Author Archive

Change Your Flashtube… Every 900,000 Shots!

Albert T. Parker of ParkWest Photography in Chandler, Arizona and his wife Patricia do on location photography at ballroom dance competitions.

Traveling the country to cover both local & regional competitions, the Parkers need powerful, studio quality lights and they need them to be fast recycling and portable as well. Al started using Qflash & Turbo in 2004. He has assembled quite a collection of our equipment over the years.

The business has been growing by leaps and bounds. Patricia usually handles sales at their events, but on occasion she will jump in to capture some of the action. Al & Patricia shoot with high-end Canon DSLR’s and they use two remote Qflash QFT5dR’s controlled by on-camera Quantum Trios.

Al logged over a million and a half images on a single Canon body in less than 18 months! When he sent his high mileage 1Ds Mk IV in for “preventative maintenance” Canon was totally amazed at how many shots he got without service. Just to be on the safe side, AL decided to change the flashtubes on his Qflashes and Trios; since they each had around 900,000 shots!

Thank you for sharing this story Al, and thanks for relying on Qflash & Turbo.


Be Careful on the Stairs!

Event photographers often need to photograph a group of people on a staircase, either in an elegant home or catering hall. The staircase shot can be a challenge but positioning yourself correctly can produce a great result.

Shooting your subjects straight on from the top or bottom of the stairs will give you trouble with both the light falloff and dept of field.

If the layout of the room allows you to shoot from the open side of the staircase you will get a more even spread of light and all your subjects will be in focus.

You can even vary the pose by putting the main subjects (in a wedding the Bride & Groom) standing on the floor near the handrail and possibly include shorter people such as ring-bearer, flower girl, junior bridesmaid and junior ushers in front of the people standing on the stairs.

Love That High-Speed Sync….

                                               …but how come it’s not working!!!?

High-speed SyncThe Quantum Trio, Trio Basic, and Pilot all work with High-speed Sync. This great feature allows you to capture the color in the sky by pushing the shutter speed beyond the normal limits of your DSLR camera.

To activate the high-speed sync on your Trio or Pilot press the option (OPT) soft key, use the +/- soft keys to move to the “select sync” menu, and used the arrow keys to select high-speed sync (HSS). Press the Mode/OK soft key and the Trio or Pilot is ready to go.

If you are shooting with a Canon camera you will now be able to set you shutter speed above the usual 1/250 limit.

NikonIf you are using a Nikon DSLR you will need to adjust a custom setting. There is a setting on Nikon camera bodies (D2X, D2H, S200, D300, D700 ,D300s, D3, D3x D3s, in the Custom Menu. It is e1.  This is factory defaulted to 1/250th of a second, which is the highest normal sync speed for flash. It needs to be set to 1/250 FP or 1/320 FP , which is the High Speed Sync mode. This will allow the camera to go above 1/250th of a second when there is a flash in the hot shoe of the camera. Once it is set, there is no need to turn off the FP High Sync Mode unless you do not want to use it.

The Nikon D90 has this Auto FP function as item e5 in its Custom Menu. Choices here are ON or OFF

Falling Off On The Edges

There are a number of photographers over the years that have posed these two questions to us. “Why is the light falling off on the edges?” or “How come the Qflash is not covering all of the frame?”.

They notice this when they are photographing large families or groups at events and do not realize why it is happening. After finding out when it is occurring I can give them an answer to correct it.  What is happening is that they have the large group of people arranged in a straight line and the ends of the groups are farther away from the flash than they are at the center of the group. This causes the ends to be darker or have ” light falloff”.

The answer is simple — curve the group at the ends, so it forms a shallow semi-circle. This brings all the people approaching the ends to be closer to the flash and therefore will get the same quantity of light as those in the center of the group.