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Sam Mellish Tries the Elinchrom ELC Pro HD

Sam Mellish Tries the Elinchrom ELC Pro HD

Following the use of an image of mine in an Elinchrom advert for the Quadra Ranger portable flash kit, I was asked by the Flash Centre team to test Elinchrom ELC Pro HDs. After conversations with Emily Whittle from The Flash Centre, using the Strobo, delayed fire and the sequence burst effects all sounded pretty exciting.

Most of my work is shot on location, so I got in touch the Lee Valley Park to see if we could use the Olympic Velodrome for a shoot. Teaming up with my good friend, cyclist Neil Philips, we had a two-hour window to get some results.

Before the shoot, I sat down to familiarise myself with the user interface and the flash functions. After ten minutes, I was able to navigate my way around the settings, using the dial to increase or decrease the f-stop equivalent makes for easy use, as does the ability to increase or decrease with the Elinchrom Skyport.

The strobe function allows you to burst flashes from half a second to up to 5 seconds. There’s the option to control flash frequency, the amount of bursts per second, giving great creative control. The strobo effect allows you to capture multiple subject manoeuvres in a single frame. The fast recycle feature was also extremely useful for shooting in rapid succession, as I was with a cyclist lapping a track at speed.

I was also able to play around with the delay modes and added some motion blur to the images. Circling the 250 metre track, Neil’s laps were just shy of 18 seconds, so when passing, he was peddling pretty fast. I was using one ELC Pro HD 500 and one ELC Pro HD 1000 with a Godox LP-800 X lithium ion power inverter. This gave me about the right outage to blast Neil with enough light to freeze-frame him, whilst incorporating a real sense of movement.

The delay is pretty clever, allowing total control when the flashes are fired, or incorporating rear-curtain sync. I set the first flash at a delay of 5ms (firing at five milliseconds after the shutter has been opened). On the second flash, I set this to 400ms (0.4 seconds), I mounted the camera on tripod, set the shutter at half a second and as Neil sped past, I followed his course and the result was instantly pleasing. Naturally I experimented with these functions and made Neil lap the track again, and again…. A slight tweak in post and here we are:

Thanks so much to the Flash Centre for the loan. Sam Mellish.

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