The ONE on a photo trip in Africa

with John Hagby

OutdoorPortraitReportage

Early autumn of 2021, John was in Africa on a photo trip adventure. The primary idea was to photograph wildlife, but his plan ended up a bit differently, probably due to the little Elinchrom ONE he carried in his luggage.

When I packed my gear for the trip, my goal was to keep the weight of my bags as low as possible. I opted for a carbon fiber lighting stand, a travel camera tripod, and an umbrella light shaper. Everything was stowed in my photo backpack, along with the camera gear I put together for wildlife photography.

Together with this setup, I decided to bring a little photo studio unit, the Elinchrom ONE, perfect for on-location photography, just in case.

Before leaving, I spent some time selecting the ideal reflector for the ONE.
When I need to maximize the flash’s brightness, I have often used the Elinchrom High-Performance Reflector, but as it was essential to keep the size of the luggage down, I needed an alternative. I decided to put a direct light with the subject about 2-3 meters away from the flash, and after some testing, it turned out that the Elinchrom Standard Reflector 21cm would do the job brilliantly.

So, my little “studio” took form with an Elinchrom ONE, a Transmitter Pro, and a Standard Reflector that fits the OCF adapter of the ONE (included in the ONE’s Kit), and a super-light carbon fiber tripod. Thanks to this, I had a couple of opportunities to shoot portraits on location and easily control the light condition.

When we visited a Maasai village, I asked if I could take some portraits, and they didn’t mind. Pretty soon, there was a queue of people wanting their pictures taken, and I was feeding them with photo portraits on an assembly line.

This photo opportunity was right in the middle of the day, which generally creates some problems as the model usually starts to blink when there is too much light. Also, the sun was straight up, making it difficult to find shade.
The solution was to put the models in front of a wall right into the shade with the sun a little angled behind the models (to the extent that it was possible).

However, getting the model entirely in the shade with the sun straight up was tricky. But I didn’t mind; I wanted to have a slightly raw feel of the sun. By meeting the sunlight with a light source that gave similar characteristics, I was able to get images that felt natural enough in their lighting and avoid the worry of people having to squint due to starting light into their faces.

Because of its very compact size, the ONE allowed me to create stunning images in an environment that would otherwise have been difficult to control.

On the next photo trip, I’ll take the ONE, again. It’s so little hassle and the unit provides excellent benefits, everything went into one-hand luggage.
Whether you’re heading out into the world on a photo adventure or outdoor shooting portraits around the house, you should include the Elinchrom ONE in your bag. This little Off-Camera flash unit has enough range and is so flexible that it allows you to create amazing images from any environment.