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. Thank you Tim, I am trying my best.

  3. 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


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