Single Light Techniques – Part 2

If you managed to catch my last post about Single Light Techniques, you’ll understand why I like them so much. If you didn’t…. you can read it here first .

Now I’ll start this little tutorial by saying I am a High Speed Sync (HSS) novice- as I write this, I’ve been using HSS for a little over two weeks. But, in those two weeks I’ve gone through all of the emotions of falling in love with a beautiful woman; Attraction, rejection, admiration, lust and then finally comfort. I’ve long admired the technique of photographers who can use HSS techniques effectively, more so when shooting inside of a studio. And I wanted to be able to do that.

So as I approach all of my learning I set up my lights, got my model in front and started a process of trial and error. Within three frames I had the exact effect I wanted. As people who know me already know, I don’t work in mathematical terms with my lighting, for me you can throw you inverse square laws and calculations out of the window. I just don’t work that way. I find the light I like and I stick to it, If I need to change it, I do it by eye, not by a light meter or a histogram.

So here is my set up, each of the images you see directly below we’re shot with this exact set up. I used my Pixapro CITI600 Light with the Pixapro Easy Open Octabox with  both diffusion panels in place.  My light was placed about 45 degrees to the model and myself, meaning that I’m not going to get too much fall off on the opposite side of the face. I was triggering the light through the Pixapro STiii system which enable me to shoot at speeds of up to 1/8000th.

 

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1/3200sec, F2, ISO 100           Model – Deaann Shotton – Tyne Tees Models

 

Using this effect means that I can shoot at extremely shallow apertures while still freezing the subject with flash, and without letting in too much ambient light. That’s a winner for me. The image above is one of my favourite images so far from 2016.

 

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1/4000sec, F1.8, ISO 100       Model – Jamie Yates – Tyne Tees Models

For this image of Jamie I added a second light just level with his left shoulder to add a little bit of interested on that side of the face. It was set to a lower power so not to get a uniform exposure across the face but just to give a little detail to the shadows.

One thing to remember when shooting at these apertures is that any movement there is either in camera or by the model after the focus has been set with result in the focus being off whether it’s a little movement or a lot. So be conscious if you’re looking for a really crisp exposure to talk to your model and minimise any movement during the shot. By all means encourage lots of changes of pose and expression, but ask them to freeze it for a second or so for each look.

Although I prefer using this technique inside my studio, you can also achieve sensationally looking images outdoors with it too, especially in very bright conditions.

I ventured outside with the model below, about 30ft from my studio to the church across the road. The sun was absolutely beating down, with very little cloud cover and it was very very bright.

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With this set up I was shooting pretty much straight into the sun which was over the left shoulder of our model. I still wanted to have some detail in the sky and given how bright it was, I needed to dramatically reduce the amount of ambient light in the scene. The only way to do this was to raise my shutter speed. I raised my speed to 1/5000 sec, this allowed just the right amount of light to enter the sensor to maintain some detail and colour in the sky. I then positioned my model against the wall with my light and octabox to her left and slightly in front so that I could shoot along the wall. I wanted some subtle leading lines coming in from the brickwork, and a shallow aperture to really highlight our subject.

 

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1/5000sec, F2, ISO 100       Model – Grace Bungoni – Tyne Tees Models

Now without going too far into technical details (as I don’t like talking technically) the simple way to make any off camera flash image work is to use your variables effectively. Remembering that your shutter speed controls your Ambient light, you aperture controls how much light your camera lets in and your ISO is (for me) a last resort if you need that little bit of extra help. Brett Harkness explains this very well with his “Triangle of Loveliness” on his DVD’s- well worth a watch!

So there it is, another incredibly simple set up that can yield tremendous results.

Thanks for reading chaps, have a great day!

See a YouTube tutorial below on using High Speed Sync in the Studio;

 

 

Commercial Photographer Newcastle

 

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Fashion Photography Workshop Review

Sunday 7th August marked the first of my new series of Photography Workshops in partnership with my awesome friends over at Pixapro. What a day it was!

We had attendees from near and far with one of our photographers coming from north of Edinburgh, which was a huge compliment in itself that someone was willing to travel that far to listen to what I had to say.

