If you've got an extra hour-and-a-quarter, and you want to make the move to off-camera flash, I'd suggest that watching this video by Bob Harrington will be time well spent. Bob covers 16 "looks" using one speedlight and a minimum of extra gear.
It's official! Fujifilm are set to release two lenses in 2015 that will allow me to build what was once my "perfect three-lens kit" -- the one I wrote about back in January. Once released, Fuji will have primes approximating a fast 50mm (the 35mm f/1.4), a 135mm f/2.8 (the 90mm f/2.0) and a 24mm f/2.8 (the 16mm f/1.4). Unfortunately, the triad will cost a fair chunk more than what I spent back in the late '70s, by about a factor of 10, but they'll be spectacular lenses, I'm sure!
There are some other interesting lenses in the line-up, but I'm quite sure that I'd never buy them. For instance, I loved my 120-400mm on the Canon 40D, but I really can't see hanging one off an X-E1 or an X Pro. I think it would probably even be pretty un-balanced on the diminutive X-T1. And besides, I just really don't do that kind of photography any more, nor do I plan to.
Covering the range from 16mm to 90mm, however, fits right in with my direction -- landscape/travel and environmental/specialized portraiture/figure photography.
Part of me wants Fuji to step up to the plate on speedlights soon. The little EF-20 that I have is great for a quickie on-camera unit in tight spaces, but their more advanced units are expensive and lacking in power and features. But another part of me just wants to grab a few of the Cactus V6 triggers and a couple more used Nikon SB800 units (I already have one that I got back when we shot Nikons, and it's a pretty near perfect flash). The concept of a complete, basic system in one lightweight bag, with a second, also-lightweight bag for the rest of the lighting gear is very exciting!
It's been a long time in coming, but it's so nice being truly comfortable with my photo gear again, and the future looks brighter and brighter every day.
A few days ago, I posted Gary Fong's video on how to warm up the background while having your subject look natural. I added a comment that by using the an amber gel, you should be able to go the other way, too. Sure enough, Gary's got a video for that, and here it is: [embedplusvideo height="580" width="580" editlink="http://bit.ly/1aEqVcW" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/q44QIBTK3Ag?fs=1" vars="ytid=q44QIBTK3Ag&width=580&height=580&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=" id="ep2598" /]
This is an actual shoot at a wedding using only one speedlight on a stand. This shows the spectacular result you can get with a very simple lighting setup. For product information, please see http://www.garyfongestore.com
My only problem with this trick is that not just the sky goes blue. Notice that the white fence in the background also takes on a blue cast. While most people won't notice, a few will probably think subconsciously that something's just not right. Of course, with careful choice of background, this technique could be very useful.
In this video on flash photography, Gary Fong shows how to quickly and easily "fool" the custom white balance of your camera so that it "colors the world" in the opposite color. Then, by using a Gary Fong color gel tab (or color dome) on a Lightsphere, the color on the subject is corrected out to a neutral tone! This enables you to create spectacular effects not possible through Photoshop or other post production software. For product information: http://www.garyfongestore.com [embedplusvideo height="580" width="580" editlink="http://bit.ly/18RFPWa" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRReapIm1Zg?fs=1" vars="ytid=mRReapIm1Zg&width=580&height=580&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=" id="ep8759" /]
Gary is using a Canon Digital Rebel (not sure the exact model) for this demo, but the technique would work for any camera that allows custom white balance settings. To make the background very cold substitute an amber-colored insert or dome in place of the blue one that Gary used.