1. A smidgen of smoke, Holly our model for the test shoot and a Quadra flash pack down at Ladye Bay in Clevedon. The behind the scenes shots and the techniques used are detailed in the rest of the post.
My 2 ‘A’ head Quadra kit arrived on Wednesday last week and on Thursday morning I was all set to go out on my first test shoot with it. I charged both batteries in seemingly no time at all and tested the Skyport transmitter was set to the correct frequency. Photographer Andrew Jackson joined me on location. He is on my Evolve course and instigated the shoot to build his portfolio for post wedding bridal fashion shoots. I like to test new picture styles first, then plan the product offering and the customer experience in detail before rolling it out to clients once everything is ready.
2. Our shoot began at a local ancient orchard.
3. This is the shot without flash. I placed Holly in the shade, this gave me a great contrast between the lit and unlit areas when I added the light from a Quadra head in my Lastolite Ezybox.
4. Here is the behind the scenes shot showing where I placed the flash. It’s a very simple 1 light set up. Lighting with flash doesn’t get much easier than this. I set the exposure in manual mode on my Nikon D700 camera and adjusted the flash power to taste. The Skyport triggers worked without a glitch giving Andrew and I full remote control of the flash power at the touch of a button.
5. I shot this detail with this blog post in mind. Lovegrove Consulting now sell an adapter to attach a Lastolite Ezybox or Ezybox hot shoe to an Elinchrom Quadra. LC also sell the egg crate grid for the Ezybox too. Elinchrom make two heads for the Quadra, the ‘S’ head (Standard) and the ‘A’ head (Awesome?). The A head has a much faster or shorter flash duration and can easily freeze action even on full power. The difference in cost is minimal so I recommend you get the ‘A’ or awesome head kit.
6. The power set for this shot is 4 out of 6 (two stops down from full power or ¼ power.
7. I set up the next shot with the Quadra acting as a back light. The Quadra heads come with a frosted plastic removable lens and it is perfect for this kind of shot.
8. You can see my set up clearly here. I set the exposure to be normal without the flash and added the flash to taste. The sync speed with the Skyport system is 1/250th second – perfect for a shot like this.
9. The lake in the woods was our second shoot location just a few minutes walk from the ancient orchard.
10. We used the Quadra at power 5 for this shot using the Lastolite Ezybox. Still with a stop of power in hand the Quadra is a big step up from Speedlights. Speedlights are typically 55Ws and the Quadra delivers up to a whopping 400Ws. The back of the shot is in full sun and the Quadra coped really well. Far better than I expected actually. I’m used to the 1200Ws of the Bron Mobil kit and to be honest I hardly noticed the difference. Apart from the weight that is. The Quadra is so light by comparison. It uses Lithium Ion batteries rather than lead acid and this makes such a big difference.
11. Twenty minutes drive from the lake in the woods is Ladye Bay in Clevedon. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun set on a summer evening except if some photographers are letting off smoke bombs, Haha. The beach was deserted once the smoke had cleared. Seriously though it was clear before we started too. This picture was lit with a bare faced Quadra on power 5 or ½ power setting.
12. The set up shot for the picture above. Our shooting assistant for the afternoon was James Dalby, a graduate in media arts.
13. An ever so simple shot made fabulous by the light from a Quadra. Just one bare faced Quadra head set at power 5 and triggered with the new Skyport Speed trigger system.
14. With flash.
15. Without flash – dull and lifeless.
16. A scene from a science fiction film?
17. Smoke and flash make a dramatic combination.
18. Both Andrew and I shot all afternoon and we didn’t manage to exhaust the Quadra batteries. The kits we sell have two batteries and these will be more than enough for most users. James is setting off one of our smoke bombs in the back of the shot. The contrast ratio on Holly’s face is about 2:1 with the flash from the Quadra set at half power.
19. James teaches Parkour in his spare time and showed us a couple of jumps to test the freeze action of the Quadra A head. I should have been a bit lower with my camera to catch him in the clouds.
20. A behind the scenes shot showing the placement of the Quadra to illuminate James.
The Quadra kit is light, compact, powerful, convenient, easy and fun to use. Please feel free to add your comments on your experiences with the Elinchrom Quadra. The Quadra Ezybox adapter is here.
I am available for 1:1 tuition to help you develop a shoot style or show you how you can easily use flash on location.