Ever since I starting using a light kit I’ve gotten numerous requests for information on what I use. I thought I’d take some shots of the kit and provide a few details that will hopefully answer some questions.
I knew from the beginning that if I were to get a light kit it would have to be pretty portable allowing me to take it to remote locations where plugging in isn’t an option. I started to look at prices online and quickly realized that kits with battery backs were out of my financial league….however I had noticed someone on flickr posting shots along with their lighting set up and it was the battery pack that caught my eye. After a couple of email exchanges my questions were answered on the kit. The feedback from this shooter was positive and the price seemed great. I was now after this light kit.
The first item to share is how difficult it was to track down the Boling lights. After reaching the end of Google I could only find one store offering the lights with the battery pack and they were located in Australia (Click here for a link to the store). Even with the bumped up price for shipping the kit was still much more affordable than anything else I’d come across so far. I placed my order and waiting impatiently for my kit to arrive.
The kit contains two lights (300 watts when both are used 600 watts if used as a single light), a carrying case, two grip attachments, two reflectors, two protective bulb covers and a battery pack.
The battery pack in detail. Two input ports for the lights, an on/off switch, test button, buzz on/off, DC port for charging, sync port to connect Pocket Wizards or sync cable and a dial to adjust the power to both lights.
View of battery pack with Pocket Wizard attached. I use velcro to keep the Pocket Wizard secured to the battery pack. Has worked out great so far….
A back view of the lights. Notice it has two switches…one to power on and one for modeling lights…don’t get too excited…lets just say you wont be using any modeling lights based on my testing. They are way too under powered to be of any real use.
Front view of lights.
View of light with reflector and grip attached.
I don’t pretend to be a lighting expert so I won’t write a detailed review of the kit. I will offer my highs and lows.
- It’s price (around $650 US two years ago)
- Its portable and surprisingly lightweight
- Powerful enough to overpower daytime sunlight
- Can be used with Pocket Wizards.
- One light cord is longer than the other. It would have been nice to have two long instead of one long and one short.
- Modeling light. While I haven’t had a need to use them…It wouldn’t matter as they are very under powered.
- Hard to find.
As always click images for a larger view. Thanks
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I have a number of full size images from the 2010 Red Bull Rampage displayed in the Oct/Nov issue of International Mountain Bike Magazine. I know Rou over at IMB had a fun time sorting through the hundreds of images I sent his way. I think he made smart choices that go great with his write up on the event. You can check out the issue online here http://www.imbikemag.com/issue8/Read More/Leave Comment
As I was driving home from Utah a couple weeks ago I found myself in the middle of the Nevada desert watching a pretty massive storm build. The normal photographer thoughts quickly went through my head. First thought was that I need to capture part of this. But what part I thought….you know I wanted all of it. But there I was driving 75mph (legal limit in this area of Nevada) and the first priority after 4 days away from my wife and kids was to keep driving and get home. I think it was the rainbow that finally flipped the switch in my head and I realized that I’d never seen a storm like this before nor one with a vertical rainbow…..and now I needed to grab a shot of this amazing display.
So I did what all good photographers would do. I pulled over, got out my tripod, cleaned the lens (Canon L glass of course), attached the remote trigger to prevent any shake and used a light meter to get the proper settings. Of course I used a camera with a full frame sensor because we all know that in order to really capture all of the data we need one. Oh and yes you were going to ask if I shot it RAW? Is there any other option? People really shoot JPEGs?…………..
Now if any of this set up and gear talk is starting to sound like bull…well that’s because it is.
It is true I took the photo. The bogus steps of capture detailed were listed out just to make a point. First off I don’t own a camera with a full frame sensor, I didn’t use a tripod, I didn’t use a Canon lens and yeah I shot a JPEG. My main point really is that I shot it. I continued on my way at 75mph, reached over to my camera bag, removed the camera and shot through the glass of the passenger window. Did I get lucky? Perhaps. So many people I know go on and on about the gear they need or the certain camera they must have……and how they need to make time to set up and shoot…how they have to shoot RAW and that non Canon glass is crap.
This shot received a lot of attention on Flickr when I posted it. I say thank you to those who commented, but in reality what did I really do? I certainly had no part in creating the wonderful display which I went on to label “Power”. I merely used the chance I had and I’m thrilled that I did. So lets take a time out on gear talk and “rules”….and shoot some photos.
As always click the image for a larger view.
Tokina 12-24 f/4
Chevy S-10 as the moving tripod
I Have a full page image in the new issue of Dirt Rag. We shot this photo in the hills of Simi Valley. I used my strobes to light up this really cool cave like feature we found and Charles was able the make the squeeze through that small opening and ride through it for the shot.Read More/Leave Comment
While there are always amazing highlights from the Red Bull rampage….there are also the crashes. Here are a few sequence shots I captured.
Chris Van Dine..amazing move and crash
Graham Agassiz ejects mid air
Kurt Sorge Crash Sequence
Mike Hopkins gap jump mid air ejectRead More/Leave Comment
I’m hoping the images within this post will do some of the talking about the Rampage as a mountain bike event. Since this is my photography blog I’d like to stick to the photography side of what went down in Utah this past weekend. OK a few words about the event. Even if you aren’t into mountain biking at all….I know you’d be blown away at the moves these guys were pulling all weekend. Huge, large, massive, insane are a few words that come to mind. Sure it looks big in photos….it looks even bigger in person.
