Strobist kit 5

By its name, the idea of this blog is to explain how to light a scene when we remove the flash shoe of the camera. But sometimes it is desirable that the flash is – if not in the shoe – at least close to the camera. The use of arms to separate the flash of the camera to give some volume to photographed reason comes from afar, like the use of cables to separate further.

Strobonar  Futuramic Strobonar

But what should we do when we want the lighting to be very flat and direct, and we don’t have a ring flash? In these cases the idea is to get the flash as close as possible to the optical axis to minimize the projected shadow. Terry Richardson took many photographs at the beginning of his career with a small film camera Yashica T4 and he used it to photograph countless celebrities and models that he would position standing by a white wall. This camera has the built-in flash slightly away from the optical axis, but when shooting from a distance and the body of the model is perpendicular to the optical axis, the shadows effect on the wall is minimized.

Yashica-T4  Yashica T4

He eventually went on to shoot with a DSLR digital camera and there the problem arose. How to position the flash off the optical axis? Then, came the solution with the strip CB mini RC Custom Brackets!

Custom-Bracket--Mini-RC  Custom Brackets

Custom-Bracket--Mini-RC

As shown in the above image with this strip the flash torch stays very close to the lens and shadows are minimized.

Terry-Richardson-Fashion-Week-Berlin  Terry Richardson Fashion Week Berlin

The pictures Richardson took of Lady Gaga for the Supreme brand in 2010 are proof of this, as we see on the cover of the excellent French magazine Photo.

Photo-magazine-Lady-Gaga-Terry-Richardson-Supreme   Lady Gaga by Terry Richardson

Lady-Gaga-Terry-Richardson  Behind the scenes

Regarding those made for the famous Pirelli calendar 2010, these pictures reveal how this technique works outdoors. As can be seen, he set the exposure to the available light at the location while the front is filled up with the flash. This gives a great shine to the body of the model and eliminates shadows caused by sunlight.

Terry-Richardson-Pirelli  Pirelli calendar

There are other systems that allow speedlights to move from the hot shoe of the camera with great flexibility. One of these arms combined with a strip is the Manfrotto 233B which in this example is positioned to a shooting of macrophotography combining two Nikon R1 macro flashes with one of the standard SB series.

Manfrotto-233B  Manfrotto 233B

Also the option of the Olympus bracket FL BKM03 is very interesting, like the Ray Flash Rotator model.
Olympus-FL-BKMo3-bracket  Olympus FL BKM03

RayFlash-Rotator  Ray Flash Rotator

The option of Pro Media Gear with the Boomerang model is very robust. Boomerang de Pro Media Gear

Pro-Media-Gear-BB-Grip  Boomerang de Pro Media Gear

Finally it is worth highlighting the catalog from Really Right Stuff with a huge variety of photographic accessories including the WPF-QR strip bracket specially relevant for this post.

RRS-WPFQR-02  Really Right Stuff WPF-QR

This bracket keeps the speedlight aligned with the optical axis but with a noticeable parallax. I have used it, with a flash standing in front of a light box OctoDome mini Photoflex and has worked nice on a project I’m doing of circus portraits .

Octodome-mini Photoflex  WPF-QR with softbox Octodome mini

Octodome-mini-portrait

Strobist kit 5.pdf

Any partial or full reproduction is prohibited without the written consent of the author. All rights reserved. © Marcelo Isarrualde

Strobist kit 2

Off-camera flash

Strobist mode means, in most cases, that you remove the flash from the hot shoe of the camera. In English this is called “off-camera flash.” This allows us to place the light in the angle we find most convenient to model the appearance of a face or change a reflection when making a still life.

 Gemini Arm

In some situations we may want the flash to be positioned above the camera, but not in the hot shoe of the body of the camera.Then it is very useful to have what is called a Grip Head that allows you to put on, as an arm, any extension of the Manfrotto 1122, or arms such as Lastolite or Elinchrom.

Kupo Grip Head Kupo Grip Head

Manfrotto 1122 © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 1122

Avenger boom arm 001 © Marcelo Isarrualde Lastolite boom arm

The Manfrotto 1122 extension is very useful for situations where we need to extend the height range of our foot as  the Manfrotto 152 adapter can link it with rigidity.

Manfrotto 152 © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 152

Clamps and Clips

Sometimes it is not possible to place the foot of the flash where we want, or maybe we do not have another foot. A clamp as the Manfrotto 035 is perfect for catching from almost any place and through a pin-type Manfrotto 013 double-pass we can attach it to the universal umbrella head Manfrotto 026, or similar metal hinges.

Manfrotto 035 + 152 + 026 Manfrotto 035 + 013 + 026

Another very comfortable and versatile option is the magic arm with a Nano clamp.

Magic Arm with clamp © Marcelo Isarrualde   Magic Arm with Nano clamp

If the flash not is too heavy you can also use a Manfrotto clamp 175F or a similar one, that counts with a cold shoe for the flash to be placed directly on it.

