Flagging your back-lighting flash with the black foamie thing
My favorite on-camera light modifier, the black foamie thing, is of course, nothing more than a very affordable (and flexible) way to flag your flash. This helps control how the light from your on-camera flash spills. (It’s not a flash diffuser!) I also keep one on hand when I use off-camera flash, to flag any direct flash – whether to control it from flaring the lens, or from spilling onto my subject.
When I did the photo session for the review of the Canon 600EX-RT, I had to flag the one speedlight so it didn’t spill on our model. So it has other handy uses other than just for on-camera bounce flash.
During a recent personal photography workshop at my studio, we photographed Aleona in a freight elevator for that gritty urban look. We added a speedlight behind her to have the rim-light create some separation between her black outfit and the dark silver wall in the back. However, it spilled to the sides, and we had to control the light better …
The first image of the two here, shows how the back-light spilled on the walls of the elevator. But adding the black foamie thing as a half snoot, the light was contained and didn’t hit the sides.
The pull-back shot to show the placement of the main light:
a speedlight in a Westcott Rapidbox – 26″ Octa Softbox (affiliate).
And the detail of the flash in the back, showing how it was flagged.
A simple solution, but it helped control the light.
If you want something that is less home-made than the BFT, and looks more slick, there is the Spinlight 360 which (in my opinion), is the most versatile on-camera flash modifier.
camera settings: 1/200 @ f/5.6 @ 400 ISO, and manual flash
Photo gear (or equivalents) used during this photo session
- Nikon D4
- Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G AF-S / Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II
- Nikon SB-910 Speedlight / Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite
- Nikon SD-9 battery pack / Canon CP-E4 battery pack
- Westcott Rapidbox – 26″ Octa Softbox
- Manfrotto 1052BAC – medium light-stand
- Two speedlight setup for back-lighting (model: Anelisa)
- Off-camera flash – adding dimension with back-lighting (model: Lea)
- Camera & flash settings: what do you want to achieve? (model: Ulorin Vex)
- review: Westcott Rapid Box – 26″ Octa Softbox
- On-location corporate headshots – aiming for efficiency and speed
- Photography workshops
- NJ photo studio
A little bit of homework
We were shooting inside a warehouse, and not battling against bright light, so what would be possible reasons for having the shutter speed relatively high?