Having watched the 2008 event on DVD I had a few ideas of what I was in for from a photography perspective. One thing I knew going in was that it would be dusty. Not a huge deal for me as I shoot outside most of the time. I did nothing out of the ordinary to prepare my equipment for the dust. The only thing I guess I wasn’t ready for was the wind storm that blew in on Saturday afternoon….The gear was fine as I put it away knowing the riders were done for the day. It is very dangerous for them to be up on the ridges in that type of wind. My eyes, ears, nose and skin weren’t prepped for the red sand storm that hit them. Maybe I’d pack some goggles next time? (Note to un named hotel in St.George…sorry for the red towels and shower..it was a LOT of dust)
Two bodies. Not only was I wishing I could divide myself in two in order to cover more ground during the event, I also wish I had brought my second camera body. There is so much action going on both at a distance and close up that having one body with a wide angle and the other with my 70-200mm would have been ideal. Switching lenses outside in the dust isn’t the best practice either….I do it all the time though…Do as I say not as I do.
Waiting for that one shot. I wish I had taken up a few more secluded locations and waited for the riders to come to me. I found myself trying to shoot their entire runs which was nearly impossible do to the size of the event. Again having two of me would help here. It’s very hard to sit and wait with the riders out of your view while you listen to crowd go nuts over what that rider is doing out of your sight….not only as a fan but as a photographer you want to see the whole run. But sometimes you gotta miss all that to get the shot.
Overall it was an amazing weekend filled with great riding. I met some really cool people who love the same things I do and were willing to hang out and talk shop. There was one photo guy from europe..not sure what country..who plopped himself right in the way of my shot…he refused to move at first but finally did after a verbal “REALLY?” from me. You know who you are straw hat euro dude.Read More/Leave Comment
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I usually go to the local BMX track each week and I’ve been doing that for a few years now. Finding new ways to be creative can be challenging. This week I noticed the riders kicking up dust as they walked back to the starting gate. The sun was also setting and the combination made for a nice set of photos. I thought the triple flare from the sun came out pretty cool too. Of course there has to be power lines…oh well.
Settings: 1/4000th at f/9.0
Sigma 70-200 2.8
I’ve blogged in the past about firing my flash units remotely allowing me to place the lights pretty much wherever I want it. While there are a few ways to trigger flash units, I choose to use Pocket wizards. One of the main reasons I went with Pocket wizards for my flash trigger was that I also knew they would work as a camera trigger too.
Inspired by many others before me I knew I wanted to do some remote photography. Meaning I wanted to place the camera in spots where I couldn’t go myself. I wanted those unique POV shots that make you wonder how the photographer got the camera in that spot and how he pushed the button. By purchasing a couple of Pocket wizards I had the first piece of the remote puzzle in place…getting the camera out of my hands. The second piece would be connecting the camera to the objects I wanted to shoot. This is where the magic comes in to play in the form of the Magic Arm by Manfrotto.
The Magic Arm doesn’t pull rabbits out of hats or do card tricks, but once you’ve used one you’ll understand why they call it magic. On one end there is a removable camera mount where you ..well…attach your camera. On the other is the Manfrotto Super Clamp. OK I guess this thing is Super and Magic…anyway the Super Clamp allows you to attach the Magic Arm to just about anything it can fit on to. With a set of pocket wizards and a Magic Arm the next step is coming up with ideas where you can use them.
You’ll notice above that I said you attach your camera to the Magic Arm. So the gear heads who polish their cameras daily and fret over each scratch can stop reading here. There is a risk involved here and your stuff might get bumped, dropped, scratched and or run over. It is the chance you take with these types of set ups. In the skateboard shot below I’ve included the set up shot so you can get an idea of what I mean. I remember posting this shot to flickr and calling it “Trust”. Not only did I need to trust the Magic Arm, I also needed to trust my friend Jason who was doing the riding. If he were to let both feet off the board the camera would drop to the ground. I think the risk was worth it for this shot. The second skate shot I took alone…..and had to really keep in mind what I was doing because after each shot I wanted to hop off and check out what I captured by looking at the LCD on the back of the camera. Again hoping off would drop the camera to the ground.
The two biking shots below each had their own challenges and gear risk. The first shot is of my son who is riding in the street with the Magic Arm attached to the head tube of his bike. He was 8 years old at the time and yes I trusted him to remain in control. We did about 10 tries on this set up and ended up with the right amount of blur while keeping the rider in focus. Notice I didn’t use him in the skateboard shots In the second photo below of the mountain biker, the challenge wasn’t trusting the rider but figuring out the camera settings to get the shot I wanted. I wanted a few things going into this one. I wanted a wide enough angle to get the rider and capture Utah’s amazing landscape and I wanted both in focus. So I had to use a smaller aperture to have both in focus…BUT I also wanted wheel spin to show movement. So to get wheel spin I needed a slower shutter speed. My wants were starting to back me into a corner. Shooting in the afternoon allowed for the smaller aperture, but the slow shutter speed was starting to allow too much light. After a bit of trial and error I was able to get all the things I was looking for in the shot.
For the BMX shot below I placed my camera on a mini tripod and fired the camera remotely. Again there is risk here with the riders narrowly missing the camera each time. These guys were experts and kept their lines straight each time.
There are a number of ways to get remote and POV shots. I’m hoping my post encourages you to get out and try a few. You don’t have to have a Magic Arm or Pocket Wizards to pull these off.Read More/Leave Comment