Flash flood in the Country ~ Pictures and Techniques

May 29, 2009 | Flash, Location | 11 comments

Wednesday’s shoot was a washout. We were shooting in an overgrown quarry, a flower meadow, a high canopy woodland and a pebble beach. The driving rain was constant so we just got stuck in to a full featured shoot. Here are our pictures.

The rain lashed down but with a bit of resolve there were still great shots to be had.

The rain lashed down but with a bit of resolve there were still great shots to be had. I lit this shot with one barefaced Broncolor Mobil head. Even with the overcast heavy cloud cover we needed the might of the Mobil to deliver this powerful image.

I was testing the new Phase One 645AF camera with a P65+ digital back. I’ve never been one to let a bit of water spoil the party and we all had a great shooting session.

Here is another favourite from the day. I cant quite believe the resolution the Phase One back delivers.

Here is another favourite of mine from the day. I can't quite believe the resolution that the 60 million pixel Phase One back delivers. Look at the detail shot below to see a 100% crop from the image above.

This is a 100% crop from the shot above.

This is a 100% crop from the shot above. If you make giant prints the Phase One camera and back combo might just be the kit for you. At €30,000 it might need a bit more testing before you commit yourself.

Putting on open air shooting events always brings an element of risk but without a bit of risk life would be very boring. I’m going to give the delegates from Wednesday’s shoot a complimentary creative shoot day with big flash in August in lieu of the inclement weather inconvenience. We will get to shoot all new locations with a different model and hopefully better weather.

Even in the woods the rain kept coming.

Even in the woods the rain kept coming. Adam, shown here holding the umbrella over Holly, was our shoot assistant for the day.

As well as the wide shot taken above but with Adam out of the frame, we shot close ups too.

As well as the wide shot taken above but with Adam out of the frame, we shot close ups too. You can just make out the bigger rain drops in this shot even at this size.

Holly was wonderful, she was patient and kind all day despite the situations she found herself in.

Holly was wonderful, patient and kind all day despite the situations she found herself in. Marko has removed the rain from this shot.

I love the punchy look created by the Mobil head fitted with a silver umbrella. I used a bare faced head as a kick light from the right. A touch of distant field at minus 2 stops completed the look.

I love the punchy look created by the Mobil head fitted with a silver umbrella. I used a bare faced head as a kick light from the right. A touch of distant field at minus 2 stops completed the look. I set the ratio on the Mobil pack to 70% / 30% for this shot. Having switchable ratios is a must for this kind of work.

A simple set up using a Bowens Wafer 140 softbox on my Broncolor Mobil head as a key light and a Fresnel fitted Mobil head as a kick light.

A simple set up using a Bowens Wafer 140 softbox on my Broncolor Mobil head as a key light and a Fresnel fitted Mobil head as a kick light.

A Canon Speedlight was added to the Broncolor mix to light the background of this shot.

A Canon Speedlight was added to the Broncolor mix to light the background of this shot. Indiana Jones had just gone.

As grey a day as you could imaging was livened up with a splash of flash.

As grey a day as you could imagne was livened up with a splash of flash. I let Holly sit on a towel for this shot. All our camera kits behaved themselves and the big flash kit too.

My full review of the new Phase One kit will be on here soon. Please feel free to comment on these pictures, especially if you were one of the participants on the day.

11 Comments

  1. martin

    I have the Elinchrom Ranger and before that I had an early-model Broncolor Mobil. The Broncolor was stolen and thanks to Damien’s generosity I briefly had use of the latest A2R Bron kit. The Bron is great – it has a small head and if you use more than one head per pack the switchable asymmetry is often more practical than moving a head back or losing power through a ND gel. If you only have one flash head like me that doesn’t help much.

    The Elinchrom is cheaper. Its also better weather sealed, recycles much faster than my old Bron (though the new A2R seemed quicker than my old one) and also has an inexpensive radio trigger system that lets you adjust power from the camera position. If you happen to have a big investment in Elinchrom modifiers then that helps swing the deal in Elinchrom’s favour.

    Reply
  2. Adam Barnard

    I’m confused, who is the extra model in the 4th image? they’re both so good looking! It was an absolute pleasure to help out on this shoot. These images are all superb examples of how the rainy weather can only dampen your clothes, not your spirits.

