Thursday, October 13, 2011

Todays Shoot - Alesana (live) Lumiquest gear!

SO! if you follow this blog or my concert photography, you know that the Lumiquest 80/20 is not only a staple of my equipment but is KEY to getting the look I strive for in my live photos.

Recently I was fortunate enough to add a slew of lumiquest gear to my arsenal, and what is the best way to test any equipment? Test it in the field!

SO! I brought my 80/20 - along with the big bounce and softbox 3 to an Alesana show. I'm pretty sure the softbox 3 is mainly for off-camera flash, but in concert photography I generally dont use off camera flash, however I plan on testing all this gear out again in a portrait setting.

Anyhoo - I wanted to really experiment when Alesana and Attila came on, so I warmed up with Serianna and Memphis May Fire.

I did my photo shoot with Alesana and ended up missing the first band Lions Lions (while doing the shoot).

I ran down to catch Serianna, and just shot with the 80/20 to get a feel for what the lighting situation would be before even thinking about experimenting.

During their set, their lighting did NOT change from red the entire set... HORRIBLE! but! the best thing about the 80/20 is its powerful enough to clear out the reds from your subject while still bringing in the red stage lighting evenly - which is pretty much unheard of.

check it out - these are at f 8 at a 15th at iso400 - shot with the 16-35 lens using the 80/20. note: these are unedited images.

Next up was Memphis May Fire, and for this band I wanted to experiment a little bit, and again to my utter dismay, the lighting was red for the ENTIRE SET!!! ugh! So I started with the 80/20 for the "safe shots" knowing id get what i needed, then experiment after. These are at the same setting F8 at a 15th - and again - raw/unedited.

Next up I wanted to try out the big bounce because it was the closest thing to the 80/20... kinda. The first thing I noticed was that I needed to back up and jump up my Fstop to F11 - it was BRIGHT! and I believe the artists noticed the change of flash power. But what I found the big bounce perfect for was full stage shots with a fish eye - or close up shots using the 70-200 of the drummer. for drummer shots this light mod is PERFECT! - it throws enough light onto them so they are well lit, and movement is locked in, while not blasting out the stage lighting. - the settings were between F11 (stage shots) and F4 (drummer shots)

Next was Attila - and as always I got my safe shots first - shooting with the 80/20 - and luckily their lighting wasnt RED! yeay! - but it was a bit darker than the other bands blasted reds. SO I was shooting at F9.5 with the fisheye - these are about one stop under where they should be - but none the less - you get the idea - these are unedited

Next I used the softbox 2 with the fisheye and then the 16-35 lens. All in all i LOVE the big softbox for this light set. It filled in everything it needed to, but being that it is stronger than the 80/20 it did bleed out the stage lighting a bit, but not enough to kill the image. this again, was great for bigger shots but was also AWESOME for individual shots, check it (unedited images)

Last was Alesana, I had previously warned them that I would be using all sorts of different lighting when I shot them, so they were well aware haha. I started with the 80/20. shooting at F8 with the 16-35. (unedited images)

Next up I used the big bounce, which, if the artist was too close, it blew out the stage lighting a bit too much, but was great for wider shots of multiple members or fisheye shots. these are at F11 (unedited)

Next up I popped on the softbox 3 - and used it with both fisheye and 16-35. I was at F11 still - and what I noticed is it blends the stage lighting and subject lighting better than the big bounce, but the lighting on the subject is still too hot and concentrated. but its PERFECT for wider shots and for any show with brighter lighting, but with mid to dark lighting its a bit too spotty for close ups. however - PERFECT for wider shots and full stage shots (unedited)

lastly I put the 80/20 back on and finished up with some final shots to compare and contrast from. (unedited)

SO! my thoughts... The 80/20 is still king for what I want to capture - its the PERFECT way to blend stage lighting and get even lighting on your subject for close ups, wide angle, and full stage shots, but absolutely lacks the power to hit the drummer if he is super far away. for that, I would use the big bounce. the big bounce throws light like a football with the precision of an assassin scope and rifle. It is awesome for bouncing light where you need it at the right angle. The softbox is a bit like the mini softbox I used years ago for a few shows, but the softbox 2 just shows that size matters. Making your light area greater is KEY to getting good lighting on bigger subjects. I can easily say that all three of these items will not leave my camera bag anytime soon.

What I would LOVE to do, if I get another big bounce, id love to get innovative and cut up the top a bit to make it like a gigantic 80/20 - I think that could be SO awesome.

all in all the 80/20 is still going to be my primary light mod for concerts. Im going to try them all in a portrait and wedding situation in the next few weeks as well, and see how they measure up.

But all in all, if you are serious about being a photographer, you need different tools for different situations, and Lumiquest mods is clearly what your photographic tool box should be loaded with. I still strongly suggest the 80/20 with frost diffusion for any serious concert photographer who uses flash. its a MUST have

heres where you can get it

ill be updating this blog more often - the reason for its lack of updates is I have literally been shooting almost every day with tight deadlines, so I never have time to do this labor of love that this blog is. I will do my best to back-blog alot of past shoots this year, so keep your eyes open.