Concert @ The Warehouse

The Warehouse
(Krankies Coffee)
Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, May 24th, 2008


Mansions @ The Warehouse

Mansions @ The Warehouse

Mansions @ The Warehouse

Mansions @ The Warehouse

Life Life This

Life Like This @ The Warehouse


Yearling @ The Warehouse

Yearling @ The Warehouse

Yearling @ The Warehouse

It's been awhile since I've done any serious concert shooting. And this was my first time attempting to use multiple IR/radio slaved flashes at a show, so everything was pretty-much touch-and-go. But I did have the benefit of being friends with members of the opening band, Mansions.

For Mansions and Life Like This I used two Canon 580EX II Speedlites and one Canon 430EX Speedlite slaved to a hot-shoe mounted Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter. Flashes and transmitter set to channel 3, one 580 set to (ratio) group A, one 580 set to (ratio) group B, and 430 also set to (ratio) group B. All were mounted to their included coldshoe mini-stand.

For Yearling I switched things around a bit and used Pocket Wizard radio-slaves. Having only a miniphone-to-PC cord and miniphone-to-Vivitar cord, I connected one to a 580 through its PC socket and one to my Vivitar 285HV. Both flashes were mounted to their included coldshoe mini-stand and gaffers taped to a Pocket Wizard receiver.

Canon Speedlites use an IR (infrared) signal to fire wirelessly. This allows for TTL information (and more) to be shared between camera and flash(es), making them smarter than other radioslaves. But the downside is that they require a line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver (same as a remote-control to a TV). Because of this, the 430EX I placed behind the Mansions' drummer, David, (to be used as a accent-light) never fired. It had no line-of-sight between itself and my ST-E2.

Pocket Wizards are radioslaves. My understanding is that they send a less complex signal that only sends a command to fire/trigger, but radio signals pass through/around obstacles and Pocket Wizards can transmit over longer distances.

And while understanding how your equipment works is important, knowing how to utilize it properly is more important. And the latter is where I am less confident.

I placed my flashes where I thought they would cover a broad area and light appropriately. I experimented with automatic (TTL) and manual settings and lighting rations, using Canons A:B group options (8:1 - 1:8). My exposures and ambient-to-flash light balance were all over the place, but I shot RAW, and was able to salvage several images through the Adobe Lightroom Develop Module adjusting exposure and white balance.

I'm glad a got a bit of experience out of this and was able to produces some good images. But I only deemed 40 images usable out of the 192 I shot. And I didn't develop a good reliable lighting system as I had hoped to.

Canon 40D
Canon 17-40 f/4L lens
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 lens

Canon 580EX II Speedlite flash (slaved)
Canon 580EX II Speedlite flash (slaved)
Canon 430EX Speedlite flash (slaved)
Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter (master)

Canon 580EX II + Pocket Wizard Plus II Transceiver (receiver)
Vivitar 285HV + Pocket Wizard Plus II Receiver
Pocket Wizard Plus Transmitter

Imported/processed through Adobe Lightroom

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