'Portable Flash Power' Category

Meter, Adjust the Light, Meter… BORING!

Luke Pickerill of www.pickerillcreative.com and www.ExpertPhotoTraining.com returns to the Flashline to share his thoughts on Studio vs. Location portrait shoots. I can’t believe any shoot Luke is on could be BORING!, but the guy sure does like to move around. Check out some of the location shoot videos on his blog and enter his Makeover Photoshoot Contest for a chance to see for yourself.

1/80sec - f/5.6 - 800 Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8I prefer to shoot my clients and their families in their homes rather that in the studio. First, studio shots are boring. Set up a background, set up some lights, meter. Adjust the light, meter. Adjust the light, meter… BORING!

Shooting in a clients home gives me more new things to work with and new problems to solve. I also find that younger children are more relaxed at their homes. It’s a familiar place and they feel comfortable. When the young kids come to a studio or on locations they can easily get distracted by all the newness and surroundings…

Whenever doing a shoot in someone’s home I always ask a lot of questions like:

• Are there windows in that room
• How big is the room
• How big are the windows
• Does the room get direct sunlight
• What color are the walls

1/125sec - f/2.25 - ISO1000 Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8Even when I am happy with all the answers and think there is going to be great available light I still bring my flashes and especially my Qflash because more often than not, my dreams of beautiful available light are dashed when I arrive and see what we’re actually working with. Maybe it’s the wrong part of the day for light hitting that room, or maybe the walls are green and giving the light a kind of vomitis color… The point is I always come prepared to create great light in case it doesn’t exist.

For all of these shots I used a Qflash through a shoot through umbrella and two Canon 580 exII’s. I love the Qflash as a main light in this kind of environment because I can run it at a very low power setting and get super fast recycle times. Fast recycle times are crucial if your shooting children.


1/100sec - f/2.8 - 800 Lens: 50mm f/1.4The 580’s are great because I can put them around the room on TV stands, mantles or whatever furniture is in the room and not have to bring additional light stands. I used the two 580’s as fill for the room. I shot them on opposite sides of the room shot up into the ceiling and got the room detail to a nice level.


1/100sec - f/3.2 - 800 Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8Then as I move around the room, I can really easily move the position of my Qflash main light. I triggered everything in Manual mode, using radio popper triggers.


1/100sec - f/2.8 - 800 Lens: 24mm f/1.4 1/100sec - f/2.8 - 800 Lens: 50mm f/1.4 1/80sec - f/3.2 - 800 Lens: 50mm f/1.4

1/100sec -f/3.2 - 800 Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8 1/100sec - f/2.8 - 800 Lens: 24mm f/1.4 1/100sec - f/3.2 - 800 Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8 1/100sec - f/3.2 - 800 Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8

1/100sec - f/2.8 - 800 Lens: 24mm f/1.4 1/125sec - f/2.25 - ISO800 Lens: 50mm f/1.4


Luke Pickerill

Be Portable… Be Prepared.

Swim PortraitThe available lighting at indoor youth sport venues can vary a lot. Often the overhead lights are similar to what you might find in a warehouse. To make matters worse there will almost always be a certain degree of chaos as kids, coaches, parents and officials move about. This can be a tough situation for a photographer to walk into. Today John Pendleton of  www.PendletonImaging.com shares his story of a tough sporting event assignment and how he made it all work.

Yesterday I had to photograph about one hundred young swimmers at a local swim pool. I had planned to use studio lights but during setup was unable to locate an electrical outlet. The maintenance man said the closes electrical outlet was on the other side of the pool and he had to locate an extension long enough to make a connection. Swimmers were already starting to signup and distracting inquisitive parents were busily pacing about asking questions.

Fortunately, I had a Quantum QF8N, Turbo3 and Turbo battery tucked in my bag. By the time the maintenance man found an extension long enough, I had photographed 80 swimmers. Experience has shown that during rapid sessions speedlights overheat and shut down while the Quantum system keeps pumping and pumping. I wouldn’t have lost the job but my reputation as a prepared professional would’ve been tarnished.

Thanks Quantum!

John Pendleton
Pendleton Imaging & Photography

Like Having the Sun in Your Back Pocket

Lenwood YoungLenwood W. Young of Xpress Yourself Portraits in San Bernardino California specializes in Weddings, Corporate, and Senior portraits. He recently added Qflash to his equipment bag, liked the results, and joins us today to share his story…

I took this shot at an abandon train station in Redlands, California, right around sunset. This was my first time using my Qflash T5dR on a shoot. Before I had been using speed lights or studio lights with extension cords on location.

The main light is my Qflash T5dR in a 12×12 soft box positioned  at a 45 degree angle to the models face, camera right, about 8ft from her. The hair light is a Canon 580EXII positioned about 10 feet behind the model with the head of the flash pointed at her back. The lights were triggered with radio poppers.

I turned everything on, just to get a feel for the setup. I did a couple of test shots to dial in my settings. The Qflash was set to 1/4 power, and hair light to 1/2 power.

If you ask me about the Qflash T5dr I would say you can’t go wrong with this product, you don’t have to worry about finding a wall plug because of the portable battery pack. It’s like having the sun in your back pocket. Go with the T5dR anytime you need to light up the night or compete with bright sunlight.

As long as you have the best equipment you to can make very beautiful shots like this yourself. With Quantum the sky’s the limit, the only thing stopping you from doing something like this is your imagination!

Camera info: Canon 85mm 1.2 Lens, Canon 5DMKII @ F4.5 ISO 100 Shutter Speed 1/160

Lenwood W. Young

Lenwood Young Lenwood Young Lenwood Young Lenwood Young