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As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Black Foamy Thing

After watching the B&H presentation "Direction of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography" I ran out to my local art supply shop and bought a sheet of black foam and made my own Black Foamy Thing. The best investment in lighting I've ever made. Using it during my last two photo sessions, the results were amazing. :)

I'm strictly an amateur and only make pictures for fun. I've generally avoided portraiture, sticking to landscapes, still-life and other non-people pictures. But these last two sessions included plenty of people and they don't have that deer-in-the-headlight, washed-out-look that was my normal in the past.

The flash was set to TTL but I cheat and still use Program mode on my Canon 80D. The results are almost all good and only a few need a bit of adjusting in DxO for minor corrections.

I also like how flagging the flash with the BFT to take close ups results in a nice skimming light to bring out the small details. B) 

Granted the BFT is pretty indestructible and cheap, you also mentioned a Spin Light. Not being a pro, would it be a worthwhile step up or not?

Thanks for the inspiration.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    The biggest negative for me about the Spilight, is the weight. The moment you tilt your flash-head, it tends to flop down.  The BFT is light enough that it doesn't do this.
  • I went ahead and got the basic Spin Light kit, just the main ring, small 4" flag card and a dome.  While the BFT is light and just about indestructible, not to mention easy to carry, at a recent party having to constantly adjust it to flag the appropriate direction was fast becoming more than a small chore. During first tests, the Spin Light didn't appear too heavy and didn't seem to cause the flash head to flop down. Perhaps a longer card might introduce a greater amount of torque plus your flash head ratchet mechanism might be worn a bit more than mine.

    So far, having learned about flagging the flash from you, my flashed images have improved tremendously. Wish I had heard about this a long time ago.
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    edited January 2019
    It's really pretty good, isn't it - meaning the BFT?

    Speaking of adjusting the Spin Light, I have, after many failed attempts, gotten just the right material (for me) to make the band that holds the BFT to the flash. I adjust it a lot, depending on the event, and this was a really important thing for me.

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