How Rob Giersch Uses Multiple Features Of The Raven For A Mountain Biking Action Portrait Shoot
Action sports photography is always an adventure, and if you’re shooting in a new location, that only makes the venture more intense! Every photographer dreams of finding the right tools that will help them bring the image in their mind’s eye to life. The ideal gear is lightweight, durable, compact, and most important, reliable.
Rob Giersch understands the struggle of finding that perfect balance of gear; minimizing the tools that work across the broadest range of brands and equipment. To date, there have always been trade-offs and limitations between lighting, remote triggering, and across brands.
In this article, we’ll see how Rob executes multiple shooting scenarios during a Mountain Bike session by leveraging the power of The Raven controller.
Rob Giersch of Rob Giersch Photography
Rob Giersch was recently engaged in mountain biking photoshoot with Peyton McGee in Atlanta, Georgia. The objective of this photoshoot was to capture dynamic, eye-catching images of the rider in motion. Rob aimed to produce these shots using off-camera lighting of mixed brand strobes. He also needed to use HSS, SyncView, and SpeedCycle functions to freeze the action at both slow and fast shutter speeds. The Fusion TLC Raven allowed him to seamlessly accomplish all of these goals.
"Fusion TLC has really over-delivered in so many ways with this unicorn controller”
The setup and tests with multiple brand lighting
Rob began testing the Raven as both a trigger and control for mixed brand lighting. He shot portraits using a Canon R5 with a Profoto B10 as a primary key light and the Godox speedlite TT685C as a rim light. Speaking of his experience with these tools, Rob said, “I was able to quickly set up both brands and assign channels so that each light could be adjusted separately.”
For the action portion of the shoot, Rob used a 70 to 200 mm lens to compress the scene and tested the Raven in Manual, TTL, and High Speed Sync modes. Rob was pleasantly surprised that, “The Raven’s communication with the strobes is pretty flawless and gives the photographer multiple options to adjust and capture dynamic shots across various conditions and desired shutter speeds”. In this example he uses HSS to capture Peyton at peak action, freezing minute details of the bike and rider.
Raven’s SyncView feature
Next, Rob used the SyncView feature of the Raven to access shutter speed faster than the camera’s X-Sync speed. He was able to make quick adjustments to the timing of the flash pulse within the window of the current shutter speed using the onscreen strobe pulse display. This graphic representation made this adjustment extremely intuitive and quick.
“I was impressed by The Raven’s ability to graphically “map” a strobe’s pulse within the opening and closing of the camera’s shutter; allowing me to adjust the timing of the pulse by simply dialing The Raven’s ring. No other strobe manufacturer has ever presented photographers with this option, let alone the ability to do so over multiple strobe brands."
“The Raven is overdelivering on multiple capabilities within a single controller.”
SpeedCycle changes Rob’s photography
Rob Giersch lit both images with separate shots using The Raven’s SpeedCycle feature.
Rob placed a Profoto B10 and Godox Speedlight at the beginning of turn one and a second B10 at the following turn down the track. He captured frame one low and wide panning with Peyton, then quickly turned and zoomed out to capture Peyton in the second turn where the second B10 was placed. The Raven automatically cycled through the sequential flash pops at each shutter release using the SpeedCycle mode.
The Raven’s speed cycle allows a photographer to stage and cycle through multiple strobes, one after the other, each time the shutter is released; returning to the first strobe after a 5 second delay. “I am really excited to leverage this feature at races where I can set up multiple strobes along the race course and shoot 2-3 different locations as riders come through sequentially”.
"The Raven has opened a world of possibilities for me; I can now control light fluidly around fast-moving subjects without the constraints of technology and brand"
Rob’s creativity gets a breath of fresh air
Rob summarizes his experience with the Raven by asserting, “The Raven literally opens up so many possibilities that, until now, have been hampered by brand or hardware limitations. Fusion TLC's technology agnostic approach now allows me to pick and choose whatever equipment and shooting situations I want, and delivers the shot with a single shutter release. I gave up on the use of remote speedlites a few years ago because of cost and technology incompatibility, but I am now excited that I can pack a camera and a speedlite and head deep into remote areas with lightweight and reliable lighting. Add to that the ability to now mix and match lighting and remote triggering… it just makes my head spin thinking about all the new creative possibilities."
Learn more about the SyncView from our Knowledge Hub: https://support.fusiontlc.com/using-syncview
Photographer: Rob Giersch @robgiersch
Personal Portfolio: https://www.robgierschphotography.com/
Rider: Peyton McGee @peyman2005