Although the day had a loose structure I wanted to maintain a good open dialogue throughout the day to ensure that our group got everything that they wanted to from the session. Whether that be linked to lighting, posing, copyright and even photography ethics. We covered a wide range of subjects in the breakout session which led to some really interesting points around the photography industry as a whole.

So the content started with a quick introduction of who I am and what I do, how I go about planning Fashion and Editorial shoots, how I incorporate the team (notice I’m not giving too much away here…… you’ll need to book onto the workshop to find that out ) and how to keep communication between all parties at the forefront of everything to ensure that the vision is shared and leaves no room for confusion.

We reviewed a selection of images, talked about how they’d been lit, and more importantly why. This helped give the group a real insight into the differences between shooting for yourself, in which case I’d use much more creative lighting to flatter the model, and shooting for the client which would be more steered towards ensuring that the garments are perfectly and evenly lit to give maximum exposure for the clothing.

Before we broke for lunch, we walked around outside of my studio (which is in a housing estate, on a main road, surrounded by largely uninspiring scenery) to look for locations to shoot with our models after the break. We picked out 7/8 different locations ranging from brickwork to long grass in front of some allotments and a church to wrought iron gates. We talked through how we could shoot the images dependant on who we were shooting for; ourselves or the client. This makes a big difference to how they would be shot. We talked through the lighting we would be using, namely the Pixapro CITI600 strobe (see my review here) and a Pixapro Speedlight and associated trigger systems.

 

After lunch it was time to put the lighting and locations through their paces. We started up on the fire escape of the studio, now baring in mind we had 60mph winds in the North East, this was a real battle to keep the CITI and a 120cm Octabox still without being blown over! This fire escape is on the 2nd floor of my studio and offers an interesting perspective with its dark walkway and bright sky behind.

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Our model Harriotte wore a long flowing blouse which allowed a lot of movement in this wind, although it was a difficult set to shoot with Harriotte’s hair constantly blowing into her face, she handled it phenomenally to create some tremendous images.

Settings:  1/8000 sec, F1.8, iso 100.

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After battling in what seemed to be a massive wind trap, we moved to the next location that we had picked out for our other model Grace.

Now this section of brickwork is the side of a newsagent on a busy road. But, it is also extremely detailed, reflects light brilliantly and offers a great backdrop for some edgy images. We shot this section with a bare Speedlight because we wanted a harsh lighting effect without softening the light too much. As you can see from the diagram below, we set this about 45 degrees between the camera and Grace which allows us to create a harsh shadow while still getting a good even coverage on the face and clothing.

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While I would usually use this effect with the zoom effect on the flash, I decided to shoot this one at the standard flash coverage. This still allowed me to create a high contrast image through killing most of the ambient light, and having quite a small aperture.

Settings:  1/160 sec, F13, iso 100.

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Moving away from the street look, we literally walked over the street to our next location. One of the things I always teach my groups whether it be a Fashion or a Wedding Photography Workshop is that if you’re struggling for a location or background, use the sky! Get down low and look up and if you’ll have a pretty much infinite background to use.

So with that in mind we picked out some long grass in between a church and some allotments. I know pretty uninspiring right? The dilapidated old sheds and stripping paintwork of the church fence didn’t look the most appealing at standing height anyway.

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“Get down on your knees” was the instruction to the photographers in the group to change perspective and create a hugely different image.

We were really battling the elements at this point, bright sunshine followed by dark clouds paired with a very strong wind made for an interesting time while shooting this set up.

Because of the bright sun we wanted to take out as much ambient light as possible to ensure that our light would give a nice even light on Harriotte’s face, and with that in mind we were shooting right up at 1/8000 sec using the High Speed Sync Function of the CITI600 light. Getting that lower angle and shooting to that everlasting background, also known as the sky, allowed us to create an image that could have been shot in a big open field while only using a space of 3/4ft in total.

Settings:  1/8000 sec, F2.5, iso 100.

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After much battling with the wind and several near misses with dropping the light  we decided to head indoors so that we could shoot our last set in a studio environment to create some simple yet stunning images.

