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Monday, 8 September 2008

First off camera experiments

After sucessfully bodging together a couple of Strobist inspired flash modifiers, and having now found my off camera cord, I thought I'd make a couple of test shots to see the effect on a real world glamour model in exotic surroundings.

Or, more realistically, a picture of one of my daughters toys on my coffee table. Glamour models and exotic locations to follow when Camelot call with my winning numbers.

First shot, the 'model' with bare, off camera light (Click thru for a larger version of each pic).

Puppy - bare flash

Puppy is nicely exposed, but there is a lot of uncontrolled spill on the background.

So next, with my Pringles snoot:

Puppy - pringles

Much tighter, but still a little spill. This is probably useful for many shots where I need to focus on a subject without completely excluding all background, but I was hoping for a tighter, more controlled light... enter the Grid:

Puppy - gridded pringles

This is much better - light where I wanted it, but not where I didn't.

And just for balance, here's a shot that's not gridded - this one's taken with a diy 'beauty dish'. It's dark - very dark, as the dish eats flash power, but I kept exposure constant throughout as I wanted to see how the light was changed. Ignoring the poor exposure, the actual light is pretty good - even and softer than the bare flash:

Puppy - beauty dish

I think we need a little more work on this one, but it's showing potential. More to follow when I have some spare time to fiddle... which hopefully will be soon, when my Wireless triggers, umbrellas and stands arrive....

Strobist Gear

After reading (a fantastic source of info/inspiration for all things to do with off-camera flash), I was inspired to create some light modifiers.

The easiest to create are snoots/grids, so that's what I did. By a lucky coincidence, the easiest framework in which to create these bits of kit happen to be empty pringles tubes, so for the sake of research, I found myself having to consume two tubes. :-)

A full size tube was used as a Snoot, and a small tube, with the addition of some black drinking straws, for a Grid.

So, first have a look at a reference image (i.e. a pic of my wall) with the bare flash, with apologies for commiting the sin of using the flash on the hotshoe...

Wall - plain flash

Nothing very interesting about it, but it shows the wide coverage of the flash without modifiers.

Next, the same shot, but with the Snoot added:

Wall - pringles

Notice the much tighter light pattern - the exposure of the candle is unchanged (and thankfully, has picked up no colour cast, as far as I can see). This is all about controlling spill onto the background.

Finally - with the Grid:

Wall - gridded pringles

This is a FAR tighter beam, with far more defined edges and no spill. This was shot from about 6 feet from the wall (the candle stick is about 12" from top to bottom, so the beam is pretty much 1 foot @ 6 feet distance).

Great stuff - now if I could only find the off camera cord, I could try this without the horrid shadows....