Photography News Issue 49

Photography News | Issue 49 |

Technique 30

Lighting academy With all the advances in flash technology, getting great pictures, in the studio or on location, is easier than ever before, as we show here using the latest Pixapro lighting products Get more fromyour flash

Backlighting hair

For this shot, I stood leaning on the white wall, shooting along it. The main light was fitted with the beauty dish and deflector but for a softer result I added the supplied front diffuser panel. A test shot showed that a setting of +1EV on the TTL trigger looked great. I had the speedlight firing too but I aimed it towards the back of Em for a touch of light in her hair. For this hair light effect I started with the TTL trigger set to 0 and found that gave too much light so turned its output down to -2EV. Too much light in the hair, regardless of its colour, is a problem and if you want detail you will find it very difficult – even impossible – regardless of how good your post processing skills are. When backlighting, also watch out for light striking the lens front and causing flare spots.

Finally, we have the CITI600, a 600Ws studio- style portable flash head with the convenience of a S-bayonet modifier fitting and yet again a li-ion battery. We’ll have more about using the CITI600 in the next issue, as here we focus on enjoying the versatility of two lights. This is all impressive stuff but there is so much more that these three units all offer: High-speed sync (HSS), TTL flash mode and different sync options depending on

Just look at the lighting solutions offered by the three Pixapro products, distributed by Essential Photo, that we’re using here. The Li-ION580II is a potent, great value, high powered speedlight featuring a li-ion battery for rapid recycling and high flash capacity. Offering power and versatility is the PIKA200, an innovative portable lighting solution with interchangeable heads, a potent 200Ws output and again a li-ion battery for user convenience.

the effect you are after. And perhaps best of all is that you can get wireless control of all three units by buying the Pixapro PRO ST-III 2.4GHz transmitter, which retails for £44.99 and is available for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic and Sony. Have this one trigger on the hotshoe of your camera and you have total wireless control over the Pixapro Ecosystem – this includes the three lights we have discussed already but also covers the studio-based Storm II series, the KINO II+ series and the forthcoming Lumi II lights. It was this controllability, versatility and convenience of the Pixapro TTL system that I wanted to try out here. I had all three units off-camera and fixed onto lighting stands. The Li-ION580II has a hotshoe so can be attached to a stand via a low cost adapter, while the PIKA200 can be screwed directly into a light stand, but the more versatile and better option is a SMART speedlight adapter. This adapter fits on the light stand and the PIKA200 or speedlight can be securely clamped in place. Any S-fit light modifier – or the dedicated modifiers – can be attached directly onto this adapter. The CITI600 has a typical adjustable bracket to fix it to a stand. All I needed was the Pixapro PRO ST-III 2.4GHz trigger inmyNikonD810’s hotshoe. To test the individual control offered by Pixapro’s Ecosystem, I had the speedlight working in group A, the PIKA200 in group B and the

Words & pictures by Will Cheung

The huge advances in flash lighting equipment means every photographer, whether in the studio or on location, now has within easy reach a really potent mix of convenience, control and creativity. Shooting amazing pictures, with flash as the only light source or supplementing natural light, is available to all.

Getting to grips with the lights

Images Two light sources give massive creative potential. Here the Li-ION580II was used as a backlight while the PIKA200 unit acted as the main light. These images were shot on the Nikon D850.

This was my first venture out with this three-unit Pixapro lighting outfit using exclusively TTL mode, so I started very simply. For this two head set-up I had the PIKA200 with a softbox as a main light and the Li-ION580II speedlight as a hair light. My first test was to see the effect of the hair light so I turned off the main light remotely using the PRO ST-III, eventually settling for -2EV (near right, top). With the main light back on, I tried various positions giving Rembrandt lighting (near right, bottom), beauty lighting (far right, top) and split lighting (far right, bottom).

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