Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gear notes: Vagabond

That's Kamarose - her set's just about done, I'll get it finished within a week barring accident.

So my last little purchase of my 2007 gear binge was a Vagabond II unit. It's basically just a battery and an inverter in a nice case. The inverter puts out a very clean AC power that you can plug strobe lights into. Strobes are kind of picky about power - if you don't have the right kind of inverter you can damage them, especially over the long haul.

It's smaller than I was expecting - I didn't pay that much attention to the specs, but it's only about 10 inches tall and 6 inches deep. You can run quite a few lights off of them but I plan to use it mostly in scenarios where I'm doing something simple - a single light to illuminate a fire spinner, or it will make on-location portrait shoots much easier (maybe they don't have space for a full studio, but they have a lovely staircase to pose on) or if there's a power outage at home I can get through a full shoot with my normal lights as long as I'm not too wasteful with the power.

I plugged a light into it and it seems to work OK - with a single light it powers up pretty much the same speed as if it were plugged into the wall. You can strap the unit to your light stand to keep everything stable outside if there's a bit of wind. Just an all-around nicely thought out piece of gear.

Now, the one thing it won't be used for is a normal outdoor nude shoot. You really don't want to be staying in one place a long time or carrying tons of stuff around. Low profile's the key. Or when that isn't possible, go for speed. But with any luck it will give me more flexibility, and that's always nice.

Speaking of outdoor shoots, probably I'll be sticking to that until as late as Feb 1st unless there's some portrait work I can't reschedule - sometimes with maternity clients I have to be the flexible one! (You're due in how many days?). I have some nice shoots tentatively lined up already and I'm going to start looking a bit more seriously in a couple of days. I'll basically do as many shoots as I can find suitable models for - there's less setup and the editing usually goes fast. The hard part's finding models who are tough and beautiful enough to make the cut.

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