When you have that one special day in your life, you want it captured in a way that will allow you to re-live that day for years to come. You hope that the person you hired to capture those memories will be competent, creative and imaginative enough to fulfill all your dreams, hopes and expectations.
When you’re only doing something once, you don’t have a second chance to do it the right way – and when all is said and done, the only things you have left, besides your cancelled checks, are your photographs.
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Ready, Fire, Aim!
In today’s fast shift from film to digital, the time for multiple lighting has never been more important. I have noticed that the best pictures in my portfolio are the ones where the lights are coming from off camera, and usually from above and behind the subjects.
In the picture of the bride with her arms out stretched, (we affectionately call this image the flying V), it is certainly evident that the intensity of the room lights create the three dimensional look that gives the photo depth and impact. And with Quantum’s new Turbo AC we now have consistent output all night long. It’s not just the candid images either. We are using the flashes in a back 45 degree position on our portraits and family groups.
My typical set-up is a Canon 5D, or now the Mark III, with the 580 flash on the camera. Using the FreeXwire for remote firing we typically add 3 to 4 QFlashes to the equation. One near the camera in a 45 degree position to shape the face. The other 2 or 3 from behind the subject to shape and separate the subject from the background.
Qflash gives me very consistent light output, plus my Qflashes are positioned before the reception begins, making sure that I get even lighting throughout…thus, Ready, Fire Aim!
I wanted to drop you an email with my personal experience with the T5D-r Qflash. I purchased one over a year ago for the extra power it claimed. I was never able to get the flash to work as it should, probably because I tried to figure it out on my own. I recently had you send me the learning DVD and watched it several times.
I photograph mostly sports, and usually Hockey more than anything else. I photograph several large youth hockey tournaments each year, most notably the Nike-Bauer International Invite in Chicago for the last 3 years.
My biggest problem is having no more than 30 seconds to group the 1st and 2nd place teams on the ice and get a usable team shot with my digital (Nikon D3) and flash.
After watching and learning from the DVD, I have realized your flash does everything it claims and more! I have attached a team shot taken this year under the gun, with about 30 seconds to nail the shot (no do-overs). This shot has no post processing whatsoever, other than being cropped and reduced for the web. Needless to say, I feel the flash was worth every penny.
I have never been able to get this kind of lighting with any shoe mount flash.
Thanks again. Jerome Turbyville
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikon fixed 24mm f:2.8
Flash: Qflash T5D-R w/D12W-R (upgraded) module.
Flash set to “Auto Mode”, bare bulb tilted up, sensor limit set at infinity
Camera set to manual mode, f:5.6, ISO: 400 Shutter: 1/60
Post Processing: Crop to size only.
Love, marriage and a little fireworks keep the spark of romance alive.
This image is from a wedding celebration in Punta Mita, Mexico. I knew there would be a fireworks display during the first dance. I always use a second remote to add depth to a usually dark environment. This was an outdoor reception with the black ocean for a backdrop with only candlelight on the tables. I used the Quantum Qflash T5d-R, with the Qnexus adapter set to receive the dedicated signal from my Canon 580EX. The Qnexus gives me dedicated wireless TTL control over the remote T5d-R flash. The Qflash was placed on a light stand to the camera left about 15 feet with the Qnexus sensor aimed toward the camera. Strobes were used to accent the image. I used a Canon 5D with a 24mm f/1.4 lens shot RAW at ISO 800, 1/8th of a second @ f/1.4 hand held. I choose the slow shutter speed to capture the explosion of the fireworks and to allow for motion blur of the bride & groom to convey them dancing.
My goal was an image that had the same WOW effect as their first dance accompanied by the awesome fire works display. I used the remote light for most of the reception to give my images depth that cannot be achieved by using a single strobe. Qflash offers great creative control, is great on location, travel’s well and works seamlessly with my Canon system. I can’t imagine going on assignment without Qnexus and Qflash.
Taos Pueblo is the only North American Native community which has been continuously inhabited for more then a thousand years. “That’s what the picture needed to say.”
Camera was a E series Olympus with a 11 to 22 mm zoom lens, a fantastic, very sharp lens and a Quantum Bare Bulb Qflash.
I feel one of the most overlooked and least understood lighting technique is outdoor bare bulb in full sunlight. It adds a fantastic sharp slice of foreground that makes your image look as close to 3D as possible. As photography is primarily a two dimensional arena, lighting is the brush that makes your pictures stand out.
