6 ƒ-stop Range • 1/10 ƒ-stop increments • Wireless Triggering • 400 Watt second Battery Powered
Digital Power Control • 550 – 800* Full Power Flashes • AC / DC Power
Dynalite, America’s leading manufacturer of lightweight, portable flash equipment, just released their new totally wireless Baja B4 compact flash. The powerful 400 watt second Baja B4 is packed with unexpected features and performance in a battery powered wireless controlled strobe. Inspired by years of working side-by-side with on-location shooters demanding a better portable flash solution, the Baja B4 delivers more than expected.
At first glance, the Baja B4’s well laid out control panel clearly gets your attention. From the big LED screen, logically placed buttons and dual function control knobs it’s easy to jump in and start shooting. Light output is easily increased or decreased in 1/10th stop increments with the micro-controller dual-function power dial. A power indicator display just below the main LCD screen gives up to the shot details on the rechargeable Li-ion battery’s status, so you never miss a shot. In addition, a similar power dial for the modeling light provides light level control of the LED modeling light.
On-location or in the studio, the Baja B4 sports a impressive 550 full manual flashes on one fully charged battery. With a quick battery change (optional extra battery), you can be back in the action in seconds, while the other battery charges in less than 5 hours. Pumping out an impressive flash duration of 1/500 to 1/12,800th of a second, the Baja B4 can stop action meeting the demands of most fashion and sports shoots. With a 6 ƒ-stop aperture range in 1/10th step increments, the Baja B4 accommodates the sophistication of critical exposure control with repeatable light output and color temperature consistence.
Sophisticated features such as the fast flash duration mode (T-Mode), provides a quick and repeatable way to select the correct flash duration for high speed flash photography. In stroboscopic mode (C-Mode), it’s possible to select 5, 10 or 15 flashes per second to capture multiple movements of a subject with the flash output power of the Baja B4. Other features such as built-in optical slave, audible flash indicators, Pyrex glass dome and metal light stand swivel mount round out the features.
In addition, the Baja B4 includes a 2.4Ghz power control wireless triggering system. The receiver with status indicators, mini-channel display plugs directly into the control panel of the Baja B4, while the hot shoe transmitter with full power control buttons and dials mounts directly on the camera. Up to six separate groups of flash units can be controlled with 16 selectable channels per group. Selecting which flash unit fires and at what power level is fully controlled at the camera position up to 590 feet away at 1/250th of a second shutter synch.
The Baja B4 accepts the standard Bowens lighting accessories mount, offering the convenience of a wide variety of light shaping tools including the full line of Dynalite soft boxes, reflectors and umbrellas.
*800 flashes possible when connecting to AC Battery Charger
Dynalite XP800: Cutting Through The Mix
By Vincent Ricardel
While on location, the Dynalite XP-800 has proved useful in the most critical of lighting conditions. That means, cutting through shade, heavy backlight and all the while, utilizing studio quality lighting where access to AC power doesn’t exit. The following images were made in mountainous and desert conditions that presented numerous lighting challenges.
This set of images were made during the production of an independent short film “AUGUST” (Directed and Produced by Ian Roach.) The conditions were challenging due to rain, heavy shade and shifting sunlight.
The following stills are from three scenes where the XP800 served as an effective tool to provide power in shaded and low ambient light conditions.
Scene 1 was shot following a heavy rainstorm in the middle of a forest in the mountains of West Virginia. The sun had just emerged with particles of light emerging through a heavy canopy of treetops.
The XP800 powered a 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish. This combination cut right through the open shade and clearly defined my subject against the background.
Scene 2 was shot in a very dark cabin. The only existing ambient light was a result of sunlight transmitting through the windows and candlelight on the walls. The shadow areas were still heavy. To compensate, I placed the power supply on the same axis with the sun to supplement the window light giving me more dynamic range in the shadows and highlights. The XP800 powered a 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.
Scene 3 was made in the open shade on the porch of the same cabin. The XP800 powered the 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish. It provided the right amount of fill light to define the tones and mood of this image.
Shooting in the desert also has its challenges, dust, heat, glaring sunlight and the indigenous wildlife that makeup a rich topical landscape. While my time in Joshua Tree was limited, I set out to make a series of images of what ended up being a long and arduous day of shooting.
I ran my equipment hard. I had to be mobile but have enough power to override the dominating sunlight. Again, I chose to use one of my older Dynalite power supply packs, a 1000xr with the newer 2060 flash head and a 35’ Grand Softbox. All powered by the XP800 power supply. I started my journey about 8am and ended sometime around 6:30pm. Most of my shots required a heavy output of power. Shooting at ISO 100 my prime settings were between f11-f16 back-lit by the sun. My 1000xr was almost at full capacity and the XP800 handled the heavy pace of shooting flawlessly. I never had to change out the battery. That says a lot.
