My work made it on Muscular Development (IFBB Santi Aragon)

I went down to film and do a photoshoot with IFBB Classic Physique Santi Aragon and I did one with Carlos Aragon who is also competing in the at the Arnold Classic 2018.

Both gentlemen were looking phenomenal shape. It was an honor to be able to shoot and film both competitors. 

I'm honored to have my work featured on a site like that.



Uploaded by Muscular Development Magazine on 2018-02-24.

Lighting cases? are they really worth it?

Over the last few months I've been contemplating on buying a new case for my lighting gear. Why do I need to replace it. You'll see soon enough.. I have been using a "janky" rolling case to carry my lighting equipment in. Its not the best but it did the job.. until the handle broke. That case has taken a bit of abuse. I was packing my Elinchrom ELB400Quadra Ranger,modifiers and other stuff. I would do everything I could to play Tetris with my gear to take what was necessary. 

How does one know what is necessary on a shoot? How do you pack for a shoot that you have an idea of where it's going to be and changes last minute? You can only pre-plan for what you know is going to happen. The shoot you already have pre-planned. Sometimes we have to take some very few extra things with us. Since I was running out of room in my "lighting bag" I had to figure out a way to take it with me. Some of the over flow would go into my gym bag with my clothes in it. I don't really have a problem doing that, but going to a shoot and not having the proper gear because you couldn't put it in there. There's no excuse for that. 

There are so many companies that have travel cases. Pelican, Lowerpro, HPRC, Porta Brace are all great companies that have very durable cases. I chose to go with ThinktankI chose this company because I had already purchased the Thinktank Airport International V2 (pictured above) last year and have been extremely satisfied with the durability of this piece. I am able to pack that guy up hard and heavy. Regardless of how heavy it is, I'm still able to put it in the overhead compartment. I'm glad that TSA doesn't check the weight on my bag

suit case vs Pro mas 40.jpg

So back to the new roller bag. The case I chose to purchase was the new Thinktank Production Manager 40. This is an animal of a case. The dimensions are 15.7"x40"x12.6" WxHxD aka a whole lotta room. Those are the outside dimensions. Inside its 13.7"x38"x10" WxHxD. You can place a couple of small/medium light stands in there. Mono blocks, flatheads, umbrellas and more. Myself I'm putting all my lights in there, reflector batteries, anything else I can do to make my carry on bag easier. The previous bag is a normal clothing roller bag for clothes. Sometimes you just have to create make shift cases for what you need. 

Why this case? Did you see the price on that thing? Seriously?? That's a lot of money for a case guy... come on. I could bought.... Look, when you have a crappy clothing roller bag with out real protection for thousands of dollars of gear. Do you really want to trust a clothing bag for your stuff? I think not. I think if you want protection you will go out and invest in what has been proven to be good equipment. Pictures are included to show the layout of the old and new. 

I spent a good amount of time thinking of how to arrange everything in this case. Think tank provided many different dividers for this case so you can really customize it to your needs and likings. I was able to really tweak this badboy to my specific needs. I placed my light modifiers light stands easily in the case. That was really where I started arranging everything. I was concerned that I was not going to be able to find a way to adjust to what I had to place in it. 

I feel a lot more comfortable that I can pack everything a lot better with all my gear much easier. I placed all the details of how I placed all my stuff in my case. I could maybe place another light stand but I have a small carry on nightstand that goes on my Thinktank Security International case. I happen to weight this after all this gear went in here. It came out to be about 55 pounds. So, if I have to I can cheat by placing one or two things into the gym bag with my clothes. Since I usually fly with Southwest Airlines, they have a 50 lbs. limit on the check in. I don't know yet I may play the system... we'll

Thank you again for coming by to check out the latest blog. I hope this mini review helps out a bit. I may do a video about this to really see more details about the case. Next week, I will be attending a business locally in Clarksville Tn. This company is locally own and has been in business for over 40 years but looking at this place, you could never tell. 

Buy? Sell? or Trade?? That.... is the question?

During a recent meeting of the Student Nashville Fashion Alliance at Nossi College of Art, I found out that my favorite light is for sale. Well, one of them... The Quadra Ranger by Elinchrom. Now the question is should I trade one light for another even though its the same company???

I have a D-lite 4 strobe by Elinchrom (retail $406.99) that really just sits because I really just rely on my Elinchrom ELB400 and Quadra Ranger packs. Both packs are stand-alone because they have their own power source. The D-lite 4 which is my "studio light" needs a power source.

Now, here's the kicker. I have a Paul C Buff mini Vagabond (retail 239.99)  that IS it's own power supply. So now the question is, Why are you trying to get rid of it? You already have a third light? What's the big deal? The big deal is this... The D-lite 4 and the Quadra Ranger are both the exact same power. The both push 400w (joules). Both can be triggered by the Elinchrom EL-Skyport HS transmitter. Both are identical in functionality, but the Quadra can be controlled from the remote control to adjust the power. That function can't be controlled from the D-lite 4. You have to walk over to the light, adjust the power settings, and return to your spot. So now you're thinking "Yea, big deal right?" Well, when you're on location shooting with a client. that is a big deal. This saves you time and stress. Who know's what the client or athlete in my case is thinking. 

Now the Buy sell or Trade part of this. The Quadra pack is 400.00 bucks, here's proof. 

Now, this sale applies to students enrolled in the Photo Video program with . That's the only way to get it at that price. The so called street price is what is the price everywhere else. Oh yeah, I forgot, it also comes with a free transmitter. Which I wouldn't mind having, Anyway, going back to this... Option A,. Buy this and have another light.... Option B., Sell the D-Lite 4 which isn't holding up much is the trade in value, but I could get a couple of bucks on Craigslist for it. Since, most of the time you see some cheap stuff on there. Option C, trade or sell in the Vagabond Mini and the D-Lite 4 to balance out the price of the whole thing. 

I've spent since Wednesday thinking about this.. The good thing is that the sale doesn't expire till the end of the year. The bad thing is having to deal with the extra weight and not having a carry case for all three. Maybe I should just do that? Get a case to fit all my lights in. Damn, first world problems right? I'm going to have to think about this a bit more. Because, like asking a lady if she's wants to pick a restaurant and is un-decisive and what she's craving.... so am I.