My approach is to meter for the background and sky. I use that F/stop for my aperture. Usually around F/16 to 22. My distance with the flash is then calculated at the highest sync speed I can get and I balance it at a quarter to half a stop under the normal flash exposure for the face. In this way I do not destroy the natural lighting but fill in the gritty shadow tones. You have to make sure you do not let the flash overpower the natural light. Just a soft blend into it.
The final photo you see is a composite of two photos taken one right after the other. Both were shot with just enough bare bulb flash to bring out the shadow detail to make the end result “POP”. Bare bulb is just a fantastic way to make your pictures stand out and shout. And the folks at Quantum make it so easy. They truly are a company that listen to the photographers needs and supply a product that just screams of quality and ease of use.
I really like to use Qflash in outdoor sports photography. It gives me this really good quality of light and the ability to work in any weather condition.
I carry two Qflash T2 and two Turbo Z Batteries. They are light enough to let me ski or bike with them in any environment and they have been solid enough to endure this lifedata-style.
I am really happy with their performance and reliability, especially for location lighting, like the cold-snowy-wet weather of this picture.
This image was made as part of an experimental self-assignment. My studio is in a hurricane prone area of the East Coast and while visiting the local hardware store I discovered the translucent 4×8 background I am using here, which is actually an impact resistant material used to board up windows, instead of plywood. Because of the internal honeycomb construction light interacts in a very unique almost laser like way (notice the white streak at the bottom of the image). Behind the panel we hung one of those tacky shell curtains from World Bazaar and beyond that is white seamless paper.
This was an exercise in light control using a total of 5 Quantum T5D’s with attached FreeXwire Receivers (FW7Q) all on manual with a variety of light modifiers all slaved and controlled with a shoe mounted FreeXwire Transmitter from my Canon 5D. The image was shot at ISO 100 @ F6.3 @ 1/60 sec with a 70 to 200 2.8 lens zoomed to 78 mm.
The background light was a T5D with a QF68 Soft box and an orange gel placed over the flash tube. The unit was set at 1/2 power and directed from the side at the white seamless paper from 5 ft away. Without light on the shells they would have appeared as dull gray blobs. A boomed out T5D at 1/4 power in a Westcott 12″ X 55″ strip bank did the trick without making them too dominate. The hair and main were also boomed into position, a Westcott 36″ strip with a T5D at 1/4+ for the hair light and a second 55″ strip at 1/2 power for the main, both were set up with control grids to provide flaring for the background. Finally Fill-flash was provided by a T5D with standard reflector placed on the floor just in front of the subject at 1/16 power. The raw quality of the fill is what gives the image its punch in the diffused highlights and also the beam of light at the base of the image.
1. White seamless paper
2. 55″ Westcott strip bank with T5D at 1/4 power
3. T5d with QF68 and orange gel at 1/4 power
4. Shell curtain
5. Translucent panel
6. 36″ Westcott strip bank with T5D at 1/4 power & control grid
7. Subject in chair
8. 55″ Westcott strip bank with T5D at 1/2 power & control grid
9. T5D with standard reflector at 1/16 power
This image was made at Rafael Vineyards on the east end of Long Island. As with most weddings, there was not much time, yet I really wanted to capture the essence of this location without taking the typical photo of the bride and groom standing in middle of the grapes. The solution: the wine cellar filled with barrels would create the perfect ambiance for the photo. I am a true believer that today’s bride wants to be sexy – that is why they wear sleeveless , strapless gowns. I try to always exude that sensuality and romance in my photographs. This was the ideal location for posing. Lighting was a different story. The room was dark and cold. It was important to me that no shadows exist, therefore the light needed to be extremely soft and natural. There was only about a minute during which the photograph could be taken, so being quick and accurate was key. I used a single bare bulb Qflash. The flash was set on automatic at F4, iso 800. Minimal light was necessary – even less than the f4 – so wrapping a white handkerchief around the bulb created an ideal way to further diffuse the light. The light was off camera and coming in from a 45 degree angle to camera right above the subject. The light, because of the bare bulb, was very omni-directional . It was all over the place… filling lightly. The actual intensity of the strobe was roughly f2.8 with the diffusion from the handkerchief. It was perfect for the camera exposure of f4.0. I try to usually have my strobe at 1 to 2 stops under my ambient. This is the perfect way to avoid shadows and, more importantly, have the light look very natural. That is the main thing I love about my Qflash, it is very diverse. It is small enough to work in a tight situation and powerful enough to handle big groups.
