Nope, not gun stuff, photo stuff.
I’m looking at doing some more photo work for money (the best kind of photo work there is) in the near future, and I wanted to upgrade my lighting a bit.
I’ve been using light-painting quite a lot for my product photography work (with some pretty good results), but light-painting doesn’t work too well when you want to freeze a moving subject, so strobe power is what I needed.
I learned strobes by playing around with Vivitar 285s and sync cords, so the relatively cheap, powerful strobes and radio slaves of today just blow me away. Even the cheap stuff is really, really good and easily available.
From left to right:
Neewer TT260 Strobe: This is not a whiz-bang TTL strobe with all the bells and whistles, but what it does, it does well. With a Guide Number of 180, it’s got a good amount of throw for a shoe-mounted flash (the 283s I learned on had a Guide Number of 120 at best), and for $40, I can use it and abuse it and not break the bank.
Neewer Radio Slaves: When I was shooting (snapsnap) for living, radio slaves cost a LOT of money, and some still do. These give me all the functionality of the radio slaves of the past at a fraction of the cost.
I love living in the future.
Neewer Remote Trigger: A wireless remote trigger for just over $5? Yes, please!
All this stuff (plus a light stand and a hot shoe stand adapter) will get your light off the top of the camera and out in the wild where it can do some really, really cool things, For example, here’s a shot I did for a former employer.
That photo was taken with my ancient Nikon D70, and white/gold reflector and this photo setup, but just about any off-camera flash and a few light modifiers would get similar results. This was far from the most sophisticated lighting equipment and setup I’ve ever worked on, but it worked. Here’s the lighting setup:
I positioned the main light to her left because I knew she’d be standing with her right shoulder forward and I wanted the light to wrap around her face. Also, a light from that direction would minimize the reflections on her glasses (Angle of Incidence = Angle of Reflection: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!). The hair light to the left and behind was to pop her out from the dark background, and the gold reflector was for warmth and also help separate her out from the background. I wasn’t too concerned about defining the shape of her head any more than that because a) there was shiny, shiny glass behind her that would reflect any light to her right and b) the light on the subjects int the would help separate her out. The light on the guys in back was dead-simple but I have to goose it up a bit because the light was further away from them than the main subject and it had to travel through glass. I had a small (2’x2′) soft box on the closer lights for a smoother, more controllable light and the back light had barn doors because I had to cover a lot of ground with it.
All this was setup and shot in under an hour and it went fast because I saw the shot I wanted in my mind first and I had enough practice at this sort of thing to make it happen.
There’s about 52 different ways what I just said could be applied to self-defense and shooting (bangbang), but I will leave that to all you to work out.