 

All in all I’d say that this Workshop was a great success being that it was the first of this new series. But don’t just take my word for it, here is what some of our attendees said…..

“This was probably the best value for money workshop that I have been on. I particularly liked the fact that we were not in a hotel but in Chris’ place of work, his studio. This was real added value as we could see how he worked and the kit he used. I also think that made for a more relaxed and ‘audience participation’ kind of environment and worked really well”

 

“Friendly, Informative, Helpful,Enjoyable and Eyeopening”

 

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Images by Tom Feeney

“I have a fair degree of studio lighting experience having my own small studio in Dunfermline. However, with little experience using studio lights outside on location I was looking to gain confidence in setting them up and using them to best effect in an outside environment. I came away from the workshop confident I can now do this. I learned a lot, particularly how easy it was to use a single light to such good effect. Also that you do not need to travel far to find excellent locations for great shots.”

 

“Most prominent for me was location scouting, we shot in a small patch of grass that looked like an open field in photos, by using HSS flash and the correct angles any surface / location can make a compelling backdrop.”

 

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Images by Gordon Scott

“As a semi professional with a number of years under my belt, but self taught and never having been on such a course before, i was keen to find one in my field of fashion/portraits and where I could benefit from the experience of others, learning sometimes the little things that others might use, getting a glimpse of the tips and techniques, and if nothing else expose my badf habits. This course lived up to this entirely”

 

If you’re interested in attending one of my workshops, please fill in the form below for more information.

Commercial Photographer Newcastle

The Self Appreciation Society…

Ok, no doubt there is a society in the name of Self Appreciation- this is no link to them!

I read, and participated in, an interesting thread this week on a photography group on Facebook. It was mainly discussing whether being published in Magazines actually does anything for a photographers business. Cash generation was the main query that people were talking about.

It’s an interesting debate, which links into a blog I wrote recently; Staying Motivated in a Creative Industry.

I’m not going to speak on behalf of anyone else here, but purely give my opinion and feelings on this.

Celebrating success is a hugely important thing for me. Photography, as life, can be at times very lonely, very frustrating and can drive self doubt without justification. As photographers, we constantly look for the approval of other photographers, creatives and ‘Jo Public’ too, thats why we upload to Forums, Groups, Instagram, Facebook etc- we just want our work to be appreciated. When in fact there are only two people who’s opinions matter; You and Your client. If you client is happy- job done. If you’re shooting for yourself (again refer back to my previous blog post) then shoot for yourself and no one else. If you’re happy with what you produce- tell the world. Say it out loud .. “I love this image!!!”

Hell I’ve got a studio full of my favourite images which have been framed and hung on the wall. Yes my clients will see them when they’re at my studio- but they are there for me. For me to look at and think, I did that. I made that great image possible.

Don’t get me wrong- these types of images are few and far between. But I liken it to playing Golf (and I am shite at Golf but), every now and again you hit a drive that just feels right, as soon as you hit it you know its flying straight and going the distance towards the flag. Everything felt right. I feel this as a photographer, during a shoot I will capture an image at 1/200 and think THAT was it, all of the planning, effort and work that has gone into the shoot and THAT was the shot I wanted. I usually get quite giddy at this point and inform the rest of the team that THAT was it. Then, being quite pleased with myself, I finish the shoot knowing that if I don’t take another good image on the shoot, I still have THAT image. After the shoot, when I am able to (having waited for it to be published or released) I share the shit out of THAT image. If it gets lots of likes and comments- great- but really I don’t care. I just want people to see THAT image.

Please don’t confused this with blowing my own trumpet…. well it is really. But so what- If I don’t enjoy what I do and what the result is, why the hell am I doing it?

I want my name out there, I want to be published more because I know that it adds credibility when Im pitching to clients, it gives me motive to continue to shoot creatively and it gives me a platform to grow my skills even further.

I’ll rewind 13 months so when I set myself a personal target of being published in a Magazine. I didn’t really care which magazine it was, I just wanted to say that I had been published.

