football with 3 speedlites
/forum/topic/1145216/1

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andyz
Registered: Jul 17, 2008
Total Posts: 572
Country: United States

How far away can the player be with you still getting good light on them, and have you ever been told the flash hindered the player, or better yet have you been told it was of no consequence?

Looks sweet but I'm concerned the team wouldn't like it or shooting from the end zone the light wouldn't reach.



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2206
Country: United States

andyz wrote:
How far away can the player be with you still getting good light on them


Once it gets dark I usually put away the 600mm and switch to my 200/1.8L+1.4xTC for 280mm (f/2.5 available, but I usually click it up to f/2.8). If they're close enough to sufficiently fill the frame, then they're usually within flash distance. They need to be closer if you're shooting at xsync, trying to overpower ambient. Hypersync with multiple flashes at high ISO is more flexible and more recoverable in PP if necessary. But as a rule of thumb, I don't try to reach past midfield. I move to the endzone when they're in the red zone (20 yards), so that's usually with range.

andyz wrote:
have you ever been told the flash hindered the player, or better yet have you been told it was of no consequence?


There are hundreds of threads in the past 10 years on this, so I don't want to revisit this tangent in depth here. I've been shooting this team with flash for several years. And I've shot hundreds of games at 77 different schools in several different states.

I've checked with officials, ADs, coaches, and players. Not a single concern or comment (other than "great shots last week" or the players saying "we're going to run this play your way, so get ready").

YMMV. If the guidelines, officials, ADs, or coaches in your area prohibit or discourage the use of flash, or if you have concerns or preferences against the use of flash, then don't use it.



andyz
Registered: Jul 17, 2008
Total Posts: 572
Country: United States

Thanks for the info. Our field has such poor lighting I might look into something like this.



Jeff_Stapleton
Registered: Aug 23, 2008
Total Posts: 1100
Country: United States

Have you ever thought about gelling the strobes with a 1/4 gel of some sort?



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2206
Country: United States

Jeff_Stapleton wrote:
Have you ever thought about gelling the strobes with a 1/4 gel of some sort?


Hmm, no, I've been tempted to play with gels for portraits, but I've never thought about the need to match the light at a game. I just shoot RAW and adjust in WB LR if needed.

Here's an additional picture of the rig with the speedlights rotated to the normal, horizontal position.



I manually max out the flash zoom setting to 105mm. I don't think it makes much of a difference in how much light reaches the subject. But one of these nights I'll take a picture of the side of a building from about 20 yards away to test.

I've also been tempted to add a better beamer to the flash heads to get some more reach. I used one at a game several years ago and it really worked well... when you're shooting at 280mm, the 105mm max setting on the flash would seem to scatter the light a little wide. But I don't have to worry if the flashes are perfectly aimed. Not sure if the better beamer would cause a vignette or might even put less light on the intended target if I wasn't lined up properly. Plus, with 3 better beamers, I'd really be looking like the mars lander.



Jeff_Stapleton
Registered: Aug 23, 2008
Total Posts: 1100
Country: United States

But the Mars lander only has a 2mp camera on it



CW100
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4446
Country: United States

clarence3 wrote:
Paulthelefty wrote:
How do you put all that together and not look like a mars landing unit?


I never claimed it was pretty, but here it is...



Here's the design of the bracket I made out of 1" x 1/8" steel from Home Depot...



The flashes are 5" apart because that gives me enough room to swap batteries. I had to cut notches for the hotshoe on the bottom of each FlexTT5.

The battery doors are all facing up because the battery compartment on the 550EXs have a tendency to open easily.

The controls and switch labels are all facing upwards so I can easily power them up and switch my presets from 1D3 to 5D3/7D.

I used a bungee on the bottom to make it easy to extend the height of my monopod as I change from standing, kneeling, sitting.

All of the weight is centered and at the bottom, so the rig is very stable even with a 1D3, gimbal, and 600/4L.


interesting lighting rig, thx for the setup pics





a2rob
Registered: May 21, 2003
Total Posts: 651
Country: United States

Clarence, what type of head is that on the monopod?



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2206
Country: United States

It's a gimbal for my 600/4L. Not a fancy one, just one I got on ebay several years ago. Works great.



Mike Milne
Registered: Oct 22, 2007
Total Posts: 128
Country: United States

late to the game here.... er....

Have you notice any stress on the PW TT5 feet from being mounted horizontally?



mikepmcs
Registered: May 19, 2011
Total Posts: 389
Country: United States

Awesome rig!!



dbaphotography
Registered: Oct 29, 2009
Total Posts: 139
Country: United States

Excellent post, images and thread! Thanks, Clarence!

I've had very similar experiences with standard sync vs. HSS, but from the Nikon side. I do almost all HSS now, in manual exposure mode.

Some random thoughts and comments:

I currently use a single SB900 flash with a 400mm f2.8 lens, and I find that it's got enough power to go 20-30 yards, but struggles beyond that. I tried a Better Beamer, and it did help, but I was always struggling to get it pointed in precisely the right direction, and always readjusting it after someone bumped it.

One thing I don't like about the HSS shots is the change in the color of the grass as the effect of the flash fades in the distance. Your shots 9 and 10 show this effect, for example. I seem to get a more pronounced effect in most of the stadiums around here.

I really like your solution to mounting the flashes to the monopod to get good alignment with the lens. My approach has too many degrees of freedom.

Mounting the flash far enough underneath the camera to prevent red-eye also prevents shooting from a low (kneeling) position. Anybody ever found a solution to this?

Thanks again for sharing.
Dave



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2206
Country: United States

Mike Milne wrote:
Have you notice any stress on the PW TT5 feet from being mounted horizontally?


Nope.

dbaphotography wrote:
Mounting the flash far enough underneath the camera to prevent red-eye also prevents shooting from a low (kneeling) position. Anybody ever found a solution to this?


I don't kneel or sit as much at HS games as I do for daytime youth sports, but the bracket does allow it. The bracket itself is 20" long. With the monopod collapsed and the bottom speedlite near the ground, my camera can still be lowered to eye level when kneeling.






tmalone893
Registered: Aug 27, 2009
Total Posts: 220
Country: United States

I tried the flashes under the lens last night and had very bad results. The shadows were huge on the empty stands or near by buildings. I went back to the flash above the lens with much better results. Any recommandation on the difference in shadows? I would love to be able to use two flashes below. It seems much more balanced.



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2206
Country: United States

tmalone893 wrote:
I tried the flashes under the lens last night and had very bad results. The shadows were huge on the empty stands or near by buildings. Any recommandation


Yep, monster shadows are one of the symptoms of a low flash.

Shoot tighter. Or try the other sideline if the background is better. Sounds like you've got too much background in the composition. Can you post an example?



kwhaley29
Registered: Jan 19, 2012
Total Posts: 234
Country: United States

I'd like to applaud your ingenuity Clarence! Thanks for sharing your setup as well as the results of your efforts.



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