Hey folks,

I'm starting to venture into the whole portrait side of photography. Before, with digital and smaller formats, I simply took candid portraits or snap shots of friends and family and focused most of my photos towards landscapes. Now that I'm shooting with a 4x5 camera, I have this sudden urge to take portraits!

Currently, I've been using window lighting in my hallway. While the light coming through is actually very good, I'm just not getting enough light. My last photos were taken at 1/30th, f5.6 (shallow DOF!) with ISO 100 film.

I am looking at a powerful, but affordable strobe with a modifier (mostly likely an octabox). For the time being, I am only planning on using a single strobe with modifier and perhaps a large sheet of white foam board as a reflector. Cost is key, but I have around $500 to spend. I understand SOME of the limitations with using a single strobe, but I really feel like I can make do with what I have. Once I master a single strobe, I plan on adding another, but this won't be for a while.

So with that said, I am looking at an Alien Bee 1600 with their large 47" octabox. Whiel I'm planning on only shooting 1 to 2 people at a time, I am hoping that I will be able to shoot at least 4 with a single light as well.

Other than the strobe and modifier itself, what are some other things I will be needing to get started? I believe my Copal 0 shutter (150mm Sironar-S lens) has a flash sync port (is that what you call it?). Will the Alien Bee strobe be able to connect directly to the shutter? Or will I need some kind of remote trigger such as a Pocket Wizard?

Sorry for being so wordy, but I would appreciate all the help that I can get! Thanks!