Photography used to be confined to studios and areas that had easily accessible electricity, as the available equipment required this to work, meaning that photography wasn’t always able to capture the perfect scenario. With the advancement in technology however, mainly with battery powered lighting and portable equipment, situations such as weddings and landscape photography can now be perfectly captured with ease. In this blog, we will take a look at many different options for equipment that would be perfect for location photography, and a few pre-made kits that would include all the equipment required to create the best photography possible.
When it comes to the lighting, battery power is a must! It is the only way you will be able to travel to new locations and perfectly capture the imagery of the area. So, making sure that the light you are using has a battery that not only offers a lot of high-powered flashes per charge, but will also be dependable when shooting in areas that aren’t near any other power source. Another important requirement of the lighting is that it needs to be easily portable, as you will be carrying this across many different terrains and will need to be able to move this with ease, so making sure that it is compact and lightweight is crucial.
PIKA200 PRO Portable Battery Powered TTL Pocket Flash: The PIKA200 PRO is an ideal light for a location photography set-up, as it offers a 200Ws maximum power output, whilst all being contained in a pocket-sized flash unit. The PIKA200 PRO has been upgraded from the original PIKA200 battery flash, with a 9-Stop power range (1/1 – 1/256 power) 1/10 stop power adjustments, as well as increased colour-consistency rated at 5600°K ± 100°K over its entire power range. The PIKA200 PRO units features a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack, which offers an impressive 500 full-powered flashes from a single charge, making sure that you are prepared and protected during a very long location shoot. Another useful feature about the PIKA200 PRO is that it features interchangeable flash heads, that each help to create a different and unique style of lighting. It features a Speedlite-Styled Fresnel head that can be used to create a direct and focused beam of light, and Bare-Bulb head that would create an omnidirectional light source. The PIKA200 PRO also features a range of different features to further assist with your photography, including High-Speed Sync, TTL and Stroboscopic flash which allows it to help capture motion and movement much cleaner and smoother.
CITI400 Pro TTL Battery Powered Flash: If you are interested in a more powerful portable flash unit, our CITI400 PRO is an excellent option. This is our 400Ws maximum power output battery flash unit, which offers a guide number of 71m, helping to create a powerful and professional lighting. The CITI400 PRO features a brand-new rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, that allows for approximately 390 full powered flashes per single full charge. Whilst this is would offer less full powered flashes compared to the PIKA200 PRO, this is due to the fact that it is twice as powerful, and it would still offer enough flashes to keep up with a long location photography shoot. One impressive feature of the CITI400 PRO is that it uses Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology, which helps to create super-fast flash durations, that creates sharper images whilst maintaining colour accuracy throughout its power range and is perfect for freezing any motion in a shoot. The CITI400 PRO also features an automatic temperature-controlled ventilation system in order to make sure that the unit is safe and protected during intense usage, meaning that the built-in cooling fans will automatically activate when the temperature of the flash unit reaches a high temperature.
Modifiers can always offer some improvements to your photography in multiple different ways, including softening the light so it falls more gently on your subject and better angling the light to prevent any unwanted loss. As with everything for location photography, you need to make sure that the modifiers being used are lightweight and compact, as transporting these between different locations can sometimes be difficult to achieve. Another requirement for any modifiers is that they need to be easy and quick to assemble and put away when no longer in use, as many locations don’t have the facilities or space in order for standard modifiers to be set up.
120cm (47.2") Octagonal Easy-open Umbrella Softbox with 4cm Grid: The 120cm Octagonal Softbox is perfect for location photography, as it features an easy-open mechanism and is lightweight and portable. The benefit of using a Softbox is that it helps to reduce any unwanted light spill and strong light intensity, all whilst making sure that the softness of the lighting isn’t sacrificed. This 120cm Softbox is an easy-open version, which features an opening mechanism similar to that of an umbrella, making setting this particular modifier up both simple and quick. It also means that collapsing this Softbox is super-fast, and can be stored easily in the included carry bag, perfect for transporting between different locations. The Softbox features two different layers of diffusion material, which helps to create a soft lighting that will fall much gentler onto the subject of the photography. Also included is a removable honeycomb grid, which helps to create a narrower and more accurate spread of light to prevent any unwanted light spill.
100x150cm 5in1 Reflector with Grip Handles: The 5in1 Reflector is a very useful modifier, as the five different possible uses for the reflector allow it to be customized for a specific use, including reducing contrast, warming skin tones, eliminating shadows or just softening your light. This reflector features a hard-wearing and strong metal frame whilst also being incredibly flexible, allowing this to be collapsed and folded down to approximately 1/3rd of its full size and stored in the included carry bag, ideal for transporting between different locations for a wide variety of different shoots. It also features grip handles on each side of the reflector, to allow it to be held by an assistant during your shoot, helping to prevent any disruption from such things as bad weather whilst shooting on location.
Once the appropriate lighting and modifiers have been chosen, there needs to be a dependable stand used to hold all the equipment in place. Picking the ideal stand for location photography can be slightly awkward, as you need to make sure that it meets all the criteria. For instance, the stand needs to be lightweight and portable, as again this will need to be transported between different locations and set-up in different areas. But it also needs to be strong and durable enough as it will still be holding the weight of any lighting/modifiers you will be using, but will also need to deal with the added issues that may occur such as bad weather and awkward location terrain.
