Lighting a venue with multiple speedlights?
/forum/topic/1147905/0



joesmosax
Registered: Jun 21, 2003
Total Posts: 643
Country: United States

It seems a lot of the high end wedding/event photogs light their venues with multiple off camera lights- vs one on camera flash that they bounce. The effect can really be quite good and much more natural than bouncing an on camera flash.

I don't shoot events or have speedlight experience, but the concept seems really cool and I would like to learn more about it. Are there any specific online tutorials that cover this?

Joe



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8454
Country: United States

Neil Van Niekerk's blog is a good starting point, as is his book Off-camera Flash Techniques. Check the sidebar on the right side of his home page, and scroll down to the various articles and tutorials that intererst you.

http://neilvn.com/tangents/

Joe McNally is also well known for sometimes using muiltiple Speedlights (sometimes a lot of them), and he has a site that might be helpful:

http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/

While not an online tutorial, Syl Arena's book The Speedliter's Handbook goes into multi-flash photography in some depth.

Additionally our own Wedding sub-forum often has interesting threads on the topic, and of course you can start threads with specific question there and here.

HTH.



wasio
Registered: Jul 08, 2010
Total Posts: 27
Country: United States

I used 3 sometimes 4 speedlights at wedding receptions. One speedlight is on my Canon 1Dx and serves as the master. The second speedlight is on a light stick held by my assistant (Sasha) and the other two speedlights are on light stands. I place them either across the dance floor or on both corners facing me to provide some rim light. I have been using the new Canon flashes that support up to 5 groups. So each of my flashes is in a separate group which I can adjust quickly from my camera.

Here is an example.

Reception Lightin



Ralph Thompson
Registered: Jan 02, 2008
Total Posts: 1187
Country: United States

I used to use two vivitar 285's as gym strobes. They worked quite well and were and still are very affordable. Unless you're going ETTL, I'd go cheap...



316shooter
Registered: May 17, 2004
Total Posts: 758
Country: United States

It can be quite simple and affordable. Often I will use 2-4 older Nikon units (Canon, Vivitar, etc. are great too). Typically I start around 1/2 power, depending on size of room, and place a pocket wizard on each. I prefer the older, manual units for the simple reason they are simple and inexpensive to replace in the event one gets knocked over. That being said, I try to place the lights in corners out of the way and sandbag each stand. Sometimes a Bogen Justin Clamp can come in handy to attach the flash to an existing fixture. Most often I can just shoot a couple quick tests and dial the exposure in accordingly without every having to adjust the flashes. Works great and can be very effective, especially on those occasions when a strobe is included in the frame and creates an interesting layer to the lighting.



williamkazak
Registered: Jun 08, 2006
Total Posts: 6143
Country: United States

Another idea for off camera flash on lightstands is to get the stands with wheels attached. Then, if someone runs into a stand, it just rolls away without falling to the floor.



blutch
Registered: Jul 29, 2012
Total Posts: 756
Country: United States

Sorry.. posted in the wrong thread!!



blutch
Registered: Jul 29, 2012
Total Posts: 756
Country: United States

Augh. White Balance is off on the 2nd one. I have fixed that already.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8454
Country: United States

blutch wrote: Augh. White Balance is off on the 2nd one. I have fixed that already.

On my monitor the first one looks a bit yellow and the second one looks a bit magenta; but I wasn't there so maybe that's their true colors.

Other than that, I like them a lot. What is it about them that you don't like?



blutch
Registered: Jul 29, 2012
Total Posts: 756
Country: United States

Sorry Brian.. I meant to post that in a thread I started a few days ago in the Photo Critique forum. I don't like the lighting and the unevenness in the facial colors. Plus, the background is supposed to be white. Thanks!



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3678
Country: United States

BrianO wrote:
Joe McNally is also well known for sometimes using muiltiple Speedlights (sometimes a lot of them), and he has a site that might be helpful:
http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/

Sure is an expensive route. In the blog, he states the SB-900 gets 60Ws. So, using four in his octa yields 240Ws for $2000... and he's not even using CLS!



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8454
Country: United States

rico wrote: Sure is an expensive route. In the blog, he states the SB-900 gets 60Ws. So, using four in his octa yields 240Ws for $2000... and he's not even using CLS!


True, but when he's not using all four in an octabox he can split them up and use them from different angles.

I don't suggest doing that with an Einsein.



hugowolf
Registered: Nov 11, 2011
Total Posts: 559
Country: United States

BrianO wrote:
rico wrote: Sure is an expensive route. In the blog, he states the SB-900 gets 60Ws. So, using four in his octa yields 240Ws for $2000... and he's not even using CLS!


True, but when he's not using all four in an octabox he can split them up and use them from different angles.

I don't suggest doing that with an Einsein.

Oh I don't know, there must be more than one capacitor in an Einstein, you could always stick your toungue on one to see if they are still holding any charge.

Brian A



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11432
Country: United States

When I read mcnallys books I just get the overwhelming impression of someone going "I've got more flashes than anyone knows what to do with".

I bought hot shoe diaries and wasnt impressed. The photos were fantastic, but it just didn't do it for me.



cineski
Registered: Oct 22, 2004
Total Posts: 4219
Country: United States

There's more value in having a camera capable of really good very high ISO with one on camera flash and one off camera strobe than having a crazy amount of strobes to light a room. And I'm talking visually as well as the amount of work it takes to set up.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8454
Country: United States

hugowolf wrote: ...there must be more than one capacitor in an Einstein, you could always stick your toungue on one to see if they are still holding any charge.

Yeah, you could do that...once.