********This is an updated — combined post — If you’re coming back, there’s more below*********

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or Twitter, there’s no doubt you know about an EPIC project I’ve been working on —->  Here’s the full story:

About 16 weeks ago I was asked to be a mentor @ a conference called After Dark – I had been wanting to be part of it since my good friend Jordan Chan asked me a while back.  Scheduling had not allowed it, so I was psyched we were finally able to connect……

Shortly after agreeing I received a nice note from Dave Junion (who runs the After Dark program) which said “We want to do some things that go beyond the norm for this one, if you think of something let us know!”  That’s all I had to hear. :)  That night I went to sleep and had a dream (no kidding!) that I would attempt to fire the most flashes ever fired to create a photograph.  Yep, a dream, I’m a giant dork I know.  LOL  That morning I emailed Dave, and Kaui (thank you for putting up with me!) with my idea —-

Thinking they’d laugh at me, it was quite the opposite, they LOVED it. Off to the races!

Thanks to the awesome crews at Midwest Photo Exchange, and Radiopopper, we got to work.  Over the last 16 weeks, we worked out all the possible logistics, problems, and pitfalls we might encounter to make this happen via a weekly Skype call.

I cannot thank everyone enough, including my good friends Bobby Alcott, Peter Quinn (without you’re help, this never would have happened!) and the crew from Switzerfilms, who are working on an film about the whole project, along with a special song from Songfreedom. We started at 8AM yesterday, and didn’t finish until 1AM – yes, 1AM!

So what does it take to fire 300 flashes you ask?  Ah, you’ll have to wait for the next post that! :) Oh – and one last BIG HUGE thanks goes to the folks at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center! You opened your beautiful facility to us, and made everything come together!

AND – most most most importantly — thank you goes out to my wife Elizabeth, and all the other Moms out there, who allowed us to to this on YOUR day.  I have a Guinness book of worlds records back rub IOU coming to Elizabeth. :)

Here’s the OFFICIAL Guinness Book of World’s record photograph! THE MOST CAMERA FLASHES EVER USED TO MAKE A PHOTOGRAPH!  More photos, and film coming soon!!!!

I also want to clarify that when I set out to create a “world record” that I didn’t just want to take a photograph of 300 flashes.  However, when we started working with the Guinness folks, they required evidence of ALL 300 lights going off……

That changed things a bit.  So first things first, create something that has some interest for the GWR shot.  I think I accomplished that.  Of course when I set out to do this, I was most curious, what would all those lights look like?  What would the quality of light be like?  It was indeed an interesting result.  Could I have achieved a similar look with just one light or three?  Perhaps, but that would not have answered my questions.

Truth be told this is actually 229 lights.  Each panel has 75 lights.  2 in the rear, and one in the front for main – that’s 225, and 4 others disbursed in the shot, at higher power settings.

Here’s a few from the model shoot:

If I were planning this shoot over again, I would have scheduled a whole other day.  It would have been awesome to spend an entire day working with these panels, but unfortunately that just wasn’t an option.  After I finished these shots, we still needed to pack everything up, which took another 4 hours.

We were able to leave one of the panels together, and I had a little time to play with it.  I was curious to see how this would compare to a softbox. I also wanted to see what would happen when turning all those lights on together (lowest power) – how would that additive light work?  2-4-8-16-32-64, and so on – as I predicted, when we got up to 8, each time we doubled the light, it added about 1/3 stops.  Technically speaking (without additive light), 64 lights at 1/64 power should have equaled one light at full power.

Here’s the one using the LP160 panel of 75 lights -  F/9.0 @ 1/6 sec. (to pick up some ambient light) ISO 100

I then added an ND filter so I could open up my f/stop – f/2.5 @ 1/4 sec. ISO 100

This one using a 4×6 softbox.   f/2.5 @ 1/20 sec. ISO 100

This one for fun.

In closing, I just want to say again that this was meant only to be a fun project.  Doing stuff like this keeps me going, and geeking out for weeks doing this was awesome.  We’re working on a fun film I think you’ll all enjoy, and will most definitely put this all into perspective.  Thanks again to all that participated in this!