When I first got my new ELB 1200 it was of course the obvious advantages of the flash that made me fell in love.
So much light in a flash that I can take everywhere is like a dream! Suddenly, photography in strong sunlight meant no restrictions. And in complex light environments I could easily “darken” my backgrounds by underexposing them thanks to the flash’s high impact in combination with the HS technology.
The LED modelling lamp on the ELB 1200 is dimmable. A thing I didn’t think twice about at first, but that turned out to be something I really benefited from!
The reason for that is that I photograph a lot of newborns in my studio and quite often there is a desire to get pictures when the baby is asleep. If they are under two weeks old this is usually not a problem. Small babies are quite easy to get to fall asleep, and when they are sleeping, you can basically bang on a drum nearby without waking them up.
However, If they are a bit older, the fact that I am shooting with a flash often disturbes them or wakes them up.
Over the years, I used some tricks to be able to shoot anyhow. I often used window light instead of flash and that worked quite well. The problem with daylight was that, depending on the weather, there was not always enough light and I could only do those type of photo-sessions during a limited period of the day.
During the Swedish winter, I could never be sure that it would be enough daylight at ANY time of the day.
That’s why I got the idea to test the LED light of the ELB 1200 for my lighting. That way I got a light source that I could regulate that didn’t wake up the babies. This way I was able to use all my light shaping tools on the flash head to easily control the character of the light.
So easy to work with if you ask me!
What could be a problem with using an LED as a continuous light setup is always to ensure that the battery is charged.
By the end of the summer this problem got a simple and smooth solution! A docking station for the ELB 1200 was released. When I use the LED or having long photo sessions, I can unplug the battery and plug the unit onto the Dock connected to the mains.
Now I’m ready to shoot endlessly like with any studio flash system.
This easy solution allows me to take care of charging the battery while I work in the studio and always be ready to go on assignments if needed.
The result is that now I’m using my ELB 1200 system in the studio just like a power pack on mains. Both as an extra flash and with the LED to most of my photos of newborns.
And the best thing is that now, my little models sleep like babies!