Double Your Pleasure

I used to love those Wrigley’s commercials…”Double your pleasure with double-mint gum”.  J 

At my workshops, one of the questions I get a lot is “how do you get enough power out of those little flashes for big groups”?  Well, I double (or even triple) them up.  I have a couple home-modified umbrella brackets that can hold 1, 2, or 3 flashes.  Basically, a flash like an SB-800 puts out around 50 watt-seconds of power.  So if you need more power, putting two together gives you 100ws, putting three together gives you 150.  Another reason for ganging flashes together is so that you can use a lower power setting on each, thus increasing your recycle time AND extending how long you can go before replacing batteries.

This is my 3rd year photographing the ESPN Charleston Classic.  The event is kicked off with a huge Welcome Dinner on the hanger deck of The Yorktown, a decommissioned aircraft carrier.  At the event, I have to photograph a group shot of each team.  The first year, I brought my big AlienBee studio strobes.  Well guess what I didn’t think of…wall outlets are EXTREMELY rare and hard to find on an aircraft carrier!  The last two years, I’ve made life so much easier by using my wireless lighting system; no hunting for outlets…no McGyvering several extension chords together…no taping down cables. 

I simply set up my light stands with two flashes in each, firing into a shoot-through umbrella for soft, even illumination.  Each flash is set to around ¼ power and triggered via a RadioPopper.  I’m using my D3 at iso 640, f5.6 for plenty depth of field, and 1/30 of a second for ambient light in the background.  If you’re still using studio lights on location, I recommend doubling up your flashes.  You’ll love the freedom of going wireless!

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