Sunday, July 3, 2011

Remote flash control via reflector

Today I was trying to make some portraits for use in announcement of a slide show I will present in the fall. I was playing around with the Nikon SB-900 flash, trying to emulate some nice low sun light. The flash was zoomed to 200mm and placed about 6m from me (the further away the more it resembles sunlight). I got this idea from the splendid book Hot Shoe Diaries by likewise splendid Joe McNally. As I do not own a Nikon SU-800 flash controller, I had to make do with controlling the remote flash from the on-board flash of my Nikon D300. I faced one problem: The remote flash was quite far from the built-in flash and much off axis from its beam. Indoors this would probably not have been a problem at all as the controlling light pulses would have bounced off of walls and ceilings. Outdoors there was not much to bounce off of. I could off course have used my PocketWizard Plus IIs but this model is not i-TTL capable so I would have had to use another flash mode. Besides, I was actually using these radio controllers to release the camera (not really necessary at that short distance, if I had not forgotten a remote cable). Instead I thought about diverting the control pulses by reflecting them on the inside of my wonderfull little Lastolite EzyBox Speedlite. It actually worked fine but the box had to be held in position. Not easy so I abandoned this and found a little piece of alu-foil in the kitchen and a piece of steel wire in the tool shed. A little controlling flash reflector was now created by wrapping the alu-foil around a loop of the wire. The other end of the wire was easily wrapped around two of the tripod legs and the wire was stiff enough to hold itself and the reflector in position.

Here is a shot using the LensBaby Composer Pro