Yesterday, Tony Urban talked about off-camera lighting on location. If you are photographing early in the morning or later in the day, it's much easier to use your smaller Speedlites for the kind of results Tony produces for his clients.
But when you aren't so lucky about picking the time of day and your stuck having to fight that big fiery ball in the sky called the Sun, you are going to need something more powerful, like a studio strobe. Check out how Justin Van Leeuwen does it with an Elinchrom Quadra System.
I recently bought a few used Elinchrom monoblocs for the expressed purpose of using them outside, in the sun and to over power it. That's all well and good, but I was left wondering about how I would power it in the field.
Well, I initially bought the Paul C. Buff Vagabond II, now being discontinued. It is one very heavy option and I tell you I didn't use it much at all because it was such a pain to lug around. Photographer Blair Phillips has come up with an interesting way to carry it around, so if you have a Vagabond II, you should check the LR-02 Light Rover.
I sold my Vagabond II unit and for some time I did not have another option. But the folks at Paul C. Buff came out with the much lighter Vagabond Mini. The wait to get one of those units, when I ordered them, was 2 to 3 weeks. That may not be the case anymore. At $240, it was a no brainer. Plus, Rob Galbraith's review of the Vagabond Mini convinced me that this was the unit to buy for what I wanted to do. Knowing its capabilities, I am not one to expect a faster recycle time than 3 or 3 1/2 seconds at full pop. So, I just shoot accordingly.
But there are clearly other options out there. Cris Mitchell of ProPhotoResource suggested that I look at Innovatronix Explorer XT as an alternative to the Vagabond II. It too is solidly built and has rave reviews from its legions of fans.
Today, I received an email about Tronix Explorer Mini. And here, according to the company, are the top reasons for buying it. Check out the video below that shows you how quickly the unit recycles. While it calls itself a “mini” it is only so relative to its big brother the Tronix Explorer XT3 (coming soon).
I wonder if Rob Galbraith will get his hands on this unit so that he could compare it with the Vagabond Mini. I sure hope so! If you consider yourself handy with tools and gadgets and like to put things together, take a look at this Instructables tutorial to create a portable power box for photographers.
Which option would go for and why? Tell us in the comments. If you found this post useful, please share it with your tribe using the social media icons you see directly below this post. Thank you!