Wednesday 11th January 2012 – Clubnight


Tonight was the first of what we will call “Studio Nights” which we agreed to hold on the second Wednesday of the month.

I arrived early and set up the background and lights ready for the session.   Our “surprise” model, Freya arrived early as well with Mum and Dad and brother and sister.

I encountered s problem with the big softbox modelling bulb.  It appeared to have failed and after some rummaging around in the store area I retrieved a couple of Edison Screw type bulbs.  I fitted a new one, tried it.  It briefly lit and went out.   Tried the next one and the same thing happened.  This time the whole set of lights failed.  The trip switch had failed, so I took out the old bulb and reset the trip.   By this time the room had started to fill up at an alarming rate.

It was only 7.55pm and the room was nearly full.   What did these people think I had meant when I said the we would have a surprise model?  Miss Northern Ireland?.  Fraid not!

Noel fixed me up with a radio mic so that I could be heard over the din of the chatter.  I asked those who had their cameras to set them to Manual, set the shutter speed to 1/160th second.( This is within the Sync range of everyones’s DSLR), then set the Aperture initially to F8.  Finally, set the ISO to the lowest that the camera allows, typically 100, or with some Nikons, 200.

From here I suggested that those with DSLRs which had a flash commander mode, to enable it.  Thanks to Mark and other advanced members for helping the members new to studio flash.

Then the second setback of the evening.  Our radio flash trigger would not work.(later fixed due to weeping batteries).   So the workaround this was for those with off-camera flash guns was to set them to Manual mode and set the power level to its very lowest, 1/128th or 1/64th.   By mounting it on the camera with the head pointing upwards and back, this acted as a flash trigger.   The on-camera flash emits a metering pre-flash milliseconds before the full flash.  Its this pre-flash which triggers the studio lights and they don’t fire with the second pulse.

The situation in the room was that we now had at least 42 people present plus a baby girl and an Spanish Water Dog, our second model.  Room to move was at a premium and we had to exercise some discipline to make sure everyone got a turn.

What amazed me was that baby Freya never once got upset and played along with the keen Togs.    Angus got down and really close with his camera and the Sigma 10-20mm  lens.  It will be interesting to see his and other’s results next Wednesday.

Because of the numbers tonight we abandoned the idea of making tea.   Just too big a hassle and not enough space.

Mark assisted those waiting to check their settings, then it was their turn.    Darren’s dog was probably the best behaved dog I have seen on the studio set.  Totally relaxed amid the scrum.

As a little aside, the Club membership list has now closed.  Visitors will be welcome up to a maximum of 3 visits.   We will introduce a waiting list for membership.   Thanks for all who have encouraged such a surge in membership.

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4 thoughts on “Wednesday 11th January 2012 – Clubnight

  1. I must say I thourghly enjoyed the studio night it’s always good to pick up new tips & trick thanks to Marks hot shoe toy to get a child to focus on the camera which i thougjt he was taking the hand out of me. I also got a tap on the shoulder for Mark to talk to your subject. (good tip for every one) I also enjoyed helping other’s with there camera setting and thanks to Nigel for helping me with a setting myself which triggers the studio lights. Last but not least thanks to kevin and his family for giving us the opportunity to get some practice in and not forgetting about Darren’s Spanish water dog. can’t wait for the next studio night.

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