Flashes: August 2008 Archives
A snoot is a tube in front of your flash, which keeps its beam of light tight and concentrated, while a grid has lots of smaller, parallel tubes that do essentially the same thing.
Snoots and grids have a lot in common and the line between them is thin, but I usually refer to snoots as longer tubes, often made of a softer material like foam or fabric, while grids are usually shorter and place a tubular grid or honeycomb in front of the light.
You can use snoots and grids in two ways: to make concentrated spots of light and to keep light from falling where you don't want it... by keeping it as a concentrated spot.Continue reading Flash snoots and grids.
Photographer Zack Arias has had a blog centering on one flash shooting for a while, and I have followed him almost since the beginning. Zack is based in Atlanta, and has a thriving business as a music and promotion photographer.
One of his hallmarks is using one flash off camera - and that's one flash only. Following his blog has taught me that Zack is not only knowledgeable on flash photography (and photography as a whole), but also able to convey that knowledge in an easily understandable and entertaining way.
He has made a number of posts and online videos with instructions on different ways of shooting with one flash, and he has also conducted a number of one light workshops all over the continent of North America.
Zack has now compiled a lot of that knowledge and the experience from the workshops and his assignments into a set of DVD's on flash shooting.Continue reading One Light DVD's.
I recently mentioned Chase Jarvis in my post about the low value of images and what you can do about it (Why your images are worthless). His name popped up in connection with my advice about making a difference and adding value to your brand as a photographer. Here is an excellent example of what Jarvis is doing.
Join a gathering of photographers, provide space, gear and experience and have everybody fire left and right. Learn, teach, share and have what seems to be a *beep* good time. This is the Seattle Flickr Roundup - a gathering of photographers, models and gear.
By helping out at such venues Jarvis again emphasizes his name as a professional photographer making a difference. He underscores his willingness to share, boosts his popularity and certainly increases his value in the market for what he really does: selling pictures for money. See images from the shoots here and here.
This is probably the most often used flash modifier apart from the diffuser - if not, perhaps it ought to be.
Filters are cheap and easy to find, fairly easy to use and can give some great effects as well as downright save pictures by adjusting your flashes to match different artificial light sources.
The most common way to use gels is to get the light from your flashes to match the surrounding light, which is particularly interesting when shooting indoors in incandescent or fluorescent light.
Continue reading Flash filters or gels.
This entry on diffusers is the first "real" entry in the series on flash modifiers I introduced in this overview article. Diffusers are definitely the most common light modifiers.
By diffusing or spreading the light, you get a softer look to your pictures and not least: soft shadows. The hard and harsh shadows of a direct flash is a definite no-no unless you aim for exactly that: unforgivingly hard and bright light and black shadows with sharp edges. In most other cases you want to completely loose or at least soften the shadows and you want a light that treats your subject nicely rather than reveal all its flaws.
A rule of thumb is: the larger the diffuser, the softer the light. Softboxes and umbrellas are the ultimate diffusers, but we will concentrate on the smaller types here.