Monday, June 8, 2009

Off Camera Flash - From a Kite: Part I

Tomorrow is the start of the Strobist blog Boot Camp II, which from what I gather is a series of assignments to help photographers learn and become better with using off-camera flash. I hope to be a part of this series. Recently though, I've had the idea that I could use the off-camera flash and combine it with my Kite Aerial Photography to take aerial pictures at night. I've done some preliminary testing with my PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5's on a Canon G9. These devices were purchased for use with my Canon 5D Mark II, but no reason why I can't at least try it with my G9. PocketWizard says that they'll be compatible with a future release, even though they are currently listed as a compatible device in the utility application. I was able to get my Canon 430EXII's to fire remotely from the G9 running a CHDK script, so I know that it's technically possible. Here is what I need now:

  • A clear, and preferably warm night with steady winds around 13 MPH.
  • Something interesting to take aerial pictures from at night
  • An assistant to help place and secure the remote flashes.
I haven't found any references to anyone ever trying off camera flash from a kite. The pocket wizards have incredible range when connected to a 430EXII, so having the camera shoot from 100-200 in the air should still trigger the flashes. Depending on the objest being illuminated, it might be better to keep the kite a little lower. The biggest challenge will be waiting for a night that is actually windy enough to launch the kite, and hope that the wind direction is favorable to the site that I'm trying to capture. I have some ideas on what I could do from the flash perspective, and throw shadows from small objects up onto a large wall or ceiling, or possibly use some colored gels. I'm sure that I'll need a couple tries at this before I tweak the camera and flash settings before we see anything interesting, but since this hasn't been done before, it should be fun trying to think of ways to be creative. More to come...

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