A student just asked me:
When you were at the London Camera Club, you had your usual stand/flash holder/umbrella combo on display. Unfortunately, time didn’t permit me to ask about it. Would you mind mentioning what brands the components are – I would like to have a similar set up for my Speedlight.
I use the following setup:
So that is:
- A Light stand. Any brand is OK if it is sturdy enough.
- A mount that sits on top of the light stand and swivels. The flash sits on top of this mount. My mount is a Manfrotto,
- A pocketwizard receiver. I use the simple Pocketwizard PlusX: $180 for two of them.
- A cable between the Pocketwizard and the flash hotshoe. This cable sits on top of the mount, and the flash on top of it.
- An umbrella that goes through the mount (you can see the hole in the photo). This should be an umbrella with a removable cover, so you can shoot into the umbrella as well as through the umbrella.
Because this is non-TTL, the flash can be any flash. Any make, and type, as long as it has a manual power level setting and you can disable any timeouts (otherwise it turns off every minute or two).
To a large extent, these are commodity items. There are many brands. Nikon has a kit of mount plus stand plus umbrella for just over $100, for instance, but anything that looks sturdy enough will do fine.
As for radio triggers, I use Pocketwizards because they are the industry standard and rugged, and they use AA batteries; but any other non-TTL trigger will work just as well.
The setup above serves me well: it is what I use for up to 90% of my outside pictures.
Like this scene, the way it looks to my eyes:
And here comes rescue, a.k.a. me and my umbrella:
…which results in:
And the lovely Vanessa from Timmins has a sense of humour:
The good news: this type of dramatic lighting is simple, once you know how!
Want to learn how to do this? I have a couple of spots open on my “Mastering Flash” workshop in Oakville this Sat 23 May, 1pm—4:30pm. This is a very small workshop: 3-6 people maximum. If you are interested, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can book on http://learning.photography.