Manfrotto 175F © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 175F

At times I have found myself in situations where I had to place a flash in the ceiling and there is no chance if it is a typical ceiling with gypsum modules. In these cases the ceiling clamps such as those that manufacture Arri or Kupo are great!

Kupo KD302012 Master © Marcelo Isarrualde Kupo KD302012 Master

If the flash is not very heavy you can place it in a suction clamp like Manfrotto 241 and place it on to glass or any nonporous surface.

Manfrotto 241 © Marcelo Isarrualde Manfrotto 241

Finally, if we have the invaluable help of an assistant, we can work with much more comfortable using an arm of the boom type from Elinchrom or improvise a more economical one using a bar that you can extend, like those used by painters, along with Kacey adapter.

Elinchrom Boom arm © Marcelo Isarrualde Elinchrom boom armKacey adapter © Marcelo Isarrualde Kacey adapter

Strobist kit 2.pdf

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It is forbidden the use partial or global of this website unless authors written permission.

Strobist Kit 1

The most important thing to have in mind when using Strobist should be the portability and the weight of this equipment in relation to the use and and the ability to move a studio equipment of flashes to a location. Another important aspect is that the technique used with Strobist is simple but effective.

Strobist

The portable electronics flashes are most suitable for this practice and there is a large variety of brands and benefits. The ideal is if they have plenty of power so they can to deal effectively with outdoors situations where there might be a lack of light, where it may be required that the ratio is 0 EV or sometimes + 1EV. In my case, I always use M (manual) and never TTL (thru the lens) and can there for acquire models that only work with manual, such as the flashes Yongnuo 560 of Chinese origin, which works very well.

Rechargeable batteries are essential to this practice and the best ones are the nickel-hydride metal batteries (Ni-MH). I use those of 2700 mAh and they work very well and they recharge within a reasonable  time. Obviously you will need chargers for these batteries and there are a large variety of models, with space for 4 or 8 batteries and with various charging times.

Strobist  My DIY Battery and PB820

The alternative to the rechargeable battery is to have batteries at one’s disposal. This way you can make more shots and maintain the recycle time for the flash. There are several models among which the batteries PB820 from Godox work very well. There is also the possible to make them oneself. I did two that work well, in addition to the two PB820 that I bought a while ago. I use the home made batteries with the Metz 32CT3 flashes and the ones from Godox with the  Yongnuo 560, the Canon 580EXII and Canon 430EX .

Strobist  Westcott umbrella

The alternative to the harsh light of direct flash can be an umbrella. By bounce the flash light into the umbrella or pass the light through a translucent umbrella you will increase the illuminated surface and hence  the light will be more diffuse and enveloping. The umbrella is fast and easy to carry in relation to other diffusion accessories such as the light boxes. The are many different brands and prices for the umbrellas. The bigger the umbrella is, the smoother the light will get.

Strobist  Manfrotto 026 + Hot Shoe Kaiser

You will need a ball head for the umbrella, for example the Manfrotto 026, and a foot with a synchronization cable PC, like the Kaiser 1301. Without any doubt I recommend a metal ball head and not one of plastic. That is why I think the Manfrotto ball head is the best option, although there are other manufacturers of metal bearings of this type.

Strobist  Kupo stands

The foot of the tripod is the thing that gives support to the set and should be very stable, especially when working outdoors where there may be windy. Although a model like the Manfrotto 001B is lightweight and convenient to carry, I prefer a more robust model, like the Bowens BW6610 or similar ones. Folded  it measures 86 cm and can reach a height of 3 meters. To give more stability to the set I always carry a couple of camping showers of 15 liters with me. Filled with water they allow me to replace the not so practical sandbags, perfect when you want to work with light equipment and laptops. Of course there must be a tap near the set!

Strobist

It is necessary to synchronize the flash with the camera. The cheapest alternative is to have a sync cable that unifies the flash shoe to PC connector of the camera. You can also use optical cells  like the Wein – which is perhaps the best on the market – if you shoot with one flash from the camera and synchronize the other flash units. You can also use infrared emitters and receivers, these options are good if you only work indoors.

Strobist Wein cells   Wein optical cells

But if you want to work outdoors in broad daylight you will need to have radio emitters and receivers. There is many types and prices, the high range coming from PocketWizard whose scope is unique and the reliability very high, just like the price.

Strobist PocketWizard

Finally, the great utility of having a set of color temperature correction gelatins like the CTO and CTB type should be highlighted, plus some  gels with color effect like the ones from Rosco, Gam or Lee.

Strobist Rosco gels

Up to here the basics, but there are many more accessories to complete a good Strobist kit. I will keep on explaining them.

Kit Strobist 1.pdf

All rights reserved. © Isarrualde Photography
It is forbidden the use partial or global of this website unless authors written permission.