Lighting Pt. 3 | What’s in the Bag…

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Today I’m just going to give a quick rundown of my equipment and why I choose to use them. My basic off-camera flash set-up is using 1 or more Paul C. Buff Einstein lights for my strobes, Cybersync triggers and transceivers from Paul C. Buff, a Vagabond mini battery source and Vagabond II battery source for powering the lights from Paul C. Buff, and an assortment of Manfrotto light stands and Paul C. Buff and Elinchrom lighting modifiers. There are tons and tons of different options you could use to create a lot of the same effects, but I choose to use the lights and triggers from Paul C. Buff for a few reasons.

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  • Price – I tend to really put my lights in fun situations (i.e. hanging off the side of a truck doing 25 miles an hour or more) so if I break something I’m not out $1,000+ dollars on a strobe or a couple of hundred dollars on a trigger. Paul’s lights are probably the best priced on the market and are comparable to buying a Canon or Nikon speed light but give a lot more versatility and power!
  • Speed – I shoot a lot of fast moving subjects in Triathlon, BMX, Cycling, and other sports so I really need to stop motion well. The Einsteins have a flash duration of up to 1/13,000 second! That’s as fast as other battery packs by Profoto and Broncolor that start at $8-9,000 a pop!! We’ll get into why this helps stop action more in just a second, but that’s definitely something to keep in mind!
  • Ease – The Einsteins are very intuitive to use and I can easily bump the light up or down 1/3 or full stops just by looking at the back of the light. They also use a regular 3-prong power cable so I can plug them into a regular wall outlet if I’m in the studio or use any type of commercial generator with no problems at all. And, the Vegabond Mini is an extremely lightweight Lithium-Ion battery pack that has 2 plug-ins and can even be taken on the plane in a carry-on.

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Finally, I always keep a Sekonic light meter on me. I choose to use the L-358 because it has the ability to measure both the ambient light AND the light from flash and give a ratio between the two. It’s awesome for balancing ambient light and a great tool to keep in the bag even when you don’t use it. But, we’ll get into that next time! Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to the Newsletter and RSS feed below!

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