Elinchrom Pro HD units set up in my Courtenay Place studio, 15th October 2019.
In October 2019, on behalf of the New Zealand agents APIX, I became the Wellington brand ambassador for Elinchrom flash lighting. This is an honour, a responsibility, and new territory for me. Guess I'll have to dress better.
My Studio - Courtenay Studios - is also available for hire, and I've hired out the studio with these new flashes in it more times than I've used them myself. (Unlike most hire studios, the basic hire fee includes the Elinchrom lights, accessories, and other equipment in the studio.) One client, Tangata Circus Company, got to use the new lights for a shoot after I'd only just set them up and fired off a few test shots.
I've only begun to use these new lights, with my first corporate portrait shoot taking place thins morning, and I've already learned a few things and noticed some definite advantages over my old flash units (Bowens S-mount and L-mount, all sourced on the second hand market - older models, but robust and reliable.)
Studio hire at Courtenay Studios - the first client to use the new Elinchrom lights, Tangata Circus Co.
Its great to be able to control the output of individual lights, groups of lights, or all the lights at once, from the camera. This is extra handy when the lights are mounted higher up and the controls are out of reach from the studio floor. The control units are simple and easy to explain to users - important in a hire studio.
These lights recharge faster than my old ones and thus suit my fairly rapid pace of shooting when I'm trying to get momentum and capture expressions in portrait subjects.
This speed, and the short duration of the flash burst, make the Elinchrom Pro HD units ideal for fashion shooting. I seldom get to do any of that, but photographers hiring the studio sure do a lot of it.
The colour quality of the light is great, consistent shot to shot, and no UV creeps in to mess things up (I guess the special covers over the flash tubes help). This gives great skin tones and is good for photographing paintings and other artworks, as well as products, when accurate colour rendition is crucial.
The 175cm Octabox makes a terrific key light, but this morning I decided to shoot width-ways, across the studio (only 5m wide, but with plenty of space to the sides) and I found the huge Octabox also makes a great fill-light, while the 90cm x 110cm softbox performed the Key Light function well.
I've yet to fit the fabric grid to this softbox, which might improve things by containing the spread of light.
I've also yet to try the 70cm beauty dish, and am looking forward to the opportunity later this week.
The lights power down to 30J (Watt-seconds) which means you can shoot at wide apertures for shallow depth of field (selective focus), something I haven't been able to do in the past with my studio flash units.
The big, heavy wheeled stands by Photix (also from APIX) are a luxury, but not an expensive one. You wouldn't want to carry them to a location shoot but they make the studio work easier and safer than the lighter, portable stands with counter-weighted booms. And they look really cool.
I'm running basic lighting workshops (have done so for years) and the first one with the Elinchrom lights is November 30th (already sold out, sorry). I intend to run more of these workshops next year. (Sorry, the photos on the workshop page need updating. I'll take some new pics during the November workshop.)
More on this stuff as I get to it. Looking forward to exploring the possibilities of this new gear.