Photography News Issue 53


Photography News | Issue 53 |


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was dropped to 100 and f/5 at 1/250sec used on an 85mm lens.

let the ELB 500’s TTL facility do the heavy lifting so I could just shoot and concentrate on working with the model. Working with two heads was as straightforward as using just one and the TTL system did a great job and if the exposure needed tweaking it was simple to use the trigger to wirelessly dial in compensation. As someone who swears by manual control the ELB 500 in its TTL mode was a revelation and I really enjoyed shooting this way. I still chose the shutter speed and aperture to control the ambient exposure and depth-of-field, but left the flash in TTL for a first shot; it got the exposure near- enough every time. It’s then simplicity itself to set the flash to manual, give this a tweak if need be, then just shoot away. And if you want to move the lights, just do it and repeat it all again. It’s fast and as easy as using off- camera flash can be. Add the huge range of studio modifiers available, the powerful LED modelling lamp and great portability, and this set-up is sure to appeal to many photographers.

The kit we used

PICTURE 4 The final shot of Rachel in the black dress was taken using the exact same settings and lens as the previous picture, in the same location as the first shot with the chair. This time a black panel was used behind her to block the light from the window and create a black background. The light on her hair and arm was the natural light coming through the windowwhich is why it’s warm in colour. Of course, her face was in shadow so the softbox was used on the left side of the frame, this time fitted with a fabric grid to stop the light spilling onto the background which I wanted to keep black. Using the ELB 500’s built-in modelling LED light, it was easy to precisely move the light into the right position so that there was a triangular highlight on the model’s face nearest the camera – classic Rembrandt lighting. For inexperienced flash users, a powerful modelling light can really give a good indication of how the shot will look. But it does eat up battery power if left on for too long. Actually, the ELB 500’s LED is bright enough for use as a continuous light for video as well as still shooting. PICTURE 5 A change of clothes into a black leather jacket and a change of lens back to the 58mm Nikkor for the shots of Rachel leaning on the wall space between the two windows. Using ISO 100 and 1/250sec at f/4.5 gave just the right exposure for outside – bright but not overpowering. The softbox, still with a grid on it to create a more controlled pool of light, was set at 90° to the wall and again, the TTL system got it right first time. PICTURE 6 For this portrait shot against the wall which was illuminated by the pool of light from the window, Rachel moved until her face was in shadow, and now was the time to use two heads plugged into the ELB 500. The main light was fitted with the softbox, placed just to the right of the camera and aimed slightly downwards. A second light, fitted with an 18cm reflector and honeycomb grid, was placed to the left of the frame and behind our model’s position, to illuminate her hair. The second head was set to half the output of the main light, ie. one stop less. Using the 85mm lens, the exposure was set to 1/320sec – slightly higher than the normal flash sync speed – at an aperture of f/1.8 to get a shallow depth-of-field. Again I

As someone who swears by manual control the ELB 500 in its TTL mode was a revelation and I really enjoyed shooting this way

The Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL is available in two kits. The standard To Go kit includes a pack, battery, Snappy carrier,

power lead, charger, 18cm reflector, location bag and one head for £1499, while the Dual To Go kit adds a second head, lead and 13.5cm wide reflector for £1749. We used the Dual To Go kit along with a Quadra to EL-mount adapter at £89 to fit full- size Elinchrom-fit studiomodifiers and the £229 Elinchrom Skyport Plus HS Transmitter Pro for Nikon. We also used an 18cmElinchromgrid on the reflector and a softbox with a fabric grid.

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