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Elinchrom ONE on Location - Dance Shoot at the Beach

Elinchrom ONE on Location - Dance Shoot at the Beach

by Michael Sewell

Elinchrom ONE Review - Part 2 of 4

Read Part 1 - Photographing Food with the Elinchrom ONE

Read Part 3 - Automotive Shoot - ISO Bracketing with the Elinchrom ONE

I've utilised the Elinchrom ONE review kit on a number of client shoots so far, including food photography for the Lavender Hotel Group, and a couple of automotive shoots. As I pondered which shoot I should take the kit along to next, I was hijacked. My partner (and wonderful dance photographer) Helen had a location shoot booked in, and had taken quite a liking to my Elinchrom ONE lights due to portability and size. We knew they would be absolutely ideal in the portable studio we take along when photographing the dance competitions or the dance schools. Location work however is a better test, challenge accepted!

Helen's location setup generally consists of three lights, so we added an Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL to the two Elinchrom ONE heads. All three would be firing through 26cm reflectors so as to utilise as much of the light as possible. 

We used the two Elinchrom ONE heads for the accent lights, and the initial light test was with them set to an output of 4.3 (Equivalent to 100Ws), You can just about make out the display on the above image. The ELB 500 was used as the keylight, and again set to an output of 4.3.

This BTS shot shows the placement of the lights, and you can see the accents were placed a little behind Freya (our model for the day). You can also see the distance of the keylight too. In later images, we did move the keylight nearer, as it didn't foul the frame.

This is one of the images from the same setting. This is why the keylight needed the distance, as Freya “travelled” across the targetted lit area, which meant Helen was panning as she took the shot. It's far too easy to have the light foul the frame as the dancer moves. Generally, it can be removed in post, but occasionally the dancer has passed behind the stand or the modifier within the frame, and you can guarantee it will be on the best jump or shape of the day.

Camera settings were Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/250th sec f8 ISO64

Change of direction, with this shot being taken along the beach. Helen is using the medium format camera here, whilst I've taken charge of the Olympus to get this behind the scenes image.

You will notice that keylight is much nearer, as Freya isn't actually moving in this shot. The output was reduced to 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws) to compensate for this adjustment in light position.

Camera settings: 1/125th sec f10 ISO50

Helen's location work is quite brutally demanding of the equipment (and me!). The Elinchrom ONE heads worked great on this shoot, and created what we needed, however in a full sun scenario a little more power would be required to allow Helen access to faster shutter speeds to freeze the motion. This is where other Elinchrom offerings such as the ELB 500 TTL, and the forthcoming Elinchrom FIVE come into their own.

For shooting still objects on a sunny day, I was actually taken by surprise at how competent the Elinchrom ONE was power wise. On a particularly sunny Lotus car shoot, I didn't expect the ONE to cope but it defied my expectations. With dancers, they need space to do their thing, which in turn dictates a requirement for higher output from the light to cover the increased distance, as well as a higher shutter speed to freeze motion. That said, Helen has already said she wants a set of Elinchrom ONE heads, and the proof of the pudding will always be in the eating. In this shoot the Elinchrom ONE heads performed excellently, and supported our existing ELB 500 TTL kit to get exactly the shots we wanted.  

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