You can spot-meter and bounce strobes all you want, but on-location portrait photography can still be a pain the butt. Unless you take your studio lighting rig with you.
Mark Kaplan has devised a novel way to do just that with the StrobePack, a professional-level lighting setup rigged to be worn on the photographer’s back.
Kaplan, a Dallas-based photographer who specializes in documenting subcultures such as Burning Man, developed the StrobePack after years of frustration working in areas that made setting up lighting booms impractical at best.
“The basic goal of the StrobePack, is to provide high-quality lighting at night and in low-light conditions,” he writes. “Although it can be used in daylight, it really works best with low ambient light. It allows low-ISO, long-exposure, higher aperture shooting, which results in sharp, clean subjects while still soaking in ambient light sources.”
Kaplan has gone through a number of permutations over the past two years to arrive at the current setup:
- Two Nikon SB-600 flashes,
- A Phottix Odin trigger system
- 24-inch white diffusers (can be replaced with softboxes)
- A Cowboy Studio T-bracket for mounting.
- Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini battery pack.
- LED strip lighting and a portable PA system to turn the rig into a “DiscoPack” for Burning Man and other party assignments.
The combination delivers soft, event lighting, reasonable portability and plenty of shooting time. Apparent bonus: Quite the babe magnet.
You can find more photographs captured of and with the StrobePack over in this Flickr set.
Image credits: All images by Mark Kaplan/Naked Lens Photography, used by permission