Needless to say, by day’s end my equipment had taken it’s fair share of abuse in the elements and had also taken on a new hue of color from the build up dust and desert debris… nothing a damp cloth and dust gun could not solve.
“For me. It’s all about cutting through the mix…..shade, overcast and back light. This is where the XP800 excels. It provides the juice to solve these those challenges. The saving grace is that the battery life is excellent.
Dynalite’s serve me well. They’re light, reliable and tough. It’s just good stuff.
Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style by Steve Sint
Steve Sint started using Dynalite flash equipment over 40 years ago with our original D-Series power packs. When we received his newest book Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, & Style, we were interested in seeing what he had to say. Physically the book is thick and comprehensive; his conversational writing style makes each topic covered easily understandable.
Although we appreciated images of his Dynalite equipment sprinkled throughout the book, we applaud Steve that he didn’t push any one perticular brand of lighting equipment but was more interested in creating unique lighting solutions making this book ideal for those looking to learn. He also explained how to build custom studio accessories that repurpose traditional lighting and studio equipment in different ways. Many of them create lighting effects that cannot be duplicated with ready-made products. Not many books show a lot of behind the scenes images letting the reader know in more than words exactly how the image was captured.
Being a professional studio strobe manufacturer, we found his chapter on business great! His breakdown of how many assignment days a year a photographer can work will open many aspiring photographers eyes and his ideas on marketing a photography business should fill them with ideas. Likewise, his point that photographers have to set a salary for themselves when figuring out the cost of doing business was especially important in todays photographic workplace.
This book created quite a stir around Dynalite’s home office. We feel that everyone who reads it, whether an aspiring photographer or an established professional, will find the information on its pages useful, inspiring, and ultimately refreshing to read. Congratulations on another fine book Steve!
Since 2006 Dynalite Inc. has been honored to work with New York Mets official team photographer Marc Levine in taking the team portraits from outfields of Shea Stadium to in the last few years at Citi Field. Portrait sessions are always simple on the surface, but as any photographer can tell you there are many obstacles that need to be addressed and overcome to have a successful image. If you thought shooting a family of four in a studio over the course of an hour is difficult, shooting a major leauge baseball roster in just a few minutes in center field might not be for novice photographer.
With most studio based portraits photographers are offered the luxury that is control of all the lighting and elements indoors, however in grassy outfield of Citi Field, you are subject to unpredictable winds and the sun, which makes you appreciate professional baseball players fielding each time Dynalite lights the team portrait. With Mets official team photographer Marc Levine in charge of posing and capturing the image, it fell to Dynalite to balance out these elements to provide a even and controlled lighting environment.
To accomplish this, Dynalite utilized three of our SP1600 power packs, SH2000 studio heads, along with two Rime Lite 71″ Grand Series and a single 12×71 strip bank. The equipment itself might seem minimal, however the obstacles presented by shooting a professional baseball roster and team officials can be many. And for the past 6 years, our gear has accomplished this difficult feat.
The time of day is always key in outdoor portraiture, especially when utilizing strobes to balance out ambient light with the sun. Although this is an obstacle, it also is a favor as the stadium background in the portrait is purely ambient light, this allows us to concentrate on our subjects and foreground. With this many subjects of varying size, complexion, attire including wearing baseball caps, shadow and light must be balanced on our subjects.
This balance is achieved by equalling the power of the sun in the foreground but not to the point of creating harsh shadows on our subjects. This is achieved by using the Rime Lite Grand 71″ parabolic reflectors which not only distributes soft even lighting including no harsh shadows on the subjects. With the sun behind and overhead, lighting for the players wearing baseball caps requires additional light modification.
To accomplish evenly lit faces of the players and personnel, we utilized the 12×71 strip bank from Rime Lite positioned low and horizontally between the two 71″ Grands. With a lower position and the shape of the bank, this head is directly lighting the subjects, and the Grands filling balancing out the light and shadows on the foreground as well as the subjects.
Each SP1600 power pack has a built-in PocketWizard™ MultiMax receiver enabling wireless syncing to Marc Levine’s camera. Although packed with 1600 watt seconds of power, the SP1600’s were in fact powered down to increase the speed of the flash duration for this image. In the end we were able to shoot at 1/125 ƒ 9.0 at ISO 200 on a Nikon D800.
Below is the finished image provided by Marc Levine that shall be the official 2012 New York Mets team portrait. It is always an honor and a privilege for Dynalite to be part of what has become an annual tradition. Special thanks to Michael Corrado for providing the candid images included in this post.
