Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bringing out the big lights.

Over the past week or so I've decided to start bringing out my bigger sets of lights instead of using speed lights for my BMX and skate photography. The set I am working with currently is an Alien Bee 1600 and 800, then using a Vagabond portable battery pack to power the lights.

The two lights with the battery pack during the 2008 Double Ditch Jam

The same two lights and pack at a rail set-up in Albuquerque.

Compared to using speed lights these two lights put out a combined power of 960 w/s of light at full power, which is more then enough to over power daylight in most situations. Although, I don't exactly know the watt seconds on a speed light it is roughly around 60-70w/s. This means on average I was putting 140w/s into a photo at most when using speed lights. So a big difference between the two.

Alex Gonzales wall to whip during the Double Ditch Jam. Lit with an Alien Bee 1600 and an 800 at full power with the vagabond pack.

Drew Hosselton does a double peg at Highland High School. Lit with one Alien Bee 1600 at full power with the vagabond pack.

Although I really enjoy the extra power it comes with some serious draw backs. The Alien Bee set-up is considerably heavier, and a lot harder to move around with. This pretty much eliminates putting all the gear in a backpack and going riding with it, which is what I would do with my speed lights. Essentially the Alien Bee set-up can only be used when I can park my car or be with in a reasonable walking distance. With the speed lights I can just throw them in my backpack and ride with them when I go shooting. So, when it comes down to it each set up has it's pro's and con's as usual, but if I could only have one I would probably go with the Alien Bee set-up for the power and quality of light rather then the convenience of the speedlights. Well for now at least, until I get tired of carrying them.

So with that said, I am sure you'll be seeing plenty more photos with some heavy duty lighting in them.


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