Elinchrom ELB 400 & Maxi Spot: Light On Location

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Elinchrom ELB 400 & Maxi Spot (HvE-20150625-9963)

Elinchrom ELB 400 & Maxi Spot

The Elinchrom ELB 400 has just been released. A portable light system for photography with studio quality lighting capabilities. I decided to combine the ELB 400 with the Elinchrom Maxi Spot: a light modifier which gives the ELB 400 several stops of extra light output. And the Maxi Spot gives a contrasty, hard light; it mimics natural sun light. Exactly what I wanted in this shoot with Tamara Terzic!

Tamara Terzic (HvE-20150613-9751)

Tamara Terzic on the street in the shopping centre

For this shoot I wanted to work full body and I wanted to experiment with the Maxi Spot, to see if it’s possible to light the full body with it by using it as a single point source, just like the sun. To make the concept even more complete we went for two beautiful special dresses, thanks Wens Fashion for supplying those and thanks Katia Spinetto for the makeup, the hair, the styling and the assistance with booming the Maxi Spot. The ELB 400 on her shoulder and the Maxi Spot with Pro Head on a boom arm gave her a good mobility, so we could walk on the middle of the street through the shopping centre while using beautiful flash. I measured for the ambient light with my Sekonic light meter, the sun was coming from behind, pointing over her shoulders, so I took the ambient exposure and lowered it with one stop. Then I used the ALB 400 with Maxi Spot to light Tamara until the right exposure (one stop above ambient) and I dialed it in in camera. While walking through the shopping centre, Katia had to keep the same distance between the Maxi Spot and Tamara, to keep the exposure consistent. And it worked beautifully, I had 0 missed pops and the color temperature was also spot on, every time. This saved me a lot of retouching work!

Many years ago I started doing catwalk work. It’s a whole different kind of sport: maintaining the focus and obtaining the perfect timings (both feet in the perfect position, etc.) so I had the desire to experiment with focus tracking in combination with Tamara, Katia, the ELB 400 and the Maxi Spot. I never tried it before.
With my camera on servo mode I decided to push the ELB 400 system to the max: 4 shots every second. And the system performed beautifully, the poor shopping centre transformed to a complete stroboscopic disco show with a Maxi Spot happy to do the massive light throwing stuff. The ELB 400 was on power 4.4 and the Pro Head of the Maxi Spot was connected to port B to obtain the shortest flash durations (an Action Head could be better in this case, but I wanted to have to ability to do HyperSync when needed, so I went for the Pro Heads). No motion blur was visible although I was using a 3-stop ND filter to stay within my maximum sync speed. I didn’t want to use HyperSync here because I wanted to have the whole setting illuminated, with even illumination without dark bars or graduated effect. I could flash for 115 shots before the heat warning came in. It was a hot day with 26ºC and the sun was shining directly on the ELB400. We waited for 4 minutes and then the ELB 400 gave me 92 more pops until the next heat warning came in. Enough to finish that setting.

After that, we went to Museum De Fundatie in Zwolle. De Fundatie has some beautiful columns in front of the building, so I wanted to see what I could do with the ELB 400, the Maxi Spot, the natural sun light, Tamara, the dresses and those columns. See for yourself in the gallery above.

Oh, and the studio shots are also done with the ELB 400: as hair light. I discovered that the ELB 400 with default reflector is a great hair light while keeping it directly above the model and on the lowest power in the B port. More about that… another time.

Thanks Arzu Sonmez from Wens Fashion for the beautiful dresses, thanks Katia Spinetto for the makeup, the hair, the styling and the assistance and thanks Tamara for the happiness and crazyness, as usual. 😉