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Need Lighting Help


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#1 wthurman

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:16 PM

I sent off the below email to Backscatter sales a few days ago but didn't get a reply so thought I might post it here for some feedback:

"A couple of years ago I bought an Aquatica D3x setup from you guys along with two S&S YS250's. I now live in North Florida and am starting to shoot in caves. I'm thinking I could get the big 250's off the housing and use them as slaves and go with two Inon Z-240's on the housing and get an additional small slave setup to use on a model (mounted on the diver). Caves are tough to light, as I am sure you can imagine. Those two big 250's on a housing are a lot to handle in a cave and I know the Inons are much smaller and I wouldn't give up much other than recycle time, which is not an issue in cave shots.

"I'm not shooting TTL- I have Nikonos connections and sync cords, 3-pin. Cords and slave sensors for the off-camera strobes would probably be useful. What do you think about this idea?"

Technically some recommendations on off-strobe slave triggers would be helpful. I know about the Ikelite ones but are there any others I'm missing?

Thanks!

Wendy

#2 JKrumsick

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:02 AM

I am getting cavern certified sometime soon and definitely plan on doing some cave shooting. I am really interested in this thread as well.

The only slaves I know about are the one's on my S2000 but I have no experience using them as slaves.

Question for you Wendy - where in North Florida are you and what dive shops do you recommend for cavern cert?

#3 wthurman

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:18 AM

I am getting cavern certified sometime soon and definitely plan on doing some cave shooting. I am really interested in this thread as well.

The only slaves I know about are the one's on my S2000 but I have no experience using them as slaves.

Question for you Wendy - where in North Florida are you and what dive shops do you recommend for cavern cert?


My home is outside of Branford where the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers meet. In the immediate area are Peacock Springs, Ginnie Springs, Cow Springs, Little River Springs, and a lot of others. For cave & cavern instruction, I'd recommend Dayo Scuba out of Orlando- they do a lot of cave training. I trained with them and they're now good friends, highly regarded in the community. If scheduling is an issue, check with Jim Wyatt as well. For dive shops- Wayne Kinnard's Amigos Dive Center, Cathy Lesh's Dive Outpost, or Bill Rennaker's Cave Excursions. All offer training options but they're really equipment and gas shops. Jim Wyatt is now running a dive shop in High Springs but I forget the name of it. Further north, around Tallahassee Edd Sorenson's Cave Adventurers is a great place to train and dive with. Also check the NACD website http://www.safecaved...instructors.asp or the National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section at http://www.nsscds.org/

The YS-250's have slave sensors but I need to "strategically place" all this stuff, hence the need for off-strobe triggers. One cave alternative is to take a strobe and fire it with an open shutter but that's pretty hit or miss. This photo in France was made that way: http://tinyurl.com/8ablrw7 (it's not mine but it made the cover of the NACD journal a while back).

I talked to Becky Kagan and her husband David Schott a few weeks ago at Amigos; they had just won an Emmy for some video they shot in Eagles Nest, a deep Florida cave. They do some stills and according to David, "it's all about the strobes."

I'm just getting into the cave photography angle after a lot of open water photography but the diving alone is very gear intensive- two and three of everything- so adding a camera and a bunch of strobes complicates things enormously. I think to get good "cavescapes" may take a few dives- setup the lighting then return to shoot. Maybe I'm overthinking things, though- there are some very good images done without going to extremes. On the other hand, how Wes Skiles managed an IMAX camera in a cave is beyond me!

Good luck with cavern and hope to see you in cave country!

Wendy

#4 betti154

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:47 PM

Hi,

I've done a bit of cave shooting and would agree that strobe lighting is critically important, but the people you dive with are even more important in my opinion. Ultimately it's your models that will give the cave image size and context, they who will carry/position your strobes, be the focus of the image, etc....

I shoot with 2 * z240's on camera with 2 * DS125s off camera. The DS125s are triggered using Ikelite manual controllers, and seem to do the job very well (rather do they not fire). Ike also make the slave trigger I think that do a similar job.

I've not used them, but HW makes a remote slave device. http://www.heinrichs...p.net/#/en/rsu/

If you can trigger your off camera strobes optically, you might also be able to DIY a solution. I've seen other diver's strobes triggered accidently at some distance in open water, so I've often wondered if you'd be able to construct a make shift sensor/pickup which would capture the source strobe light and pass the single down the optic fibre cable. In very dark cave conditions this might work and cost would be very low to implement.

Edited by betti154, 26 January 2012 - 05:50 PM.

Damien Siviero
Canon 5DmkIII + 7D. Aquatica Housing. Ikelite + Inon Strobes. Canon + Tokina Glass.
http://damiensiviero.com

#5 errbrr

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:07 PM

With HW RSUs (remote slave units) or with Hedwig's triggerfish, strobes that takes a sync cable with a Nikonos plug on the other end of it can be remotely triggered. The HW sensors are not great with too much ambient light whereas the triggerfish work really well in daylight, but both work underground. Personally I use inon Z240s both on and off camera because I like their small size. It's pretty easy to fix them between the valves of a set of twins and run the sensor over into your model's hand. The inons also have an inbuilt optical sensor but triggering it relies on which way the strobe is pointing. The ikelites seem to put out a lot of light, but they're huge. I've also used SB105s with HW RSUs off camera, taped together in pairs to get enough light out of them which makes them fairly large.

I use my off camera strobes on full power, and as Damien said - from there it's all about the model. Get them well trained in strobe pointing and if they're patient enough to put up with you, treat them like gold!

I've just written an article about off camera strobe use which was in UWS (NSS-CDS mag) and Guidelines (CDAA mag)...it's now up on my website here here. Also check out the recent shots in the bottom of my gallery for fun with cave photography. Remote strobes open up a whole world of possibilities...

#6 wthurman

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

Damien, Liz-

Thanks for the tips. I'll be doing a bit of experimenting and Backscatter has gotten back to me with some trigger ideas as well.

Enjoyed your site, Liz- nice work. I did a piece in UWS on the NSS-CDS workshop last year in Marianna, FL. Got to do a bit of diving with Ken from Oz last year as well. He and a couple of others were diving Ag's Peacock to Baptizing line.

#7 errbrr

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 03:36 PM

Thanks Wendy, and good luck with it. I look forward to seeing some of your shots with whichever setup you go for.

I'm hoping to (one day) come over and do a photo dive or three down Ag's traverse line. For obvious reasons she was more concerned with chucking miles of new line in there and mapping rather than photography of the Baptizing side...she's talked about pretty areas and I'm sure there's some great shots to be had.

#8 wthurman

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:25 PM

I'm going to go with HW's RSUs with the big YS-250's and use the Inons on the housing. Reef Photo has the remote triggers so no worries there. I'm also looking at a smaller strobe- YS-110 or similar- to mount on a model. I'll certainly let you know how it goes!