White Lightning for weddings

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by khitrovg, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Hi all,

    I have been doing weddings for a long time with my Canon equipment
    sweet glass and 2 flashes first 2 550s now 1 550 and 580. However, I
    would like to get a monolight for formals on location. Does anyone
    use the self contained lights such as White Lightning? If you do, can
    you please share your experience. I am thinking of shooting mainly
    formal photos of b&g, bridal party and family shots. Later I would
    like to bring the light to the reception to light up the background a
    bit due to very low light.

    Thank you in advance.

    Greg
     
  2. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I love mine Greg. Very robust and assuming you are in the usa, parts and service are excellent. Alien Bee's, same company and reputation, are a cheaper alternative if you don't need all the bells and whistles with such fine increments in power adjustments and cooling fans etc. that usually come with all day studio use.
     
  3. Eric,
    Thank you for your quick response. Do you use the alien bee yourself? I have considered it but the feedback I get from other pn users is that AB 's are not as durable as White Lightning.

    What kind of a setup do you use with these monolights?

    Greg
     
  4. Bee's do have fans but I think the power range is smaller, and they are probably simpler in design than White Lightnings- something accounts for the lower cost.

    I have a pair of old WL10000's that are still going strong. One of them survived a fall bad enough to put a nasty dent in the reflector.
     
  5. My boss won't let me drink on the job....

    Seriously...

    The one fellow I work for uses one of these and has for years. White Lightning units are tough.
     
  6. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Do Bee's have fans now? Cool, thanks for the correction Steve.

    Greg, what do you mean set up? It's the usual simple kit. I bring a stand per light, c-stands, flags and bounces, sand bags, auto-poles etc. And usually run soft boxes and gels. That's if I know I'm shooting onto backdrop. I also carry a 25' sync cord per light with a peanut slave in case it gets too far away from my master. I need to mention, whether it makes a difference or not, that I haven't done much wedding photography. I use Nikon, and I honestly wouldn't bother today with portable lighting if the room isn't too large, as the new i-ttl flash system can take seven sb-800's and would simply place a few of these units where I needed them. They can all be adjusted at the camera, and with lcd previews, it's a no-brainer. But having a studio kit does open up other options and wouldn't want to be without it.
     
  7. I use White Lightning lights for weddings. I have 3 1800's. I used to have a cheap set
    from some other company I can't even remember, used them for two years, the lights
    are burned out, the stands are unstable...I decided a few months ago to go with White
    Lightning and have been very impressed. The equipment is VERY sturdy. The power
    is amazing. Everything is very light in weight considering how sturdy they are. I
    would highly recommend them even though they are not for a full time studio. You
    won't have to replace them anytime soon and if you get into more studio work you
    are already set.

    Sara
     
  8. I also use white lightning for weddings. I have two ultrazap 800's. If the bride and groom want any backdrop pictures we first set up a portable backdrop and the lights. Then, I give them a 10 minute break while I move them into the sanctuary of the church. I love the power they put out. If I had to buy them again I would probably buy 1600's. The 800's work fine, but I usually have them cranked all the way up for a group. I'll use ISO 160 and get a f8 or F11. If I had the 1600's I would have the option of moving them back if needed, or lower ISO, or higher aperature. I wouldn't do it with flashes again though!
     
  9. I love my white lightnings. I've got a couple of their ultrazap 1600 and some old
    1200s. I light gymnasiums with two lights for sports, amazing light off of tents. I do
    loads of location shots and I use their battery system. For diffusser I love their large
    bowl (22inch matte pan reflector) Great soft light and isn't a sail like umbrellas or
    softboxes out in the wind. Don't rely upon flash sync then others will be setting off
    your camera...get the pocket wizards. The negative is that they are top heavy and
    whenever I raise them to 13 feet up I try to find some weight to hang onto the
    lightstand to hold them down. These lights are workhorses and always taken a
    beatting. I've had the lights take several nosedives. Needed to replace the modelling
    lamp (home depot) but otherwise it has continued to work.
     
  10. I bought White Lightening back in 82 when they first hit the market and loved them. Sold them when I left the business due to health issues. (diagnosed with MS back in 87. Now that the health issues went away (not sure why) and I'm reentering I sure wish I had all my WL lights back. I really love them. I don't miss the Hassy stuff since I'm going all digital...but miss my Whiteys!
    Brad
     

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