Strobist Tag

We go Luigi Savadamoney one better. We got the fancy as well as the cheap - and in the case of the Phottix Varos PRO BG bracket we are approaching the sort of thing that you see on building sites to hold up concrete panels. As you'll no doubt recognise, it's a bracket/adapter that goes onto studio light stands to allow them to hold an umbrella and a speedlight flash. This, in many cases, will give you a surprisingly soft and workable portrait or illustration light. The fact that you can set up, shoot, then pack up and scoot off without having to have been concerned with finding mains AC power is a real boon for some. Leave aside the need for good batteries in your speed lights - some modern lights have lithium ion ones that are as good as the mains. What you need for the classic brolly flash rig is a good stand - and here we cannot say fairer than Manfrotto at any stage of the game - and a good coupling. There's been quite a spate of...

Finally, someone has done it. The MagMod people have released the solution for portrait shooters in the wild. They have given us a softbox that makes sense. Strobists and event shooters have been getting presents in their professional stockings for years - flashes that operate wirelessly, light stands that really are light, softbox light modifiers that can be assembled in less than a day by a crew of RAAF airframe riggers...

The term " Strobist " was all the rage a few years back - it was applied to people who use small electronic flash units to light their field work. It started out small, then got quite complex as different manufacturers came out with systems of accessories designed to aid it. Frankly, it did the normal thing in photography - like Topsy, it just growed. From a simple website and idea, it got bigger with workshops, seminars, experts, accessories, contests, etc. The amount of gear that you were encouraged to take to cut down on the amount of gear you take with you became enormous. I bought into a system that now sits and sets. And then I just went back to a good old electronic flash unit made by the manufacturer of the camera I use. If you're able to afford the more expensive small systems you may still be on a climb - the newest portable strobes are far and away better than trying to do anything with tiny flash units. You'll be able to make complex lighting setups as...

I am a fan of the softboxes that I own, but I only own two - and they are strip lights with grids. They do rim lighting a treat but I do not ask more of them. I've owned other softboxes before - a big octagon and an absolutely enormous rectangular one. They functioned well, but ultimately were supplanted for my studio purposes by umbrellas and beauty dishes. Personal preference and prejudice, if you will. The use of a softbox with a portable flash is a little more unusual - people who opt for this have a need to take the soft lighting out into the field. They'll have to deal with how to fire the flash and how to support the rig, but these are simple basics - a folding stand and a radio trigger. The benefit will be a far softer and more workable light than available with a bare speedlight. Worth having for portraiture and fashion shooting - nearly essential for wedding work. Is it going to make a difference whether you get a 40 cm or a 50 cm...

Not the nanny state - that's a different ketle of fish. We're talking about minor equipmant and accessories that we can use for major photography.Light stands, like porridge,  come in three sizes; too big, too small, and Goldilocks. Errr...

Dang. Someone invented the better lighting mousetrap - and now presumably are having to resurface the pathway up to their door in anticipation of increased traffic.Mag Mod have finally made a set of speed light modifiers that are worth using. The secret of their appeal is no secret - they have unique shapes and they attach to the speed light flash guns easily.Note: easily. Also firmly. Firmly, as in use them in the rough and tumble of professional shooting and not have them fall off. And no more velcro bands or sticky tape panels.The basic unit is a rubber adapter housing that stretches over the head of your speedlight. I used a Fujifilm EF-42 but I daresay the ban would go on any Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Olympus, Leica, or Nissan flashes just as easily. It's a darned sight tighter than any velcro band ever was.On the outer edges of this band are imbedded small but powerful magnets. All the accessories that stick to the front of the adapter do so by means of their own magnets - so the things...

We have been privileged to get the use of the Little Theatre stage while the company is resting - production of their next drama will be commencing in October. Their stage is being used for prop storage and construction at present so we could borrow it to illustrate the Mag Mod range of light shapers. Here are the ones we spoke about earlier in our weblog column:a. The basic magnetic attachment strap - fitted here to a Fujifilm EF-42 flash. Keen spotters will see the folding stand under the flash - a promotional item from a firm that used to make photographic equipment...

Sounds like a takeoff on an Alexander Korda pre-war movie, doesn't it? And if you've no idea what I am talking about you can google Things To Come. It is worth watching on Netflix.This weblog column is brought to you by the second button from he left on the are Nikon SB5000 - abutton I never saw before on a Nikon speed light. It's the one that looks like a a little human figure with a shadow tapering off behind it. It's one of the final reasons to use this speed light in place of a studio strobe light.Don't get me wrong - a studio strobe light is a wonderful thing. I know, I own five of them and they mostly do what I mostly want most of the time. They have the distinct advantage of taking big light modifiers and pumping out lots of light. Speed lights, on the other hand, largely don't, and have the further disadvantage in not letting us see what they are going to do before they do it. Studio strobes all have modelling lamps...