Lighting Setup from a Ski Assignment
Remote strobe setup in the field
By Dan Carr | January 24, 2011
This photo generated a few questions about how I shot it after it was published in a Canadian ski magazine so I thought I'd do up a little diagram to illustrate things a little better. Whilst this particular subject is fairly specialized there are some lessons that can be learned and transferred to any other remote lighting.
This photo was shot on assignment for Skier magazine last winter, you can view the full set of images on my ski photography website here. The story was about urban skiing in the Canadian city of Edmonton in Alberta. Temperatures stayed below -15 degrees Celsius for the entirety of the trip, sometimes reaching as low as -25 which is challenge to work in with remote lighting.
When I set up shots like this I tend to position the flashes one at the time and take shots with each individual flash on their own so I can really appreciate what each one adds to the scene. The main light for this was an Elinchrom Ranger with a pink gel duct taped over the front of the reflector. I didn't want to loose the yellow color of the railing in front of the building so I needed to set up a smaller Nikon speedlight with a snoot to light that up and over power the pink in that area. Problem is I didnt bring a snoot with me.... so I raided my truck and found a newspaper which I rolled into a tube and used electrical tape to get it to sit right on the flash. Just because you don't have something doesn't mean you can't make it! Light modifiers are often relatively simple things and this isn't the first time I've improvised something from things lying around me! Despite the low temperatures all my flashes worked just fine but I did have some trouble with the Pocketwizards which always seem to be quite fragile. One of them gave up working and I had to connect the Elinchrom Ranger using my emergency sync cord. Another lesson right there, always have a backup solution ! Sometimes with flashes, old fashioned sync cords can come in handy and if you are on assignment, especially shooting something like this there won't be an opportunity to repeat the shot another time.
Homemade newspaper snoott
Top speedlight setup
Click diagram for larger version
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