Camera: Canon 1ds mk II
Lens: Canon 70-200 zoom @ 200 mm
Exposure is: 1/2 sec at f4
For the last 39 years Rick has impacted the photographic community by being one of the leading photographers in the nation. Rick began his career photographing for the Miami Dolphins, going on to owning several successful studios and in 1993 helped develop the Wedding Photographic Department for Walt Disney World. He started Signature Studio in 2001 when he married his wife Deborah. He is a Certified, Master Photographer and received, along with his wife, the United Nations Leadership Award from the International Photographic Council in 2006. Rick’s love and passion for photography and people is evident in his work.
This image was made at the United States Military Academy at West Point April, 2005, as part of a cover story for TIME Magazine. The three cadets (about to graduate from the academy) are pictured standing within the Great Chain (at Trophy Point) with a view of the Hudson River beyond. The links in the photo were actually part of The Great Chain which stretched across the Hudson River at West Point during the Revolutionary War to act as a barrier to enemy ships.
The photograph was set up in about ten minutes and executed in less than five! (The young cadets were constrained by their rigorous schedule.) A single Qflash with the telephoto (parabolic) reflector was mounted on a high overhead boom just to the right of the camera. A full CTO lighting gel was taped over the reflector to warm up the light considerably, and the ambient daylight was underexposed by about a stop and a half to lend a heroic, painterly feel to the image. I’m a huge fan of the under appreciated telephoto reflector; to me it’s like a grid spot on steroids! Rather than cutting out extraneous light to create a spot effect, the tele-reflector actually concentrates the light into a spot. The huge benefit of this is that the strobe is being used far more efficiently, which means one can power down a great deal (to conserve battery life, speed up recycle time, and shorten flash duration) or simply get far more usable output at any given setting if f-stop or carrying distance is what’s needed. The beauty of the Qflash is its compactness, simplicity, and ease of set up, and the FreeXWire facilitates fluid, hand-held flexibility of movement, unfettered by wires or cables.
Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark II
Lens: Canon 17-40 zoom @17mm
Exposure: 1/250th sec @F14
Color Temperature setting: 4250K
This photograph was part of an assignment for the New Yorker magazine. It was taken at a high school prom in a Manhattan hotel about a year ago.
Whenever I photograph nightclubs, bars, or dances I always work with two flash units. One is shoe-mounted on the camera and the other is mounted on a long arm or a monopod and triggered by a radio slave. It’s essential to use radio slaves especially at events where other people have flash units. The second unit is a background and an effect light. I also use it as a rim light for my foreground subjects. The second unit is the key light and must be the more powerful of the two strobes (The shoe-mounted flash is the fill). I always use the Quantum Qflash for this second unit. I work with the Qflash because it is reliable, light, powerful, and it allows me to move more freely.
If I were to light the entire room with several powerful strobe units, I would have to be very careful about not getting the strobes in my frame. This way, my assistant and myself can wander freely around the room.
Mary Ellen Mark
This image was created as part of a photo session for a girl’s Bat Mitzvah. The father is an avid car collector and insisted on having a picture of the family with his newest toy. Unfortunately, there was a typical suburban neighborhood to contend with, such as trees, trash cans, houses and traffic. The goal was to create an image that captured the car, in all it’s glory, as well as the family, while minimizing the distractions and not getting run over in the process!
To add to the pressure, it was October and the women were complaining of the cold. So we literally had less than 5 minutes to create the shot. The image was captured using a Nikon D1X, three Quantum Q-Flash T4d’s, all triggered by FreeXWire Radios. The Q-Flashes each had one diffusion panel and were used to fill in the daylight exposure and kill shadows. In order to do this without creating speculars all over the car, two remote Q-Flash units were placed at extreme angles to the car. The third flash was on-camera and was tilted up toward the subjects to act as a center fill light, without reflecting off the car. The portability of the Q-Flash and the wireless freedom of the FreeXwires make working in a hurry on location a breeze. Impact was added to the picture in post-production, using Adobe Photoshop to blur the background and turn the image to black and white. The car was kept in color to increase it’s impact and turn the image into a real conversation piece.
Camera: Nikon D1X
Lens: 24-85 zoom @ 34mm
Exposure: 1/15th sec. @ f/8