Collaboration is a great way learn and have fun. For me this is particularly the case with photography. Over the Xmas break I was able to hire an ELB400 kit from The Flash Centre in London to try out for a few days. One of my shoots was with a young model called Julia. We had a great shoot with my photographer friend Rod, taking it in turns to shoot and use the Elinchrom and learn how to use flash outdoors and mix it with the ambient light. It was such a successful day that I went on to buy my own ELB kit as it's potential to elevate a photograph when used carefully had been revealed. Not long after my purchase Rod also got an ELB kit so now when we shoot together we can use both units together.
Moving forward a few months and by the power of social media Julia got in touch to see if I and some friends would like to come to a gathering of her friends and do an Urban Style shoot. It was a no-brainer. Of course we would. It was quite short notice so a few of my friends had commitments but in the end five photographers I knew arrived on location in plenty of time. For some reason which I have no desire to spend time working out most of the photographers I know who like to shoot fashion shoot with Canon cameras. So when I bring out my ELB I can bring my HS Transmitter knowing everyone can use it with no issue. The transmitter is dedicated to Canon which I can understand from the point of view from the hotshoe pins matching up and the transmitter and camera talking to each other for getting things working out for the high speed sync feature. What I don't understand and find quite annoying is that the transmitter can't be used on other camera brands just to trigger the flash without high speed sync. At this shoot only two of us had Canon, two others had Nikon and one guy was rocking a new Fuji GFX 50s. I had carried the very basic Elinchrom transmitter for those guys. Anyway that's a subject for a more critical review of the ELB system in a future blog post. Back to the Urban Style shoot.
Lets talk gear for a moment. The ELB was set up on a boom with the small portalite quadra softbox and a silver deflector inside to make it act like a beauty dish. Note to self: Remember the shoulder strap for the power unit next time! For some of the closer portraits we used a Lastolite TriFlip with the soft silver surface under the subjects chin at about waist level to bounce some light back up and add a catch light to the eyes.
We shot for a couple of hours or so. Picking one or two people (or them picking us) and posing them, trying different lighting setups. For the shots of Esther and Brian just below I switched off the ELB and got them to stand just back under the edge of the railway bridge where the light was going softer as it fell into shadow. The reflector added a little catch light to the eyes and a little fill into the shadows under chins.
Back on with the ELB with the deflector removed making the light a bit harder. The light was much lower almost above the camera lens going for a paparazzi look.
These friends were passing by Leake Street and had been drawn by the music and happenings so Steve & me dragged them into the graffiti zone for a few photographs.