Jeremy Saffer began making the rounds within the magazine world at the young age of 17, publishing his work on the covers of such varied publications as Metal Maniacs, Hails and Horns, AMP, Outburn and many more. Saffer has blazed his own trail, working with artists, celebrities and models from all across every spectrum. From My Chemical Romance, Jeffree Star, and A Day to Remember, to Megadeth, Alice Cooper, The Misfits, Rob Schneider, and even Gary Busey…all have spent time in front of Jeremy’s watchful eye and steady hand at one point or another.
Recent years have seen a flurry of activity from the Western Mass native. Whether it’s organizing his own seminars and workshops, releasing his acclaimed Bring the Noise collection of band photography, or adding to the ever-growing collection of record and magazine covers featuring his work. The immediate future holds even more possibility for Jeremy, with an imminent and highly anticipated collection of Corpse Painted Nude photography set to turn the rock photography world on its ear, and even more surprises lurking around the corner.
Whether on tour, on location, or around the studio; Dynalite has been my choice of lighting since I first began my career behind a camera. The Jackrabbit kit is the perfect portrait kit; being lightweight, versatile, battery powered and most importantly, rugged.I could be in the dead of winter shooting on a frozen lake, or in the middle of a dessert shooting under a cloudless sky, and the Dynalite kit will never fail to fire, recycle quickly, and provide consistent and perfect lighting, no matter the shooting conditions. Dynalite has proven, time and time again to be the best, never fail lighting, that I can always trust to provide the most consistent and balanced lighting for anything that finds its way in front of my lens. – Jeremy Saffer
About Image Explorations
IE 2012 is growing. We now have 11 instructors and classes. The interest and pre registrations from last years attendees is huge. That’s a pretty darn good testimony of what IE is all about. In addition, we all know that the social activities are equally important. Our party this summer was FIRST class . Pirates of Shawnigan Lake… ok, it was a little over the top as our team (Tomo and Eric) were thinking outside the box.
The REAL reason we gather is our instructor team. IE instructors have one thing in common … a keen desire to share their knowledge and experience. Taking on a 5 day leadership role is not easy… it is a commitment to put aside ego’s and not only give 110% to everyone but create an atmosphere where each and every person attending also gives. This creates a priceless experience. Your registration is not just for your instructor… we all know that the “after hours” time is equally important especially if it is an atmosphere with no egos or baggage.
Selecting a class is a challenge… can I take them all? The strength of IE lies in spending the class time totally focused with one instructor and then relax to a social atmosphere where you share your experiences with others as they do with you. Chat with friends and other instructors… pull up a chair in our pub… “O’Shawnigans” or our “Mac lab” (Tomo, Eric and Darren from Langara College, will set up a lab in the dining hall where you can play and print images until security gives you the boot). In reality… you get 11 instructors for the week if you take advantage of the evening activities.
Registrations are coming in even though we have not published any new material. Don’t hesitate to contact me (email@example.com) if you have questions. I know the classes VERY well.
Don’t miss the best week of the year… photographers working together in a wonderful atmosphere.
– Don MacGregor M.Photog.Cr.MPA
What Is Image Explorations
Image Explorations is a refreshing approach to personal growth and professional development in the photographic industry. Modeled after the highly successful “Texas School”, Image Explorations gives you the opportunity to glean real life knowledge, tips and ideas from top International photographic instructors. Our venue, Shawnigan Lake school is exceptional. There is no where else to go… EVERYONE hangs together, EVERYONE shop talks around the lake, the firpelace, O’Shanigans etc.
What Does The Week Look Like?
The week is mixed with lectures, demonstrations and sessions with models. Classes start on Sunday afternoon (July 12) and finish on Thursday afternoon (July 16). Students register for one instructor in whose class they will remain for the duration of the school. Classes begin at 8:30 am and continue through the day with some optional evening exercises. Each evening will feature a sponsored all-school social activity and “Marion Hall ” will be the evening gathering place for sharing the day’s experiences and ideas.
Why Are Industry Suppliers / Sponsors Going To Be There?
Although the sponsors will be represented throughout the week, Tuesday’s “Country Store” is their opportunity to get a return on their investment. They will be ready and willing to convince you that their services and products are first class. Suppliers will plan and offer some exclusive “specials” and unique opportunities for IE students only. In addition, the equipment demonstrated by the instructors will be available to you at very special savings.
How Are The Instructors Chosen?
Instructors are chosen very carefully. All instructors have met the 7 following criteria:
1. the instructor has a proven track record as a successful business person
2. the instructor has received first class evaluations from former registrants
3. the instructor has a proven track record of image excellence
4. the instructor is active and on the leading edge of current trends and business practices
5. the instructor has earned degrees and accolades from the professional associations
6. the instructor is dedicated to sharing their experience and knowledge
7. the instructor has agreed to leave any personal agendas or egos at home
1050 Commerce Ave.
Union, NJ 07083
Monday thru Thursday
8:00am - 6:00pm