Just curious about opinions on portable lighting systems. Do you all use portable studio strobes with bigger batteries, or flashguns on stands? Do you use CLS? TTL? Manual? Radio Slaves? If so what brand? I've done plenty of shoots out in the woods with families and models alike, and I tend to like my flashguns on gorilla pods attached to the boardwalk rails, or to a tree branch to avoid lugging around big ole' light stands. But I also am not terribly fond of all the AA's I have to haul around in my backpack... Just curious what system you all use.
D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
I think you can do a lot of stuff already with those tiny strobes, studio-style lighting is just more comfy to handle once it's set up. The only problem is to get it there, as it weighs quite a lot and takes up a lot of space.
To be honest I think part of (and I say: part of!) the reason why people haul around heavy equipment is also an ego thing. With a little fiddling, you can do quite many things with the small flashgun units.
I personally have never used TTL when I used them off-camera, I couldn't imagine doing that, but that's just because I'm used to manual adjustment from the studio strobes and I'm not really familiar with all the TTL features and possiblities and too lazy to dig into it.
Aside from space restrictions, there are some situations which make me prefer speedlights. One is when I need to freeze fast motion while outdoors (lots of ambient light). Another is when I'm working alone and I know I'll need to move around a lot. I usually still bring light stands and maybe sand bags.
Except for event-type photography, I almost always shoot manual flash with radio triggers (PocketWizard). For event, I'll use a speedlight on TTL when there isn't enough available light.