I’m in Peru right now on a Strabo photo tour, and I have to say Peru has become one of my favorite countries to visit. The people are warm and friendly, the Andean landscape is dramatic, and seeing Machu Picchu for the first time is almost a religious experience. And did I mention the food is incredible.
One goal I had on this trip was bringing my Elinchrom Quadra so our group could shoot some stylized portraits of the colorful local people. Not your typical travel photography portraits, but images using different studio lighting setups. The Quadra with a lithium battery is very small and lightweight, and matched with an Octabank, the light is beautiful soft wrap around light for portraits. The image above is one shot using this set up.
As the folks at Elincrhom know, I have abused my lighting gear a lot. I’ve hauled Rangers up cliff faces to shoot rock climbers, dropped them onto rocks in the middle of rapids to photograph kayakers, and used Quadras in blizzards and zero degree weather to photograph skiers. But I added a new Quadra experience on this trip, “gnarly odiferous yellow rotten potato water emersion.”
We were photographing a local family way up in the mountains, and the shooting was incredible. The family was wearing typical clothes and hats of the region, and our backdrop was huge mountain valleys. After shooting some great images, rain started to fall so we moved our gear into a shed. While packing up, I went to grab my Quadra, which was perched on the lid of a bucket. At this point I should have been wary, since buckets are for carrying water and other liquids. As I reached for the Quadra, the lid flipped sideways and I heard a ‘plop’ as my Quadra completely disappeared underwater. Except this wasn’t water, but instead some unidentified chunky yellow fluid. For a split second I debated sticking my hand into the unknown substance, but in I went for my Quadra. Of course this was totally my fault, and I was due for something to go south on a shoot using a Quadra. Let’s just say the smell will be with me for a long time.
How did the Quadra do? After a day of drying out, we hooked everything back up. The good news….the pack is fine….the bad news…my battery is dead. But in the end, the pictures were worth it!