Because of the scope and capabilities of these products, trying to cover everything in one review would not do these products justice and so I will be splitting this into multiple reviews. The first review covered what these products are, what they can do, and setting up and configuring. The second one looked at the AC3 and AC9 components and how they tie in with the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 units. This time I will take them out into a real-world, and much less controlled environment.
For this testing opportunity, I am going to take the units to a Gary Thomas Extreme Lighting Workshop. Gary Thomas is an Oklahoma photographer who is known for his use of models and light in unusual situations. Whether it is on a burning lake of fire, on dancers floating under a bridge, or catching up to a tornado for that down home Oklahoma look, you just never know what he will come up with next. He has even been known to jump out of planes with his camera gear!
His workshops are no different. They are always on location, hands-on, and will challenge you to understand light and the way it works. This workshop took place in a warehouse that was being converted into a roller derby rink. The conditions are dark with poor natural lighting. The walls are silver and can be reflective and blow your light all over the place. The floors are a drab gray color that can suck the light up, and the only ambient lighting comes from florescent tubes about 25 feet up.
The models are the Outwest Outlaw Roller Derby girls. They are an Oklahoma City banked track roller derby team that not only hits hard, but actively participates in the local community as well. What this means for the photographers participating is that not only are they going to be shooting in less than desirable conditions, they will need to capture these skaters in motion as well.
The since these are hands-on workshops, they are usually limited to around 10 participants. The workshop started at 10am and was scheduled to conclude around 6pm. The first one to two hours is an instructional demonstration of lighting techniques as well as a discussion on the kinds of problems that the students would encounter while on the rink floor. Everyone who participated had to sign a liability wavier and have it notarized. I did say that this was an extreme workshop didn't I?