    Reply
  3. Steven Finlay

    @Damien + David. Thanks for all the info. Much appreciated

    Regards
    Steve

    Reply
  4. David Jones

    Hi Steve – sorry, just adding to Damien’s comment. I looked at the Elinchrom and it boasts very good weather protection. But it was the overall power and the switchable power distribution that was lacking. That’s why I eventually opted for the Bowens as it has a total power of 1500ws and this can be directed 100% to channel A, 50/50 and 70/30 between channel A and B. And as an added bonus, it can provide battery power to charge up normal Gemini heads. So in theory you can get 3,000ws of total flash power to 4 heads (2 x Quad controlled directly from the generator and 2 x Gemini 750). Wouldn’t expect the battery to last long though. And I definitely wouldn’t be taking the Geminis out on location!

    All of the work I have used the Explorer for so far has been inside or external good weather. It’s been great for that.

    All in all, if I was still in a position to buy I would definitely be going for the Broncolor!!

    Reply
  5. damien

    Hi Steve, Another mobile lighting kit to consider is the Elinchrom Ranger. It is less expensive than the Bron kit but doesn’t have the switchable power distribution between the outlets. In my opinion this is important. The ProPhoto system is good too but don’t get sucked into anything less than 1200Ws of power. I think the Elinchrom is slightly less but not significantly so. If you can afford it the Broncolor Mobil A2R is the best of the bunch. I hope this helps, Damien.

    Reply
  6. Steven Finlay

    @David, Thanks for that reply. Up here in Scotland the weatherproofing would be a good idea. Time for a bit more research I think. Thanks for the offer of the Explorer but I’ll pass for the time being until I know a bit more about this mobile lighting stuff.

    Regards…
    Steve

    Reply
  7. David Jones

    Reply to Steven – I’m not necessarily down on the Explorer. I’m using it a lot at the moment and it’s great. But it just looks and feels a bit fragile when you compare it to the broncolor. You should have seen it last Wednesday. Raining constantly. But Damien just plonked a Bron generator on the wet ground, popped a couple of heads on stands with no weather protection on them at all and we were shooting! In the open field he did put the rain cover over the generator but that just provides top protection. It was still sat in foot high wet grass. Looking at my Explorer, there are vents all over the place with a fan running. The 3KM head is a bit bigger than the Broncolor and it has a bare flash tube and I have the UV dome. There is little weather protection. the Bron units seem to be completely self contained and the ‘look’ weatherproof and in action they appear to be so.

    I wanted to buy Broncolor last year but at the time it was a financial stretch and the importers just weren’t interested in selling to me. Now that Damien has taken on sales and has put together a complete and very practical kit, I really do wish I had waited.

    Tell you what – do you want to buy my Explorer?!? :)

    Cheers
    David

    Reply
  8. Toby Clark

    Damien these look fantastic, I did wonder how the day would go with all that rain coming down. The colour of the sky in the first picture is gorgeous and with the rain droplets it really adds a sense of drama.

    See you on the monday workshop.

    Reply
  9. Steven Finlay

    Sorry, a bit off topic but, David, why are you so down on the Bowens Explorer 1500? I ask because I was considering one of those to complement my other Bowens gear. Wanted to keep it all from one manufacturer so to speak.

    Regards…
    Steve

    Reply
  10. Tara Taylor

    Hi Damien, I really enjoyed myself despite the weather. Looking forward to August – many many thanks for offering us another day.

    I am really impressed with the Broncolor Kit! it was great to see it in action – I want it!!!

    The other guys on the course were great and we all had plenty of time and opportunities to get the shots.

    Holly – thank you so much for staying so calm and cheerful despite the rain!

    Reply
  11. David Jones

    Hi Damien. It was a great day despite the rain. Pity I had to leave before we got to the beach. And thanks very much for the complimentary re-shoot in August.

    This is the first time I’ve really seen the Broncolor kit in action and under those conditions it was amazing. I’m sat here looking at my Bowens Explorer 1500 and I really can’t see myself sitting it in the middle of a rainswept field as we did on Wednesday with the Bron!

    That last shot of Holly in the buttercups – well, you just had to be there to know that it wasn’t a bright summer afternoon.

    Thanks for a great day and huge thanks to Holly.

    Reply

Ask a question or leave a comment. All comments get a reply.