Savannah Cummins climbing the route Go Sparky Go (5.11) on the Sparks Wall in Indian Creek, Utah. Tech Specs: f/4 at 1/2,500th second, ISO 200, FUJIFILM GFX 100, GFX 32-64mm f/4 lens, Elinchrom ELB 1200 strobe pack with HS flash head attached and pack set to full power, Elinchrom High Performance Reflector.
One of the best images we produced on this assignment was captured on the very first shoot day (shown above). For this image we had Ted posted up on a route across from and above “Go Sparky Go,” the route that Savannah is on in this image. Ted, and the strobe, were approximately 40-feet (12 meters) from Savannah. The Elinchrom High-Performance reflector was key to boosting the light so it could reach Savannah. With a little experimentation, we were able to dial in the lighting and then waited for the route to be shaded. Ted held the strobe and feathered it off the climb to create the pleasing light you see in the image. I underexposed the background by about two-thirds of a stop to create the dark, ominous clouds.
When using strobes to light up climbers on a rock face, having a strobe with a lot of power is the key factor, as is the Hi-Sync (HS) flash technology, which allows me to overpower the sun from up to 60-feet (18 meters) away. For all of the actions shots, for both the rock climbing and the mountain biking, I used the ELB 1200 and the HS flash heads to light up the athletes. Of course, we also shot a variety of portraits as well and for those images I used the ELB 500 TTL because it too can sync at all shutter speeds with the FUJIFILM GFX 100 and also because it is so easy to use.