It’s (Semi-Lame) Pimpy Thursday!

Hey gang, Brad here with this week’s pimpy stuff. If you’ll watch the video above, you’ll see us at the beginning of the shoot we did yesterday. As much as we always enjoy a good fashion shoot, we were exhausted by the end of the day. And today we’re doing the NYC Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! seminar.

Thus, today is Semi-Lame Pimpy Thursday. Which means I’m just hitting the bullet points and links to the good stuff and not worrying about all the witty, informative descriptions. Enjoy :)

– Another Day With Jay Maisel Live Webcast: First ever free public premiere of a class. Sign up here.

The Worldwide Photo Walk will be the weekend of October 1-2. More info coming soon!
– Creating Digital Makeup Effects in Photoshop with Shelley Giard & Corey Barker
Setup & Shoot: Location Lighting for Challenging Situations with Joe McNally
Beauty Portrait Retouching for CS5 with David Cuerdon (can’t remember if I mentioned that one before, but check it out either way)

Lots of great Kelby Training Live seminars coming up. Click here to see if we’re coming to your city!

Photoshop World Vegas is coming. Register here, save $100.

And, why not a shameless self-promotion… Check out my website to see some of my concert photography. Two of my recent favorite shots are here and here :)

That’s all I’ve got for now. If you’re at the NYC seminar, come say hi!

      1. WB, i went back 5 years and couldn’t find it….but I did find a post in 08 I missed, thanks. 8-)

  1. As John already said: We’ll take any “pimpy” over no “pimpy” any day! And I’m with Ken, you really should do a tutorial on KT! I’m thinking “How to be a CAKB photo assistant” LOL!

    Have a good seminar tomorrow guys!
    Alex Grace

    1. Alex, I think that the new season of D-Town TV will feature Mr. Moore in a brand new segment about photo gear, similar to Larry’s Cheap Shots segment. Now that will be CAKB!! 8)


  2. Creating Digital Makeup Effects is outstanding. Highly recommend it as to what can be done to make a better looking model image. The correction techniques are ones I’ve been searching for in terms of computer make up methods. Should work for various ethnic models also. Thanks to Cory and Shelley.

  3. Hi Scott :)
    First of all, I love your books, and blogs.
    Until now I always had a hard time doing the WWPW, because of my location. I was hoping of a getting a chance this year and kept an eye on the website for the Photowalk. Is it useful to use that page, since the walk links don’t work (but maybe due to the date change)?
    And the FAQ answers questions to last years walk, but not this years (also due to the date change?).

    Thanks for your help :)

    1. Hey Christine,

      I just wanted to let people know the dates and that we have more info coming soon. Website updates and email blasts will be going out as soon as we can coordinate everything.


  4. Hey Brad,

    Thanks so much for the ‘heads up’ regarding the WWPW and also for the links (Jay Maisel, New Kelby Training Classes etc)…

    Have a great time in New York,
    All the very best to you,

  5. Ok — thank you for the heads up even without the witty commentary! I think I know what I want for my birthday in August… he he! (just have to get the hubby on board to help take care of the older kids… if I sat in the back of the room, do you think I could get away with bringing a 2 month old…afterall, they just eat and sleep…LOL!)

  6. Hi Scott! I just wanted to thank you and your team again for a great seminar today at Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. NYC! What I got most out of the day is that it really isn’t that scary to make a good looking studio portrait; it is doable, and knowing that is half the battle to overcoming the fear of attempting it.

    During the class you mentioned that people had asked how to compare a Speedlight to a Studio Strobe. I did some digging and while a comparison can be made, it is a bit convoluted as there are several variables to take into account and the units of measure are not equivalent, but it isn’t impossible. As reference I found and excellent description of the different components in the Nikon School Handbook edited by William Pekala and Harvey Johnson ©2002 pages 81-82 and went from there. So with a great deal of estimating, here it goes:

    Watt-Second is the measure of the power input into the capacitor of the unit and really doesn’t tell you the amount of light that will be output by the flashhead. The Nikon School Handbook suggests that you think of Watt-Seconds as the Potential Energy available to the flashtube (at full power). The light output of a flashhead is effected by the modifier you are using, so the same head will give you different light output depending on the modifier used.

    Because Watt-Seconds is a unit of input and not output, you can’t really make a direct comparison between Watt-Seconds, the light output of the flashhead and the light output of a Speedlight (usually stated as a Guide Number) without knowing other variables (like the modifier used) and doing a few conversions.

    In order to do an actual comparison between a Speedlight and a Strobe, or for that matter one type of Strobe with another type of Strobe or the same Strobe with different modifiers, you need to know the f-Stop rating of the Flashhead/Modifier combination. This will then let you calculate the Guide Number for the Flashhead/Modifier combination.

    For reference, the formula for Guide Number is GN = Flash-to-Subject Distance X f-Stop.

    There is an indirect relationship between the amount of Watt-Seconds of the unit to the output of light from the flashhead, but that output is dependent on the Modifier combinations you are using with the flashhead. Light output is variable and changes as you change accessories. The amount of light that your Elinchrom BX 500Ri outputs to your subject when you have on a beauty dish on it is different from the amount of light it outputs to the subject when it has a bare-bulb 48° reflector on it.

    If you look at the Technical Data for the BX 500 Ri you can find that its f-Stop Rating at 1 Meter at 100 ISO using a 48° reflector is f90. This basically means that if you held a flash meter set to ISO 100 1 Meter in front of the flashhead with that reflector and triggered the flash at full power, the Aperture returned to get a correct exposure based on the amount of light would be f90. Also if you plug the numbers into the GN formula you get 90 (in meters).

    As an aside, by comparison, the BX 250 Ri with the same modifier is rated at f64, so you can see that by doubling the Watt-Seconds of the unit, you gain one additional stop of light, which kind of makes sense; doubling the power doubles the amount of light output and when you think of exposure, one stop more light means you have double the amount of light for the exposure.

    For a Nikon SB-900 the maximum GN on an FX sized sensor is 34 (in meters). Because the flashhead in an SB-900 can zoom, the Guide Number will actually vary, but for the sake of a rough comparison we will use the maximum GN 34m at ISO 100 with the flash zoomed to the 35mm position (which is very roughly equivalent to a 48° reflector’s angle of coverage). To state it another way, the SB-900 has an f-Stop rating of f34.

    Now that we have equivalent units of light output, what all this means is that by a rough comparison, the BX 500 Ri outputs roughly 2 and 2/3rds stops more light than the SB-900 at full power. Stated another way, the SB-900 is very roughly equivalent to a 65 Watt-Second Elinchrom BX flashhead with a 48° reflector. So for $150 (or 30%) more, the BX 500 gives you about 8 times the amount of light.

    There is a lot of rounding in the calculations so I wouldn’t challenge an engineer on any of this (it is even difficult to compare Watt-Second ratings between different types of heads), but I think it is illustrative.

    Now for the Nik Color-Effects way of comparing Speedlights to Studio Strobes: Set the Flashes to full power. Take a Flash Meter and hold it at the same distance in front of each flashhead and take a meter reading. The difference in exposure tells you the difference in the powers of the flashes. ;-)

Leave a Reply
Previous Post

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring David Hobby!

Next Post

Scott & Matt Talk Retouching!