Chris Arace’s We Are Vacancy

©Chris Arace

©Chris Arace

We love discovering photographers creating great images with interesting use of off-camera flash. Chris Arace is a Detroit photographer who not only uses PocketWizard radio triggers to light his portaits, but his series “We Are Vacancy” includes images of talent actually handholding speedlights. In his own words, here are his thoughts on his work.

An artistic rebellion of faith and spirit. Eager to create. Created to create. Rise against the onslaught of homogenization in culture, we shall. We Are Vacancy.

The above statement was crafted as part manifesto, part inspiration, and part dedication. It provides a tangible concept for me to visualize and create images for this series of shots. The idea was created while on location last year. I often am running at a fast pace on shoots in some diverse and amazing locations. It was not always possible to create personal, compelling imagery under the time crunch of a production schedule. We Are Vacancy allowed a portable, manageable, and very artistic way to satisfy my personal artistic needs.

©Chris Arace

©Chris Arace

The lighting is designed around a subject holding speedlights. Generally, I want the imagery to shed light on a metaphoric concept, such as open spaces that need physical and intellectual density. They can be quite literal, like Packard, a local grafitti writer tagging walls in one of Detroit’s most infamous ruins.

The process uses three essential PocketWizards, Plus® II or Plus® III units Sync cabled into my Canon 600EX Speed Lights. I then wrap them to the backside of the speedlight with a PocketWizard Caddy.

Diagram

I then direct my subject into a pose where the lights expose the subject with a spot lighting/rim lighting concept. If I need extra fill, I will bring along my Profoto AcuteB2 portable strobe equipped with a Beauty Dish Reflector. This becomes a centered fill light and can also provide good ambient light over the entire scene. I shoot this series with my Hasselblad H4D-40 and trigger all the strobes with a PocketWizard radio. With this portable and quick setup, I can be ready at any time and on any location to create a new piece of art!

©Chris Arace

©Chris Arace

The series can be found here. You can see more of Arace’s other work on his site and his blog. Follow him on Twitter.

 

All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Chris Arace, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

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