adventure of a noobie strobist

“I specialise in daylight photography”. I used to always say that ‘cos other than sticking the speedlite on my camera when I needed to, I didn’t wanna think about it. I’m shooting “school portraits” for students of a ballet concert soon and while I’d love to shoot in natural light, that might not be possible and so I thought I’d dabble into off camera lighting. I have also been blog stalking Laurence Kim a bit and his wonderful work really inspires me to experiment as well.

So a quick visit Strobist and I got my shopping list. First and easiest thing to get was a light stand. I decided on the Manfrotto 001B for its compactness. Quality Camera Sales Australia had the best price that I found and gosh it was such a speedy delivery!

Next was clamp and umbrella. For this particular Manfrotto lightstand, the 43″ Westcott was recommended. I mailed around a few local stores and nobody stocks them. B&H had them and for the Photoflex Multiclamp and a 43″ WestCott umbrella (mine doubles as reflective soft silver and shoot through) the cost was just over $50USD. That sounds ok except shipping was $60USD!!! Whaaaat?! The shipping costs more than the goods? Plus the AUD has been tanking and that really sucks!
“What triggering system are you going with?”, a friend asked. I opted for the Elinchrom Skyport which I also got on B&H.  The shipping was the same so now I’m err spending more to save. (BTW it’s actually cheaper to buy them here which I forgot to check ‘cos I was so fixated on the freakin shipping cost – always check StaticICE people!)
I was constantly checking my order status on UPS website (sad I know).  The package came on Friday and straight away I unpacked the box and started putting it all together.
Uh oh, my speedlite 580EX doesn’t have a pc socket. Serious?! Quick googling led me to believe I needed a hot shoe that has a pc outlet. I looked around and Digital Camera Warehouse had one. I called up the store and asked for the Hama hot shoe adapter. The sales person asked if it was “Adapter 1” or “Adapter 2”. I told him Adapter 1. “Are you sure?” he asked. “Yeah yeah I’m sure and I’m coming to the store NOW”.
It was 45 mins before the store closed but I was so excited that I had to go get it. I drove like a maniac down to the store and was freaking out the whole way through as the petrol indicator thingy (I’m real techincal) was dangerously close to “E”. I made it to the last 5 mins of the store opening hours.
Guess what? It was the wrong hot shoe *sigh*. The dude was right, I needed the Adapter 2. Back to the store I went this morning to get it along with a Pocket Wiard female pc to mini plug (that tiny tiny thing is $29!). The store only had ONE of each of those items as well so that was lucky!
I was sooo happy when I fired off the flash on the lighstand. Woohoo! Mission accomplished.
Haven’t played around with the umbrella and all that too much yet but here’s some shots of this little paper Japanese boy.
Nothing exciting right now but that’ll come later.