Heavy Duty Portable Foldable Nanopole Light Stand: This light stand offers a solution for a strong stand that can hold equipment securely whilst also being lightweight enough to transport easily. This heavy-duty light stand can range from a maximum height of 220cm all the way down to only 87cm minimum, offers a wide range of different angles and options for your photography. Whilst it offers an 87cm minimum working height, due to the unique design of the stand, this can fold down to only 58cm when not in use, making it the ideal stand for storing and transporting between different locations. This stand is made from lightweight solid aluminium metal construction, helping it to hold a maximum load capacity of approximately 4KG, which is more than enough to hold a small battery powered flash unit and an attached modifier.
240cm Retractable Light Stand: This 240cm Light Stand has a unique design feature which when it is lifted to be moved, the legs automatically collapse back in and fold back out when placed back onto the ground, perfect for moving the equipment on different terrains and locations with ease. Not only does it feature a retractable leg design, it also has a unique air cushioned dampening system, preventing any sudden drops that may possibly cause unwanted damage to your equipment. With the ability to collapse the stand down to a minimum height of 79cm, this allows you to easily store and transport this piece of equipment between different locations and shoots.
Now that we have looked at the necessary equipment required for location photography, there are a few extra products available that would help to make the whole experience much easier and help to further improve the end result of the photography.
PRO ST-IV 2.4GHz Flash Transmitter: The PRO ST-IV Trigger is a 2.4GHz radio transmitter that allows you to control your flashes from your camera rather than directly from the unit itself. All of the PiXAPRO battery powered flash units (excluding the RIKO400) feature a built-in 2.4GHz receiver, that is compatible with the ST-IV trigger, meaning that you are able to control and trigger all of the PiXAPRO flash units using a single trigger. The ST-IV trigger features a large backlit Dot-Matrix LCD display with dedicate buttons, helping to make this trigger incredibly user friendly and easy to understand. With 32 channels available, this allows you to control multiple different sets of lights separately and with 16 available groups, this means you are able to individually adjust each light unit from all the lights being used in your shoot. The ST-IV trigger supports a wide range of different photography functions including TTL, high-speed sync, rear-curtain sync and stroboscopic multi-flash.
PRO Quality Studio Lighting Equipment Roller Bag: This equipment roller bag is a useful carry case to protect all your equipment when on location shoots. Each roller case features a padded interior to help cushion all the individual pieces of equipment to prevent any unwanted damage. Also included in each roller case are six individual foam inserts, to allow you to separate each individual product to prevent these from colliding during transport. The roller case also features strong carry straps as well as a wheeled base, in order to further help with transporting all your equipment between different locations.
We here at PiXAPRO know that sometimes customers wish to purchase all of these different items together, to make sure that they have purchased the correct equipment for the job. So, to make this all much easier for everyone, we have created a range of different kits that contain a variety of different products that when all used together, create the perfect photography set-up.
GIO1 Round Head Speedlite Plus Accessory Kit: This kit is a small on-camera set-up that can create high quality results. The GIO1 Speedlite is a 76Ws battery powered flash, that can be placed either onto a stand or directly to a cameras hot-shoe through its dedicated hot-shoe mount. The GIO1 Speedlite differs from normal speedlites as it features a round head rather than a common rectangular head, which helps to create a more natural looking light fall off compared to a standard rectangular speedlite. Each GIO1 Speedlite features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is capable of approximately 480 full powered flashes from a single full charge, perfect for use on location shoots such as weddings. Another difference between the GIO1 speedlite and most other speedlites on the market is that the round head features a magnetic mount, allowing it to be used in conjunction with different modifiers, including the accessory kit that comes as part of this set. This accessory kit features a wide range of different modifiers to help to adjust the light being produced from the GIO1 speedlite to better suit the requirements of each individual shoot. Included in this kit is a diffuser dome to help create a softer and more gentle light source, a snoot to help produce a more concentrated and accurate light source, a barn door set to help better angle the lighting being produced and a honeycomb grid to prevent unwanted light spill.
CITI400 PRO 800Ws Portable Flash Twin Kit with Softboxes: This kit is a powerful battery powered lighting kit that includes two 400ws flash units, two easy-open softboxes, two light stands and a durable roller case to store all the different pieces of equipment. The included CITI400 PRO flash units offer a 400Ws maximum power output, which can be adjusted due to its 9-stop power range (1/1 – 1/256), allowing the light to be adjusted to better suit the requirements of any shoot it is being used on. Each unit features its own rechargeable lithium-ion battery, capable of approximately 390 full powered flashes per single full charge, perfect for long location shoots without access to mains power. It features an Bowens S-Type accessory mount, making it compatible with the most common fitting on the market and allowing it to be used with a wide range of different modifiers, including the 65cm Rice Bowl Softboxes that come included in the kit. Each Softbox features a unique easy-open mechanism, similar to that of an umbrella, allowing it to be set up and collapsed back down in seconds, ideal for location photography. The two layers of diffusion included with the Softbox help to further soften the lighting being produced, so that it falls gently onto the skin of your subject. The two included stands feature an air cushioned function in order to prevent any sudden collapses that may possibly cause damage to your equipment, with a strong and durable aluminium metal construction to make sure it can survive harsh and excessive treatment over a long period of time. Finally, this kit includes a medium sized roller case to store all the different pieces of equipment securely, with its padded interior and six foam separating inserts.
Location photography is just as common as studio photography, so making sure that the right equipment has been chosen for the job is vital for success. This blog should hopefully give you the knowledge of what products to look for and help prepare you for any challenges that location photography may throw at you.
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