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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm not Tonto, but I work with a Loan Ranger...

Hello Blog and Dear Readers!
Sorry its been so long since my last confession. So much has been happening that keeping up with this blog has been difficult. While its the case that there has been so much to write about, getting the time to write about these very things has been the hard part. Yeah yeah, I know what you are going to say. Excuses Excuses. And I would have to agree.
But, last night was something to definitely write about. Last night Creative Photo Workshops ran yet another Emerging Nymph evening at Black Rock, our usual haunt for this shoot along Melbourne's bayside beaches.
Our models were Kelly Jean, Sarah Hardy and male model, Leigh Crozier, who, of course, was not an Emerging Nymph per se', but he added that 'business man in the water' aspect that has evolved within this shoot. While this event has now been repeated by us several places in Australia and now in LA, it is different each time. The models are different, the conditions are different and the weather can certainly factor in! Unique to last night was the addition of rock three-piece, Zenith ASP, a Melbourne band who came along for some free promo pictures. Hey! Why not? Joey, Evan and Jayden were very pleased with the images they were getting for the sheer act of turning up. For their image, we used Elinchrom lighting each side, and gaffer-taped a FotoBestway strobe complete with FlashWave III receiver to the back of an old Strat copy of mine. It was an interesting effect and it can be seen as the light on Jayden's face in the image below of the band. 

On the CPW team there was me (of course), Glynn, Natasha Humble, Adam Davidson and the inimitable Kerry Sumner. We were there working to ensure that our customers got some great images and to hold lights and set things up. We had about 12 customers, so that's a pretty good ratio of CPW team members to customers. Kerry and Adam were once customers of Creative Photo Workshops, attending workshop after workshop in our earlier days as a business. Their talent and passion for photography is contagious and we are honoured to have their assistance at these events. They are a pleasure to work with.
Zenith ASP

Apart from the addition of a three-piece band, something else is new to the Creative Photo Workshops arsenal of tools -the addition of Elinchrom Ranger Quadras as our location lighting kits. We have long wanted a portable, powerful lighting kit for our workshops and events - and this is it. For events like this and our recent Castlemania event, the Elinchrom Ranger Quadras  have been absolutely perfect for location lighting. They are certainly not cumbersome but they are powerful, easy to set up and easy to use. One of them even took a spill last night and wasn't phased by the fall. The Rangers are ruggedly built and keep working and working and working. Packed neatly into a relatively small case, they can be taken almost anywhere with you. With 400 watt seconds of potential power, there is little they can't achieve for you on location or even in studio.

For us, this is very important - as I am sure you can imagine. Portability is one thing. But when you have a dozen people all working from the same flash head, it needs to recharge quickly and have enough power in its batteries to keep up the pace and last the night. For us, the Ranger Quadras have been perfect and have not given up the ghost. Firing on full power for much of the time, they kept up with the different setups we had established and didn't let us - or our customers - down. If you do your share of location shooting with a requirement for portable flash, the Quadras are a perfect choice. They are not an inexpensive item but the pro or semi pro would have them paid for in no time considering the images they make possible, the power they contain and the logistics of location lighting they simplify. We certainly intend on using them extensively for our events and workshops.
Using Elinchrom Ranger Quadras on location
Case in point. For this shot of Leigh (above) a 40x40cm Elinchrom soft box was attached, as you can see in the behind the scenes photograph. This was enough to soften the output and spread the light more evenly, which, considering the proximity and angle of the light, was a necessity. The softness was great for sculpting and detail and the spread of light meant that lighting Leigh evenly across his cheats and to his arms was possible. To achieve this shot, our assistant and Friend of CPW, Adam Davidson, simply stood in the water next to Leigh, the battery pack hanging around his shoulders and the flash and softbox on a stand held firmly in his hands - as you can see from the behind the scene image here. It  was not difficult to achieve by any means. All it took was some imagination and Elinchrom Ranger Quadras. 

Elinchrom's range of lighting modifiers works on the Ranger Quadras although some need an adaptor to fit. Nevertheless, it means that studio quality lighting can be easily applied on location for fashion, wedding photograph, portraiture, editorial - whatever. We here at Creative Photo Workshops love them and highly recommend them.

Last night's event was hard work - as these things always are for us - but it was a lot of fun. It was windy and we were wet and cold. Sand was getting into everything. I even lost my car keys at one point - something I have a proclivity for. But it was sooooo worthwhile. Running a photography workshops business is not an easy thing, but it is enjoyable and very rewarding. I now know what three decades of shooting everything conceivable was leading to. They were leading me here.

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller