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    © Peter Van Heulen

    The ELB 400

    In a trip to Indonesia

    By Peter Van Heulen

    The ELB 400, your best friend for a trip to Indonesia

    Elinchrom’s philosophy is to manufacture equipment that corresponds to each photographer’s needs. This makes Elinchrom’s equipment very user-friendly and reliable.

    © Peter Van Heulen
    The Rotalux Octa 135, the Portalite Square and the Skyport HS transmitter

    The Gear

    For this on-location shoot, I used the ELB 400, a strong, robust and portable battery pack. I went to Sulawesi, in Indonesia to shoot portraits and different cultural sceneries.

    My light shapers are the Rotalux softbox Octa 135, the Portalite Square, the reflectors included in the To Go set, and the EL-Skyport Plus HS transmitter.

    I need an equipment that is strong, reliable, small, lightweight and weather resistant, and that is why I choose the ELB 400 pack.

    The Experience

    After a few days trying to adjust to the local temperature and overcome jet lag, I was ready to visit Kendari, the East area of the Island. It is a very traditional region with no tourists, no accommodations, no restaurants, and where nobody spoke English. My goal there was to photograph the local Bajo tribe and get a sense of their lives and traditions.

    © Peter Van Heulen
    A Street scene in Bajo village - ELB 400 and Portalite
    © Peter Van Heulen
    Fishing woman cooking in her home - ELB 400 and Rotalux Octa 135

    The local community lives in small wooden houses. It was very exiting to photograph such places. I took my Portalite Square with me for the photo shoot. Making pictures with flash inside definitely helped bringing up colour and contrast. To obtain a soft light, I added a diffuser within the softbox.

    © Peter Van Heulen
    Cooking longtong - ELB 400

    The advantages of flash

    In Indonesia, sunrise and sunset only take half an hour. The light can quickly become hard, so you’ll need an artificial light to fight against the high contrast and color bleeding.

    © Peter Van Heulen
    Welder in action - ELB 400 and Portalite

    The harsh conditions and the ELB 400

    The ELB 400 is easy to carry around, along with the light stand, lamp head and softbox. I shot these photographs during rain season, when heavy rains come and go. I did not always have time to get the equipment covered. Once, the top of the ELB was filled with water. But despite the rain and humidity, the equipment kept on working.

    © Peter Van Heulen
    Make hard light soft with flash

    Bright daylight, no problem

    We organised another shoot in traditional clothing. I wanted to showcase the beauty of landscape with the model featured in a costumed dress. I used the flash to underexpose the background and obtain more contrast and colour in the sky. I’m very fond of this set up, with a wide angle lens.

    During my trip, I was able to make almost every kind of picture possible. The ELB is such a compact and small unit, that it was very convenient during this trip.

    © Peter Van Heulen

    Peter's To Go Set

    • 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

    • Portalite Square Softbox 66cm (26")

      Portalite Square Softbox 66cm (26")N° 26129

      Ideal for head and shoulder portraits, products or for use in small spaces. The catchlight can be similar to windows. The EL speed ring and rods are designed to give good stability and quick assembly.

    • Rotalux® Softbox Octa 135 cm

      Rotalux® Softbox Octa 135 cmN° 26184

      Very popular among beauty and fashion photographers, as they prefer the round catchlight given by this softbox.

      You can make yourself a great folding beauty dish just by removing the front and inner diffusers and adding one of the optional deflectors.