The things you learn on the way…

We never stop to learn, and the more you do, act, the more you will face situations and learn from them.

Today’s post is about this. And, to make it interesting, I pick up a very actual shooting plenty of surprises…
I live in the countryside, somewhere 30 minutes away from Vienna, Austria. We do not have a police but we are very proud to have a very active firefighter station with young and less young people, all volunteers. I really admire them for what they do to save people. And I thought making pictures for them for free is my tribute to them, to support them and let know what they do and who they are. So that being said, the idea of the shooting was to make some portraits and group-shots.

I thought it would be pretty cool to use the trucks as a background. So I decided to place the model in front of the truck, I would be shooting frontal from outside. Light wise, I used a octabox 1,25m set on the right aiming at the subjects at a 45° angle + a strobe with a yellow gel in the truck so the cabin does not seem to be a black hole + a fill in : so 3 lights. Not complicated. Well… this is what I was thinking.

I set all ready, people arrive, the truck’s lights are on and my strobe in the trucks fires like crazy, zak, zak, zak… although I am not shooting. I watch at the cable, the quadra, nothing helped. In such situations you have to calm down and keep confident since if you don’t your models are getting nervous. Ok, let’s do it without this strobe. I will get shots anyway. So I go to my model and want to meter the light. And although my sekonic is set on flash metering, the data change twice a second. As it would do in available light. So. I am here. Ten people looking at me. And I am in the, well I am in troubles. OK, I guess it would be something like f16, test shot, not bad, if not ok I’ll fix it in CS5.

What happened ?

My strobes, Elinchrom, were working correctly. What happened is that the lights of the truck are also flashes. My strobe in the cabin could notice them and fired as a slave thinking I was firing the other strobes. My mistake was to forget that they were not only set to fire by radio signal. The flashes of the truck let the strobe fire. Well the solution was just a button away… Same reason for the light meter.

OK, next time, I will be aware about this.

more to come…

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