Family Fun Photos

The San Antonio Botanical Garden was very busy with all the Fiesta activities scheduled for the day. Crowds of people gathered inside and out to see King Antonio and watch the small parade through the gardens. Fortunately the garden has 44 acres to explore and plenty of options for photos.

We found several locations to use and I also brought along some bubbles for the little ones – always a hit. These days I seldom shoot without bringing along an iPad and a shade for reviewing the shots as they happen. It is also a good tool to inspire the little ones for  smidgen more cooperation as they can see how they are in the photo.

Another fun bonus for the session are “souvenir” print samples from the collection. I sometimes use a Paul Buff lithium power supply providing AC power to run a Canon CP900 Selphy printer to produce 4×6 prints wirelessly from the images transferred from the iPad.  If I don’t bother with the power pack I can use my TrippLite DC converted from one of the power access points in the van.

The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium overview (from Paul Buff web site):
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is a third generation controlled-current pure sine wave power source for operating AC powered studio flash units in the field from its built-in battery. Both small and lightweight (weighing just 3.5 pounds, including quick-change high capacity lithium battery), the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is designed to operate from one to four Paul C. Buff™ self-contained flash units.

The system includes an internal lithium battery that arrives connected to the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium inverter. This inverter takes the power from the internal battery and converts it into a usable, 120VAC true sine wave power source. Your flash units are connected to the inverter, plugging into the two standard, 3-prong power outlets (for more than two units, a power strip may be used). The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium inverter includes a multi-level, accurate battery charge indicator and a convenient front panel battery charging connection for the supplied 3-hour universal rapid charger (95VAC to 250VAC charger input). For heavy use, spare batteries can be charged externally so that they are ready to instantly plug in.

The inverter and battery components are completely enclosed within a strong, high-impact, flame retardant ABS housing. The fully encased battery can be instantly replaced with the slide-in latching mechanism; there are no wires or user connections other than the AC outlets and charger inlet. The unit additionally includes a light stand mounting mechanism and a convenient carrying strap.

The product utilizes the very latest LiCoxNiyMnzO2 lithium battery chemistry to provide extremely high power density and elimination of battery sulfating and poor efficacy that plagued previous battery-operated systems using heavy and inefficient sealed lead acid batteries.

The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium offers fast recycle times, providing 200 to 250 full power flashes per battery charge with 1280 total Ws (two Einstein™ units, for example) connected and 400 to 500 full power flashes per change with 640 total Ws (one Einstein™ unit or two AlienBees™ B800 units, for example) connected.

Like essentially all battery/inverter type supplies, modeling lamps are not generally used because their power draw would quickly deplete the battery and slow recycle times dramatically. The modeling lamps should only be used for brief previews to maximize battery life.

Note: The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is offered in both 120VAC and 230VAC models. The 120VAC model is designed for use with all standard Paul C. Buff™ flash units (AlienBees™, White Lightning™, Einstein™, and retired Zeus™ units). The 230VAC model is designed for use with Einstein™ E640 units operating at 220 Volts / 230 Volts and for 220 Volt versions of our AlienBees™ flash units. The 230VAC model has two 230V Type I sockets and MAY NOT be used with standard 120VAC Paul C. Buff™ flash units. The outlets are not compatible and plugging a 120VAC unit into a 230V Vagabond Mini™ Lithium can cause damage to both units.

Canon CP900:
Overview(from Canon web site)
The SELPHY CP900 Wireless3 Compact Photo Printer brings photo lab quality to your memories as built-in Wi-Fi® opens up all kinds of wireless printing possibilities from almost anywhere in your house, and even beyond.

The CameraWindow app lets you transfer pictures taken with your PowerShot ELPH 320 HS or ELPH 530 HS to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. And with the free Easy Photo Print app, you can wirelessly print JPEGs from your iOS or Android devices directly to the SELPHY CP900.4 Print beautiful, borderless photos in vibrant color or Black and White in Postcard or Card size. These prints will be water-resistant and can last up to 100 years!2 You’ll enjoy water resistant photo lab quality prints and have fun all at the same time. Preview your images on the 2.7″ Tilt-up LCD and easily turn your favorite pictures into an art-inspired collage with the image Shuffle feature.

Portrait Image Optimize automatically delivers face detection, backlight correction and noise reduction to your images while Red-eye Correction automatically reduces red-eye in flash photos for superb prints. Another great feature of the SELPHY CP900 Compact Photo Printer is that you don’t need a computer to have fun – just print directly from compatible memory cards5, phones, tablets and cameras. And print just about anywhere and anytime with its NB-CP2L optional battery.

Tripp-Lite PowerVerter(from web site):

Key Features

  • Allows users to run AC devices from any 12V cigarette lighter socket
  • Converts 12V DC battery power to 120V AC power
  • 375 watts continuous output power; 600 watts peak output power (instantaneous)
  • 2 outlets
  • 3-ft. cord with cigarette lighter plug
  • Ultra compact, lightweight design with all-metal housing
  • Low battery alarm with auto-shutoff preserves vehicle battery
  • Overload alarm with auto-shutoff prevents wattage overload
  • Replaceable 40amp fuse protects inverter from overload
  • Lighted power switch

Typical Applications

  • Ideal for laptop computers, portable electronics, battery chargers for cell phones, notepads, game systems, personal printers and battery rechargers for small battery-operated power tools, portable TV-VCR-stereo systems, camcorders, lighting and other low-power applications under 375 watts.

Photos by Joel Spring /



Canon 1Dx
Canon WFT-E6a wireless transmitter
Canon 600EX-RT
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II
Canon Selphy CP900
Tripplite DC converter
Apple iPad 3
Paul Buff Vagabond mini Lithium power supply
Think Tank Pixel Shade II
ShutterSnitch App



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