))

When you mentioned testing, though, and the type of shoot you were looking at for your new setup, it made me wonder about how you, personally, handle your test shoot terms. I’ve seen everything from photographers who offer the entire, unprocessed shoot on a CD, as the model walks out the door, to those who offer a single, retouched image of THEIR choice, not the model’s, from a shoot–and all sorts of variations in between…although it does seem that the higher quality the output from a shoot, the less a photographer offers (understandably–since 1 superb image is far better than 100 lousy shots! ;)).

I guess a “sidecar” to that question would be how much time you put into the shoot *after* the fact–sorting through shots for a proof set, editing for proof viewing, then editing of final images, etc.

Unlike pricing, there’s very little info online about how photographers decide what to offer…and I always worry that I’m offering too much or too little–I’d like to be sure I’m offering something that’s both generous and fair to both of us, and am sure I’m not the only one who would be interested into that part of a shoot–and how you arrived at whatever it is that you’re currently offering for test shoots–if you’re comfortable sharing that, that is! 🙂


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