Bringing it right back to May 2016, I have had four front covers of Magazines, had eight editorial shoots featured in both UK and US publications, had an article in a photography magazine, an image in an International photography magazine and had my images used for advertising in both business and lifestyle magazines.

Am I proud?

Fuck Yeah. (Sorry for the swearing Mam)

“So What?” Someone asks in the conversation, “What has that done for you?”

Well for my self esteem and motivation. Shit Loads (Sorry again Mam)

For my business? Enough to make it worth while.

 

I’ve deviated a little from what I wanted to say, and I have to admit, having the kids watch Spongebob Squarepants as I write this has helped me constantly lose my thought trail. Hopefully the reasoning behind the post comes through.

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Part of an 8 page spread in Surreal Beauty Junior Magazine

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Me, looking very pleased with myself.

 

Commercial Photographer Newcastle

 

Kit- why I don’t spend much..

I’m lucky.

I’m lucky in the way that I really don’t get excited when a new lens or camera is released. I don’t particularly yearn for near gear or want to upgrade every time something new comes out but more importantly I’m lucky in the way that I won’t go and buy new equipment unless I absolutely need it.

I will be filming a Vlog tomorrow on exactly what travel with to shoots.

I like to think I’m quite prudent when it comes to big photographic purchases, in that I very rarely buy new kit. The only time I can justify a substantial purchase is when either my current item breaks, or it can’t do what I want it to do.

So for instance, up until four years ago I was shooting all of my work on a pair of Canon 60d’s. At the time, a perfectly capable camera for my wedding work and portraits that I was shooting. It wasn’t until a shot a wedding, in winter at Matfen Hall (which is just dark inside) that I realised that I needed to upgrade my camera to a 5diii. Although the 60d performed fairly well in low light, I needed to be able to get up to ISO 8000 without too much detriment to the image quality. So, I went and bought a new camera body. Job done.

With lighting equipment, I started my OFC (off camera flash) journey with Neewer Speedlights after attending a Steve Gerrard Workshop and seeing how a simple one OFC set up can dramatically spice up your images. It wasn’t until I was shooting this wedding at Lumley Castle where the flash power just wasn’t enough, and I was running back and forward to the flash to change the power that I realised that I needed a more substantial portable lighting system. So I went and bought an Elinchrom Quadra set up. This opened huge possibilities for me using not only the 400w of power, but also a very effective modelling lamp. Not the mention the ease at which I could adjust the power from the top of the camera using the remote system.

I see a lot of photographers showing off their latest lens purchase, or new camera body and often wonder- how is it going to improve their work. One of the things I teach anyone who comes to my workshops is that you must master the gear you have, no matter what it is, because one day its all you will have with you. The best lens, best light, best camera you have, is the one you know best.

I remember attending a few Wedding Photography workshops over the years, one where people looked at me funny for using the Nifty Fifty, although I don’t have it now (I dropped it while shooting) this is still one of the best lenses I have ever used. I only upgraded to the 1.4 version because there was an error on the sellers website and I got it £100 cheaper than it should have been. Another wedding workshop I attended I noticed a guy sitting at the top of the table, with two bodies, 6-8 lenses and a load of other gear. He didn’t know how to use any of it, he just thought that’s what he should have. Crazy!!

I think the days of photographic snobbery are finally starting to go away, it really doesn’t make a difference on what gear I have. As long as it does what I need and want it to do!

 

 

 

Planning a Fashion shoot… How I do it

As with the style of my product reviews and lighting techniques, the way I do things may not always be the best way to do it, but it is the way that works for me.

No matter what I’m shooting, whether it be an editorial campaign, a model portfolio or testing new equipment for review; I have a plan and then I have in my head that all of my plans could go out of the window.

I prefer shooting outdoors on location for Fashion and Editorial Work for two reasons. I have less control, meaning, I have more of an open mind for change.

So, take my last big editorial shoot which was featured in Surreal Beauty Magazine. I was inspired by a Vanity Fair shoot I first noticed last year featuring Benedict Cumberbatch  which was shot in woodland, with a dark and moody atmosphere. I would watch this video at least once per week trying to figure out, how, where and when I could do something similar.

