Note, NOT a pack that you put 6 or 8 AA batteries in, but a genuine external battery like a Quantum or something. I saw that Godox packs are under $100 but I read some TERRIBLE things about them. There is one called the Bolt Cyclone that is fairly cheap too. The Quantum are expensive, and even some of those are getting bad reviews.

My New Year's Resolution is to use my flash more and more. I want to take photos like the one below. I shot this earlier today. Here's how I did it. Canon 5DMk3 & Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC @ 52mm with a CP filter mounted on a tripod. 2 sec shutter delay. I was camera left with a 580EXII Speedlite and a Cowboy receiver (trigger in the camera's hot shoe). I shot it at f/11, 1/50sec ISO 160. The flash's power I can't remember, but I think it was 1/1 or 1/2 power. This all worked great, but these are the kind of shots I want to do CONSISTENTLY and more easily. Also, the batteries on my 580 go QUICKLY.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to not-to-expensive gear I can purchase that will make this all much easier? I was thinking of PocketWizards, but these triggers seem to work alright for me so far (though shooting at like 1/500 sec would be quite nice...) I'd love a big softbox, but that's a lot to carry and setup and that will drastically reduce the light. *SIGH* I'm quite experienced with photography in general, but not so much flashes. Any suggestions??