Nothing unusual here, except for the blending of old and new technologies in hopefully a challenging way. One of the mandates I had on this job was to show how older, line-of-sight Speedlights can mesh with the new kid on the block, radio controlled TTL wireless.
We went from here….using the SB-5000 Speedlights in complete radio mode.
To here, which is a mix of two modes, line of sight and radio…pretty seamlessly.
It was actually quite simple. In the system, when you mix line-of-sight with radio control, the line-of-sight takes over its traditional A, B, C groups, and the radio is relegated to D, E, and F. Pretty straightforward. On the tarmac, we achieved connectivity pretty easily, as out there on the pad there are no obstructions to overcome, and the flashes see each other really well. Up in the air, intrepid NYonAir pilot Tim Orr is flying with the three radio groups. The hardest part of the job was keeping all the ground based lights from blowing across the runway and into the Passaic River. Below the crew hangs on to stuff as the downwash of the rotors tries to turn a Lastolite Octa into a pancake. Super talented stunt woman, Kachina Dechert, who is very strong but a classic lightweight, just about took off on her own flight, unassisted.
Good shot of the brain trust at work behind the scenes, with peerless producer Lynn DelMastro and the ever stylish Sam Brown conferring. Numnuts point at camera. Uhh, must move light! Also, wisely, I had the D5 and the 24-70mm lens atop the heaviest Gitzo we got.
Many thanks to NYONair! They’ve got great pilots who made all this work. And as usual, the A team of Lynn DelMastro, Sam Brown, Deborah Engelsman, Mike Cali, Andrew Tomasino, and Mike Grippi. Even rock and roll photog Drew Gurian, an alumnus of the studio, came out for a visit and pitched in to hold lights. Over the din of the chopper, getting sandblasted by downwash, and trying to think straight while having about twenty minutes of workable light to make all these moving parts behave, I shouted to Drew, “Sorta makes ya wanna come back, doesn’t it?” I believe he shouted something that sounded like, “No!”