So in my mind for this shoot was Harriotte (our model) in amongst tall branchless trees, holding the leash of two Great Danes, with a lot of smoke behind and having the scene quite underexposed to give that dead of the night feel. Although we did shoot this image, it wasn’t my favourite from the shoot- infact the most simple set up worked the best for us, and I’ll come around to explaining that later on.

In my mind, to have a successful shoot, I need several elements. A model who “gets” the idea, a strong and consistent beauty team (hair and makeup), an experienced stylist who can build the look based upon the brief, willing photographic assistants and most importantly an open mind from me. I don’t come up with all of my ideas, I’m heavily influenced by the creative teams I work with. If they have something to say, I will listen. If they come up with an idea, I will consider it. If they tell me something won’t work, I take that on board.

Having open communication with everyone involved, in my eyes, helps to get more buy in from the team. Getting everyone involved in the decisions on how to style the hair, which colour lip gloss to use and how to style the outfits means that we’re pooling the knowledge and experience of 6 people instead of just one. I have an open mind to listen to everyone’s input, but I also have the strength to say “No” when it just ain’t adding to the value of the shoot. And by value, I mean the quality of the end product we’re producing.

So, back to this particular shoot. I’ve never shot the type of shoot in woodland- so I didn’t really have an idea on where to do it. I’ve worked a few locations around my studio which have a few trees, but nowhere near the depth that we needed for the shots in my head. We also needed to have somewhere nearby to change outfits, refuel with bacon sarnie and coffee and work from as a base. Luckily, Harriott’s Mother Sarah knew a great spot, literally 25 yards from their back gate. Location- sorted.

As you might have already guessed, Harriotte was the model for this shoot. As soon as I decided to go ahead with it, there really was no one else I wanted for it. In terms of Hair and Makeup, I’m very lucky to work with two awesome ladies on a regular basis for pretty much all of my editorial and beauty work. Rachel White (makeup artist) and Steph O’Neill (hair stylist), these guys we’re brought on board and I created a Pinterest Board to give everyone involved a quick flavour of the sort of look we were going for. Pinterest is an immense tool if you’re looking for inspiration, or looking to collate ideas for shoots to share with the rest of the creative team. While I will often send ideas for hair and makeup to the girls, I pretty much leave them to their own devices now as I trust them to produce great work, no matter what the theme.

So that’s Model, Location, Hair & Makeup, Inspiration and ideas all sorted. The next part, assistants. I like to take assistants on pretty much all of my shoots. Having someone to help with lighting, moving props, pulling out weeds and generally watching out for things I’ve missed is, to me, invaluable. I was very lucky with this shoot to have three assistants with me, Ian kindly offered to bring along his generator in order to power the smoke machine and to be our “smoke maker guy” for the day. I literally could not have shot the sets with the smoke in the background without this guy. If I was working alone, running back and forward between the smoke machine and the camera position just would not be feasible. Colin, a good friend of mine, came along to support with lighting, and the general set up, offering ideas along the way. Again having a VAL (voice activated light stand) means that I am able to keep my position without having to move lighting positions, and I can stay in front of my model keeping dialogue going.

And that is pretty much it- that is how the shoot is planned in a nutshell. I have another big shoot using the same creative team for a magazine front cover and editorial at the end of the month that we will be video and releasing over on my  YouTube channel too, so keep an eye out for that bad boy. But in the mean time don’t forget to watch the behind the scenes for this shoot and see just how we shot the different sets!

 

 

 

 

Single Light Techniques – Part 1

For those photographers who have visited my studio before through a studio creative night, a 1-2-1 session or to help out on shoots would have already heard me rave about using single light set ups.

I’ll rewind a little here before I go too far into the technique and talk a little about why I like them. Are you ready for this? I am lazy. If I can create a stunning image for a client portfolio or magazine editorial with the least amount of faffing around as possible. I will.

I’m a self-taught photographer in terms of lighting. Well actually, I’m taught by YouTube, magazines and a huge amount of trial and error. I am not afraid to try something, even with a client in the shot, and if it doesn’t work, I’m not afraid to say so and change it so that it does work.

