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|| News Item: Posted 2007-08-20

More Light? Dyna-Lite in a Backpack
By Jordan Murph

Photo by Matt Brown

Photo by Matt Brown

Jordan Murph shows off the Dyna-Lite in a Backpack.
Are you the kind of photographer who wishes you could strobe everything or at least things that usually aren't strobed?

I don't know about you, but Southern California-based freelancer Matt Brown and I think like that. But what to use? Little weenie shoe-mount strobes? No way! I love my 550exs, but we want power!

While driving on the road to a shoot a few weeks ago, we had a revelation: why not put Matt's Dyna-Lite XP-1100 battery in a backpack, strap on a 1000XR pack, and hold up a 4040 head with a beauty dish. Bam! The "Dyna-Lite in a Backpack" was born. Now you can strobe what has never been strobed before!

The XP-1100 is the heart of the system. It's an 1100-watt battery that can power a Dyna-Lite 1000 watt-second pack for 200 full power flashes. It's pretty sweet because it lets you use your Dyna-Lites anywhere!

We spent an evening in the backyard experimenting with different set-ups. To hold the 23-pound XP-1100 battery we used a Think Tank Glass Taxi backpack. With all of the interior padding for big and small lenses removed it made the perfect carrying case for the XP.

We ran the AC cord out the top of the Glass Taxi and into a Mountainsmith Tour bag over my shoulder, which held the 1000XR pack and Multi-Max transceiver. The head with the beauty dish could either be on the end of a hand held boom or hand held it self.

We decided to try out the "Dyna-Lite in a Backpack" for the first time the next day at the David Beckham circus, I mean press conference, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA on July 13.

Everyone in the line for credentials eyed Matt and me. Most photographers had a camera or two on their shoulders. We had the Multi-cart all loaded up so we kept getting asked if we had an exclusive portrait with Beckham.

Since access was so tight that day, Matt decided to set up a remote of Beckham entering the stadium from the tunnel where no photographers were going to be allowed to shoot from during the event. He wanted to light the shot but I couldn't stand there wearing the whole kit so we set up the light as a remote.

I clamped the beauty dish to the railing and left the battery and pack in the bags and I headed to the far side of the stadium for a clear view of the tunnel so I could fire the remote and strobe via Multi-Max. The security guards kept looking around for me every time I would pop the strobe to test it, but I was safely across the stadium so they couldn't throw me out!

Photo by Matt Brown

Photo by Matt Brown

The Dyna-Lite in a Backpack in action. Now you can strobe what has never been strobed before!
Our next adventures were at the AVP Crocs tour stops in Long Beach and Manhattan Beach, CA. Shooting AVP volleyball is always fun. The sun, the sand, the palm trees and the good-looking people. At both events the Dyna-Lite in a backpack came in really handy and allowed us to make some really sweet and unique images.

I stayed off camera and lit subjects while Matt shot. Instead of shooting at 1/1600th, 200 ASA at f4 ambient, Matt was shooting at 1/250th, 100 ASA at f16 with perfectly filled shadows.

Whether it's getting 30 frames per second with three Mark III's on three 600 mm's (more on that to come) or strapping 40 pounds of gear to my body to become a walking strobe, doing something a little different is always great. And as an assistant, it makes me happy to help others to make pictures. Even if it's not my name in the byline, I know that I was a part of it and that is really gratifying.

We have lots of plans for our Dyna-Lite in a Backpack. Beckham and the AVP were only the beginning. Sure it was 90 degrees out and I had 40 pounds of lighting equipment hanging off my body. Buy hey… you have to pay to play!

(Jordan Murph is a student at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. He spent the summer assisting and working as an intern at Icon Sports Media in Southern California.)

Related Links:
Murph's member page

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