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    © Peter Van Heulen

    How To Beat The Sun

    By Peter Van Heulen

    I hear a lot of stories from photographers telling they need 1200 Ws flash or more to work outside on a sunny day.

    Apparently they think you need a lot of power to flash away the shadow and the sun.

    When they say this, I just show my little magic box; the ELB400 with 400 Ws output. That is enough to overpower the sun, along with the Skyport Plus HS trigger. I hear them laughing, “It will never work,” they say.

    They don’t know this is actually the perfect combo to beat the sun!

    © Peter Van Heulen

    "It will never work,"

    they say.

    I show them how it works.

    For example, recently I had to make some pictures for a publication about yoga. The model was only a few hours available, and, of course, at the worst time of the day in the early afternoon. The sun was shining directly into my lens. And the pictures needed to be made on this specific location, near the water.

    This looks like an impossible situation.

    With the right gear.

    When you have the right gear, you have no problem to resolve such setting. I mount the Skyport Plus HS trigger on my camera and make the composition for the shot, with the Sun above the model. 

    I measure the sky and I underexposed it almost 1,5 f-stop getting a darker background.

    The Sekonic Litemaster Pro is the perfect meter for this work, it remotely triggers the flash too.

    © Peter Van Heulen
    Without Hi-Sync Flash - With Hi-Sync Flash

    For the flash I used the ELB 400 with one Quadra HS head fitted on a Rotalux Softbox Deep Octa 100 cm in front of the model just above my head. I use 2/3 stop more light output to get the model nice and bright in the picture. With this equipment, you can Hi-Sync the flash light with the camera up to 1/8000 sec of a shutter speed. But for this shot I only needed 1/3200 sec.

    No Limits.

    The little magic box allowed me to save a lot of time and hustle. I even had some time to do another shot in a nearby cornfield.

    With these kinds of equipment, there is no limit to flash photography anymore. You can work everywhere in every condition and make magical pictures. 

    © Peter Van Heulen

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    • Transmitter Pro - Canon®

      Transmitter Pro - Canon®N° 19366

      The Elinchrom Transmitter Pro is dedicated to compatible Canon cameras.

      It offers fast shutter speeds up to 1/8000s, with HS / HSS and TTL / Manual functions.

      A visual display allow photographers to control flash power and modelling lamp and enable Elinchrom flash units and group settings.

      Previously known as Skyport Plus HS. This product is now named Transmitter Pro since firmware 2.1

    • Rotalux® Softbox Deep Octa 100 cm

      Rotalux® Softbox Deep Octa 100 cmN° 26185

      This narrow shaped Deep Octa reduces the spread of light and offers sharper shadows compared to standard sized octagonal softboxes. It provides a very even diffuse light over the front screen and is an excellent crispy and direct light when used without diffusers to give a beauty dish look. 

    • Q-Portalite Square Softbox 40 cm (15.7")

      Q-Portalite Square Softbox 40 cm (15.7")N° 26151

      Very transportable by its compactness, this small size softbox has been designed for portraits and product photography.

      The EL speed ring and rods are designed to give good stability and quick assembly.

      For Quadra heads and ELM8 unit only.