My entire approach to studio lighting has been built upon trying to replicate the look I like and then trying my own techniques and perfecting them through trial and error. After all, we learn more from our mistakes than we do our successes. I’d far rather get it wrong three times and then know why I got it right the fourth time- it’s just the way that I am wired.

So, onto the first in a series of single light techniques. I will be posting tutorial videos for all of these techniques over the coming weeks but for those who prefer written word and diagrams, here it is.

This is my favourite single light set up to use, its quick, its easy and if you have the space you can shoot this set up around 180 degrees to your model without having to touch the light itself.

 

 

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A flat surface always works well for this set up- I’ve shot it along a 20ft scoop in my studio, and I’ve also shot this on a 4ft fold out background. Place your model against the wall, as close as you can and set the light up at about 45 degrees to the model. I use a studio strobe with a gridded reflector fitted in order to channel the light into a concentrated area which creates a natural vignette, depending on how you frame the shot. I’m not going to go into the mathematics of the lighting and the power etc- I like shots with lots of contrast so I will tend so shoot at much higher Apertures. So for instance- this shot of Dee below was captured at F18, 1/160sec with ISO 100.

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If you look at the diagram further up the page- my shooting position is more shallow than the light- usually starting at around 20 degrees to the model and the wall behind of the model. Now as I said the beauty of this set up is that you can move around the model (if you have the space) and literally shoot a full 180 degrees without moving the position of the light. Obviously as you move further towards the opposite side of the light, the look is going to change dramatically, so be conscious of where your model is facing and where the light it going to hit.

 

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One of the main variables you can create with this set up is the shape of the vignette of light. For instance, if I was shooting this set up with the light at the same height as the model and pointed directly toward the wall (which I wouldn’t but..) it’s going to produce a pretty definite circle of light. However, if I raise that light, and point it downwards, the vignette becomes stretched into an oval shape down toward the floor. If I moved the set up shallower to the wall, the same would happen with on oval going away from the model. Trial and error and a little experimentation is well worth while with this set up to learn how moving the light by 6″ one way or another can totally change the look of the image.

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As I mentioned above I will be publishing a Video tutorial for this technique over the next few months which will be included in a training app that I will be releasing.

If you’ve any questions on this technique, leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer.

 

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See my tutorial video below on shooting a very similar effect, but outdoor using a Speed light;

 

 

Pixapro CITI600 – Product Review

Let me start by saying that my product reviews are going to be a little different to what you’ve seen before. I won’t be looking to baffle with all of the science and mathematics about the lighting and all that jazz.

I’m very easily pleased with photography gear; if it does the job I want it to do then that makes me happy. So when I review equipment, I do it on that basis and that basis alone.

 

 

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So does it do what I want it to….

I was lucky enough to have the CITI600 sent to me the week before the Photography Show in Birmingham as I was going to be providing demo’s on the Pixapro stand using this light. Now, I didn’t really get the chance to do a great deal with it prior to the show and ended learning the vast majority of its capabilities while demoing it live to an audience.

First and foremost, the most noticeable characteristic of the CITI600 is the fact that it is battery-powered. Yes, as studio head that is battery-powered. For me this is a god send. I run studio creative nights and have kids portraits sessions which means that a lot of the time there are lots of people in the studio moving around quickly. Being able to take away the hazard and hassle of wires, extension cables and everything that goes with that is a huge huge selling point to me.

This battery can fire 500 full power flashes on one charge. Let that sink in for a minute. That means that if you were shooting at the full 600w, you could fire continuously for 21 minutes (taking into account the recycle time of 2.5 sec). Now I wouldn’t advise this as you’d probably blind your model! So lets strip that back to even shooting at half power- around 1000 flashes at half power means you could literally go all day shooting with this.

