Friday, December 16, 2011

Photography Equipment for Grimsby

One of the reasons for our visit to England was to attend a reception for my daughter and her British husband in his hometown, Grimsby.  I was invited to photograph the reception and an engagement type session before the reception.  

I last photographed a wedding in the late 80's when I was using a 645 film camera.  I used a Lumidyne system for an off-camera strobe light.  That system included a 400WS head with modeling lamp, a 200WS power pack and three mini-batteries.  Part of the system was a Stroboframe.  A Stoboframe holds the camera on a rotating platform and the strobe high above the camera.  The rotating platform keeps the lens axis of a rectangular format camera concentric even though you change from horizontal to vertical camera orientation.
Months before my departure, I found the Lumidyne was not working.  I assumed the flashtube was bad but without testing the whole system, I could not be certain.  The flashtube was the least expensive part in the system and I thought replacing it might be the easiest and most cost effective action to take.  I called around and no local store had a flashtube in stock.  I bid on several used Lumidyne systems on eBay but was unable to purchase one within my budget.  The Lumidyne was not a viable consideration.
Years before I purchased the Lumidyne system I used a system that consisted of a Sunpak 611 and a Quantum Battery1.  The Quantum battery recycled the strobe much quicker than four C batteries that the 611 was designed to use as a power source.  I had recently replaced the batteries in the Quantum for my son to use as a movie extra portraying a paparazzo.  This system was a viable consideration.

The last possibility, and the one I favored the most, was to purchase a new Nikon Speedlight.  Either an SB-700 or SB-910.  Both of those strobes would work automatically with my Nikon and control the flash used for a correct exposure.  However, the SB-700 would cost at least $320.00 and the SB-910 even more.  was going on a trip and London is an expensive city.  I thought it would be prudent to spend the least amount of money for the best results with little time remaining.  The new Speedlight was out.

I decided to take the Sunpak to England.  The Sunpak system was lighter in weight than the Lumadyne system.  The Sunpak was working.  I made my decision.  There were some issues with the Sunpak system.  Neither of the remote thyristors worked to control the light output, so I had to use the strobe at full power, all the time.  I actually had two Sunpak 611s and each had its own problem.  One didn't have a functioning on/off switch and didn't flash.  The other took a long time to recharge the condensers.  Plus the face of the strobe had a small surface area and couldn't be rotated for bounce flashes, resulting in harsh lighting.

I decided to purchase a light modifier for the 611.  It would be kind of a small light box fitted to the strobe head.  A light box creates a larger light source thereby softening the shadows on the subjects.  Two days before I departed on BA flight 68, I purchased a LumiQuest Softbox III at a Philadelphia photography shop.  It increased the size of the light source 20 times.  I believed I was set with a camera strobe.  I packed all the photography equipment into my gym bag shaped carry-on with wheels and a extendalbe handle.

I placed a list of all the equipment into the bag.  A check list reduces the chance of forgetting any items.  I use this list as does an airplane pilot, not that I don't know what is necessary but to be sure I have everything both on the outbound flight and on the inbound flight.
This bag is very similar to the bag which contained my flash 

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved


  1. This is nice blog man.Its great equipment for grimsby.Thanks for sharing this blog..........
    stock photography

  2. These are some fantastic pictures. Isn't it wonderful how we can preserve a bit of our past through photos like these? I have a few of my family as well, and it is almost magical to start looking at them and thinking about their lives. Happy memories to you! I hope you find the polka dot dress in a picture sometime.
    Wedding Photographer Melbourne


Don't be shy. Leave a comment. I won't bite your head off.