It was about three years ago I decided to hang up my gear and focus on college. A career change was needed after I retired from the Air Force. At the end of 2012, I had my last shoot and called it quits. Now, with school coming to an end, the MBA is within sight; I’ve decided to start shooting once again. I love photography and even though I wasn’t photographing people, there were occasions to take macro and landscape shots.
This past weekend, Lisa Legarreta was nice enough to work with me again (Thank you Lisa and Donald for a great day out). She was my last session prior to going back to school. Be sure to have a look at her site and book her, she does a great job!
In my mind, I figured the shoot wouldn’t be all bad; I’m sure some mistakes would happen. Well, I was wrong! It is amazing how much your skill set can suffer over a few years. Looking over the images, the shoot wasn’t a complete loss by any means. There are a number of images in the mix which turned out very nice. However, the list of my errors is a long one. This is one of the many reasons to enjoy photography, just when you think you know it all; there is always something else to learn. And I have plenty to work on!
Elinchrom has been my brand of choice when it comes to lighting equipment. Their modifiers are truly fantastic! That being said, I made a decision to lighten my gear and search out for a strobe which met the majority of what I needed and wanted in a location kit. The Elinchrom Ranger RX/AS is built like a tank, a proven performer, it’s just heavy.
I wanted a battery operated strobe, no cords, and it had to be capable of high speed sync. The use of TTL was not interesting to me and there was no need to have it in the list of requirements. My main goal was to get away from using neutral density (ND filters while on location. After several months of research, countless YouTube videos, and reviews of a number of brands, I landed on the Cheetah CL600X strobe. This is a re-branded Godox strobe.
I’ll work on a proper review of the strobe, be sure to visit the gear section once it is up and running. My initial impressions have been all positive. This was a significant risk on my part, at least in my mind, making the switch from Elinchrom to Cheetah. Elinchrom has been “bulletproof” since the day I started using the gear. To make the change, it was risky to me, that being said, I think it was a great move. Plus, CheetahStand is based in Dallas Texas, no worries of having to ship the equipment overseas if something were to go wrong. Time will tell, and I will follow up with review updates on how it performs over the next year or so.
Another first for me was to buy and use a zoom lens. This may sound a little strange as zooms are popular and useful tools. At one point in time several years ago, I owned the Canon 70-200L I and my Canon 5D2 I believe at the time, would only allow me to micro adjust (MA) one end of the focal range. This did not sit well with me as I couldn’t trust the lens was hitting the focus as it should. The zooms were sold and the move to shooting prime lenses began.
My current camera, the Canon 5Ds allows for both ends of the focal range to be micro adjusted.
So, I thought it was time to try a zoom lens and see if I would enjoy shooting with one again. I purchased the Canon 70-200II using the site GreenToe.com. Give them a try, I saved over $250 using their service. All the gear they sell comes with a US warranty, it’s not a grey market site. The lens performed very well. I’m still undecided, about whether or not I will keep it or go back to primes. When shooting prime lenses, you have to move your feet to frame the shot you see envisioned in your mind. This, to me, allows for more creative possibilities. Again, I’m not sure whether I will stick with the zoom or not, a few more sessions with it and I should know.
Thank you for taking the time to read the post. It’s been a long journey the past few years, and I’m excited to jump back into the photography world. I hope you enjoyed the shots from the session. I just wanted to share some thoughts about the past and this weekends shoot.
Be sure to leave your comments below.