Give me more POWER! Or less sun.
While the Strobist movement goes from strength to strength, I'm afraid I've gone back to using big strobes for nearly everything nowadays. That can sometimes present a problem when you're working outside but thanks to my willingness to knock on doors, and the generosity of everyone whose door I've knocked on so far, I've always been able to find a power socket to plug an extension cable into.
I've been wanting to shoot skateboarding for ages. If you're into lighting then it's the must-shoot sport. After a few false starts over the last couple of weeks, today we finally had the right weather. The guinea pigs were some of the pupils from Invergordon Academy who are doing skateboarding as part of the P.E. syllabus. (Why did we never have lessons like that when I was at school?!)
To cut a long story short, the day was both a success and a failure. It was a failure in that I only got one shot that was anywhere close to what I wanted. But it was a success in that I've learned how to do the lighting so next time I can concentrate on nailing the action shots.
Here's the one shot that I sort of like a little bit:
And here's the lighting set-up:
Even with both of the 1Kw strobes on full power and the sunlight behind the subject, I still had to shoot at f/22 to make a dent in the ambient. If you look at the full-size version of the action shot then you'll see that there's some ghosting around the subject as the sync speed for the strobes is 1/125s and I wasn't able to stop the aperture down enough to kill the ambient. Now I do have three 500w strobes that I could set-up next time to give me a total of 3.5Kw but I think the better solution, if at all possible, is to do the shoot when it isn't so sunny. Today's shoot was around midday, next week's it's 2-3pm so the light should be less intense by then.
By the way, the reason why one of the strobes is positioned slightly closer to the ramp is simply so its slave cell could see the flash from the other one, which was triggered by Pocket Wizards.