I think it's funny how some photographers use the same exact gear for everything they do while others use different gear all the time. I count myself in the second camp and I'm starting to see a pattern in my use of lights. It starts when a client decides they need to do photographs outside with people. They want the people well lit and they want the lighting on the people to blend with the direct sunlight falling on everything else.
We bring out scrims or flags to take the direct sun off the subjects and then use a powerful flash in a nice softbox or umbrella to put more controlled and flattering light back on the subject. And since we need power without squinting and blinking we tend to use electronic flash. But the simple truth of Murphy's law isthat the nearest outlet for that big flash pack will be just a few dozen feet further away, outdoors, that the longest extension cord you have. Or there will be no A/C power anywhere in sight.
That's when we bring out our Elinchrom Ranger power pack and its two companion heads. We can put 1100 watt seconds on a subject about 250 times in a row before we need to recharge the internal lead/acid battery or change the battery out for our back-up battery. With both batteries in tow we've got the potential to do over 500 full power, sun matching flashes in big soft boxes or big umbrellas before we need to call it quits. And if we work that light in close and drop the power down to a bit less than half, along with a slower recycle setting, we can knock out thousands and thousands of sun challenging flashes out in the middle of nowhere.
So, once the exterior projects start up in Spring our minds wrap themselves around the Ranger pack until every project looks like a candidate for the Ranger pack treatment. Interior, exterior, whatever. It doesn't hurt that the well designed system puts out beautiful quality lighting that's amazingly consistent either.
Eventually we'll get side tracked by a hybrid video/still photo assignment and that will lead me away from the flash and on to something in the tungsten, fluorescent, LED zone and the Elinchrom Ranger system will end up back in its case waiting for the next CEO portrait with the Austin skyline in the background.
It's nice to have choices.
60 inch white/black umbrella on location.
Ranger RX AS at low power for almost endless flashes and fast recycle.
And what project photographing people for advertising would be complete without
the make up person?