This weekend I had three photoshoots with a total of 5 models. The three on New Years Eve were actual models, the two on monday were friends. All three shoots were fun and I realized I’ve gotten a lot better.
I rented some lights because I wanted more than the one I had. The only place I found to rent rented a Navatron kit with 4 heads, stands and umbrellas. I didn’t really like them. The stands were cheap and flimsy. The heads were fine. There were 2 umbrellas which was good, but they were both silver, I was wishing for white on one of them.
The big thing I didn’t like was the pack. My current light is what they call a monohead. The power generator is in the actual light on the top of the head. You have to plug each light into the wall. On a pack system each head only has the flash and the power is in a separate box. Each head has a wire that has to connect to the pack, which is plugged into the wall. Most pros like it this way. Personally I found it a pain to run the cable to the pack. I kept the pack on one side of the studio, so I had to figure how to run the cable around and behind backdrops to get to the pack. I could have put the pack in the center, but then I’d be stepping over it all the time. There are plus on both sides of my studio and I could plug monoheads in on opposite walls and a the cables would run away from the shooting area.
Another annoyance was Novatron specific. Novatron is generally considered the cheap brand. And this rental unit was at the bottom of the list, so I’m sure there other stuff is better. But with this you could connect 4 heads to the pack, but they all had to fire at the same level. You could adjust the power of the whole bank 250-700-1800 watts. But all lights fired at that level. So you fill lights had to be moved away from the subject. One of the 4 heads had a switch on it to lower its output, which was good.
One thing I found was I really love shooting like this. And after the first shoot I decided to put filmmaking on hold and take my photography to the next level right now. So my wife is taking the mics she got me back and getting her money back. She’s giving it to me and I’m taking money out of my shareware company account and buying some more Alien Bees. I just put the order in, and here’s what I’m getting:
1 AlienBees B400-Star White
1 AlienBees B800-Star White
1 20Âº Honeycomb Grid
1 Backlight Stand
1 10-foot General Purpose Stand
1 32Â” Silver/White Umbrella
I’m working on a theme based on the 10 Fashionably Elegant things. This is letting me shoot more fashion style for awhile and then I’ll maybe create a website based on it and the photography.
So unless Robert Rodriguez calls and offers me a job – I did ask him for one a week ago – you won’t hear much more about filmmaking for awhile.