Monday, June 12, 2006

First Shoot With The 'Bees'


I can't believe this! My Alien Bees arrived on the 26th of May and I still haven't been able to try them out. I've been itching to get at these babies for over two weeks now but, my life has been way too hectic lately. I purchased the 'Beginner Bee' package which consists of

1 - AlienBees B800 Monolight
1 - 10-foot General Purpose Stand
1 - AlienBees Carrying Bag and
1 - 48" Silver/White Umbrella

The monolights come in several colors. I chose Deep Space Black thinking there would be less problems with unwanted reflections.

Well, in spite of still having many other pressing things to do, I broke out the'Bees' for a much anticipated test run. I simply could wait no longer. In fact, I'm surprised I've held out this long no matter what my other obligations were.


Once I got my darn subject to sit still, I managed to take 93 snaps during this session. Below are some of the results of these efforts.

Taken at f/10 and 1/160 second with an ISO of 100.


f/11 and 1/160 second, also, ISO 100

I found out I've got a lot to learn here. So many variables to consider. Besides the usual camera controls there is the placement of the light, the direction of the light, umbrella or no umbrella, distance of umbrella from light, reflector usage, and on and on. This is with a simple one-light setup. Multiple lights would increase these variables tremendously. I've got so much to learn. Practicing, however, will be a joy.

I, also, found out that shooting with non-dedicated flash units almost demands the use of an external flashmeter. It's not impossible to work without one (I didn't have one for these shots here) but, it would simplify the process immensely. I think a meter would turn the whole process from being a nightmare to being a joy. I think I will investigate this further.

Now, I can't wait to retire my current model and get my grandchildren to pose. Oh no, talk about adding variables.

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