Blog post

Sep 2010

Q Flash Trio – better light and better wedding photographs

Great Light for better wedding photographs

I have just added a Quantum Trio to my lighting kit. Although like most photographers I use the manufacturers flashguns and have several SB800 and SB900 flashguns along with the SU800 commander. They have got better and better and with the correct light modifiers, they are great tools. However they cannot compete with either studio lighting or portable units such as the Quantum units. The main benefit of the Quantum units is the quality of the light – the parabolic reflector and the range of modifiers and the bare bulb option lets me have a choice of lighting or fill lighting. I have already got 2 Q flash units and the Freewire radio control system but I tended to use this kit when I needed more power or light from off camera. A lot of time I am using my flash only as a fill source on the camera and tended to stick to the Nikon SB-900 for convenience. The Nikon CLS system is a means of triggering and controlling additional flashguns but it relies on line of sight which I have never found reliable especially at a wedding on a bright day.

The new Trio offers a much better quality of light, more power, and a has a built in radio transmitter that works with my Q flash units up to 500ft away, and all from a flashgun mounted on my camera. It does need a bulky Quantum battery pack (I use one mounted on the camera) but I used this with the SB-900 to reduce the recycling time so apart from it being slightly larger, I do not know much difference carrying this much better light. I used it on the 28th August at Jennifer and John’s wedding at the Lodge on the Loch in Aboyne and it was an ideal test for it. The setting was beautiful but there was a very strong back light but with the Trio I could expose for the sky and keep the drama of the clouds but still light the bride and groom.

I could vary the light to give me different effects and could have added the even more powerful Q Flash if it had been required.

If I had ben working with the commonly used flashguns, I could not have got such a nice balance of light between the subject and the background. I did use the Q flash at weddings but only occasionally. At Laura and Ryan’s wedding on the 29th may, it was a glorious day but the sun was very very bright and I was very glad of the power of the Q flash to allow me to light the Bride and Groom against the very strong sun – see below.

Laura and Ryan at Cove Bay on a rare glorious sunny day.

Exposing for the water in the background and using the Q Flash (off camera held by David), had allowed me to get the effect of the sparkle in the water but still have enough light on Ryan and Laura.

Q flash on a lighting stand and the Freewire transmitter and receiver.

This photograph of Michelle and Chris at Norwood Hall is another time that the Q Flash came into it’s own. Having set up the shot and out the couple in the shade of a big tree, I wanted to expose for Norwood bathed in sunlight and with the clear blue sky (there is no Photoshop enhancement in this shot). To get the light level on the couple to match the background needed something as powerful as thew Q Flash. David was working with me so he positioned it where required and the Quantum Freewire radio control system allowed me to fire it and control it from the remote on my camera.

Equipment does not make good images but having the best lenses and lighting definitely helps get better results and extends your options. Lighting is the most important element of any photograph and the more you can control the light, the better the result.


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