June 5, 2014

update: new gear for flash photography workshop

The material covered, and the gear used in the on-location flash photography workshops, are constantly being fine-tuned and adapted with each workshop. With the first workshops (around 2006) centered around bounce flash photography. Over time the workshops expanded from that fairly simple premise, into what is a more comprehensive on-location lighting course.

The past two years there has been a surge in the various brands and types of flash. For example, Canon used to be just the 580 speedlights and wireless system. There’s now the 600EX speedlights with built-in radio transmitters as well. Phottix and Yongnou have become strong contenders in the field of flash photography with their speedlights and wireless systems.

When the workshops were presented across the country and in New York, there was a restriction – I had to travel light, and had to pare down on the gear I could bring. This meant that for the off-camera flash portion of the workshop, I could most easily help the Nikon and Canon shooters, and use their respective wireless control via RadioPoppers.

Now that the workshops are presented at my studio in New Jersey, and with a smaller class, I could make the big step and see if I could accommodate everyone at every workshop, regardless of system. With two models, it does mean doubling up on speedlights and systems. So I had a look around for soft boxes that would allow two speedlights … and still allow access to the speedlight controls from outside.

The Profoto RFi Speedlight Speedring – for 2 Speedlights (Amazon), looked like the best candidate – rugged (which means it is heavy), and it easily allows two speedlights. The two speedlights could be of different size and use different radio systems. I purchased two of theseProfoto RFi Speedlight Speedring – for 2 Speedlights (Amazon), and two of these medium-sized Profoto 1.3 x 2′ softbox (Amazon). This means that with the flash photography workshops, we can accommodate up to 4 different flash systems simultaneously!

We can now more easily help photographers who prefer hardcore strobist manual-only flash, or Phottix or Yongnuo, or either of the two Canon options or Nikon, or Sony, or Pentax. Alternately, we can double up, or have a Nikon and Canon speedlight in each of the two soft boxes. More flexibility.

So if you’ve been considering attending a workshop, but don’t use Nikon or Canon speedlights, we can now easily help you with whatever challenges you have with off-camera flash photography.

There will be three more workshops for the rest of 2014, which will take place on:

  • July 20, 2014  (Sunday)
  • Sept 21, 2014  (Sunday)
  • Oct 26, 2014  (Sunday)

 

{ 4 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Chris June 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

Neil, how do you fire the second speedlight in this picture? Just set it to optical slave? Thanks!

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2 Neil vN June 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

The two speed lights can be entirely different systems, for example, the one can be a Canon 600EX and the other a manual flash fired with a PocketWizard. Or it can be a Sony flash. Or Nikon, fired with some wireless trigger.

Alternately, the two flashes can be the same and can thereby double up on your power.

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3 Eric Skagen June 8, 2014 at 12:58 am

I’ve been looking for a smallish easily transportable soft box like this that I can put two SB910′s in for faster recycle times and/or a bit more zip. Thanks for the post!

Eric

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4 Neil vN June 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Make sure that you try-before-buy.
This Profoto speeding is sturdy and well made. But sturdy = heavy.

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