Barrel racing is one of those things that runs in the blood, like farming or hunting or so many other things that exist in a symbiotic relationship with people and animals. My friend Maria wanted some photos of her and her horse Honey. So we picked one of the coldest days of the year when the light was falling fast! LOL 😎 The cloud cover was thick and it was quite dark. We were able to do a bunch of natural light stuff rather quickly but then the sky burst forth a wee silver of gold for us. We had a good 5-7 minutes to work the light before it completely faded into blue. We had to work quickly but we managed to hammer out a bunch of different looks using flash and ambient. The EXIF of the top image was 1/8 of a second at f/7.1. I was trying to drag the shutter as much as possible to get adequate ambient exposure and then use flash for the subject exposure. This relatively longer shutter speed allowed both Maria hair and Honey’s mane to motion blur in the wind but the flash exposure keeps them sharp. Handheld at 1/8 is no sweat with my 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor with VR.
I quickly moved from ambient to flash and back to ambient again to nab the amazing sky for silhouettes. The color was so juicy and rich that it made for the perfect background! You can’t sunset shots. They are like peanut butter and chocolate! The veritable Reese’s Pieces of the photographic world. They make for great photos & happy clients . . . and happy Photographers! 😎
I’ve been a hotshot flash dude forever. I was always blown away by McNally’s use of all things small flash and the amazing possibilities that they open up for making photos. The only bummer is when small flash isn’t enough. And there are 2 key places where that is the case. 1) Outside & 2) Big Groups.
Owning the sun with small flash can be done – but it’s not easy, and they scream at you with all they’re 60ws can muster. They’re just not designed for big light. Portability? Yes. Convenience? Check. But big, bad, photon wielding power? The answer is a big fat Nein! I’ve used them up to now by ganging three of them together in a tri-flash type unit but I couldn’t wring enough juice out of them. I got the shots but just barely. Which is why I concluded that having a monobloc was an essential, must have item to make my outside work 17% easier. 😀
I had my mind set on a Paul C. Buff Einstein light. Very excellent product at a very competitive price. But, then I really asked myself honestly, am I going to use all the features on it? Do I need the ultra fast flash duration? The answer was no. So I decided to go with the AB1600. The same power output as the Einstein, but more analogue – which I actually prefer for outside work. Just move the power lever up or down. Easy peasy.
And for groups, the big light volume is really, really nice. I shot all these photos with the AB1600 in a Photek Softlighter (a giant, reflected & diffused light mod) from f/5 to f/16. I love the studio quality of light it produces and with far faster recycle times than ganging bunch-load of speed lights together. Plus, the affordability of the Paul C. Buff products is a no brainer. I also picked up the Vagabond Mini portable battery for location work. It’s gonna be sweet to own the sun everywhere & always! 😎