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As I mentioned above the CITI600 is as the name suggests 600w of awesomeness. Stepping down in third stops to 1/256th power, meaning the sheer range of power available extremely versatile opening lots of doors as to how it could be used. Not mentioning the three-step LED Modelling lamp which I have used to shoot at very shallow apertures to. The battery boasts an inbuilt charge indicator so that you can see at the press of a button, on or off the head, how much charge you have remaining. The official charge time from empty is around 4 hours, however, I’ve not yet had this down less than 25% of its charge, and the recharge time has generally been around the 1 hour mark for me.

There are of course two versions of this light available; the full manual and the TTL version. If, like me, you’re used to working with manual lighting, it’s a no brainer at the price its retailing right now at £450 (correct 27/04/16), and to be honest at the usual price of £599- its still a bargain! If you’re more inclined to use the TTL version for shooting in ever-changing conditions, or for quick set up- again this light offers extremely high value for money.

The High Speed Sync capabilities of both versions offer sports and dance photographers an easy line into high-powered HSS shooting, with speeds of up to 1/8000sec available. Not to mention the Strobetopic function too for multiple bursts in one exposure.

The bulb itself is very easily accessible and changed with a three prong system, and there will be an update allowing an external head to be plugged into the bulb socket for extra reach if needed.

So, let’s get back to me using this light. Weight wise its manageable for one of my assistants to hand hold even with a soft box attached at 2.6kg, and handles itself well at the top of a light stand too out on location.

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Since arriving back from the photography show I have used this light on quite a few different types of shoots- just to see what it is capable of. Now this is raging from kids portraits in the studio, to a full day Fashion Editorial shoot (see the video at the bottom of the page) and each and every time it has performed brilliantly. I use the standard Pixapro trigger system, rather than the ST- III which is used for HSS and TTL shooting, as I like easy trigger systems and this is a reliable and simple remote. I tend to shoot a lot of my work with the light positioned around 8ft in the air pointing down towards my subject, so being able to adjust the power, and the modelling lamp, from the trigger on my camera is extremely important to me. The screen on the side of the unit is bright, easy to navigate and displays all of the relevant information and menu’s its ease.

Being an S-Fit/Bowens Fit, all of my existing Pixapro adaptors work seamlessly with the CITI600- I mainly use a 95cm Octabox and a 45dregree reflector.

Now I already use a range of location lighting systems such as the Elinchrom Quadra and Pixapro’s own PowerCore600. If I had the choice- at the price of the CITI600 and everything else taken into account- it would be the CITI600 every single time. The fact that I could potentially buy three of these heads for the price of one Elinchrom Quadra system is very appealing.

I can honestly say that I am in awe of this light. It’s very rare that I get excited about equipment, but the more I use this the more it makes sense to swap out all of the other lighting I use and replace it with these. I have yet to use the TTL or the HSS function (as it’s just not my way of working) but the feedback I have seen from other photographers is overwhelmingly positive.

See Pixapro’s Website here

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Model CITI600 Manual Flash
Max Power 600Ws
Guide Number 87m @ ISO100  with Standard Reflector
Colour Temperature 5600±200k
Flash Duration 1/220s – 1/10,000s
Recycle Times 0.01 – 2.5 Seconds Recycle Time
Manual Flash Power Range 1/1 – 1/256 (1/3 Stop Increments)
Power Source Built in (removable) 11.1V / 8700mAh Lithium-ion Battery
Number of Flashes Approx. 500 Full Powered Flashes

Per Charge

Flash Modes Manual / Multi
High speed Sync Up to 1/8,000s
Radio Frequency 2.4GHz (Compatible with PIXAPRO PRO ST-III TTL Triggers)
Work Range 100m with ST-III Transmitter in Open Area
Channels (Radio) 32
Controllable Slave Groups 5 (A, B, C, D, E)
Slave Modes S1/S2
Other Trigger Methods

 

PC Sync Port, 3.5mm Sync port, USB port for Pro AC Trigger Set
Dimensions 220mm x 245mm x 125mm
Net. Weight 2.69kg
Accessory Mount S-Type

 

BOX CONTENT

Item QTY
CITI600 Flash Head 1
Flash Tube 1
Standard Reflector 1
Lithium Battery Pack 1
Battery Charger 1
Power Cord 1
Lamp Cover 1