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While some photographers will tell you to take the flash out of your camera’s hot shoe, others love using it in that position. No matter what you’re doing, the only thing that matters is making sure that the light looks beautiful. This can be done with the flash on the camera or off ot it and the way to do it is usually with a flash modifier of some sort. But there are also a couple of tips and tricks that you can use to make it look even better.

Here are some of the best flash modifiers for your speedlights (speedlites) along with some tips on how to use them.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer BounceLite Flash Modifier review (11 of 16)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 1.4

Hot shoe flashes, known as speedlites (or speedlights) are incredibly capable little flashes that can put just the right amount of light in the right spot. While it’s a very well known fact that studio strobes can deliver much more light output, they aren’t as portable or nimble as speedlights. However, there is much more that you can do to get more out of them just by tweaking some settings in your camera or working with it in a different way.

This is how to get more out of your speedlight.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Conquering Mixed Lighting (2 of 3)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.0

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“I’m about to do something that I really hate to do for the sake of art.” I said to Amanda as we had our first shoot the other night. Of course, what I was talking about was how to conquer mixed lighting–and as an actress and theatre tech she totally understood. When working with flash lighting (daylight) and ambient street lighting in Brooklyn (more orangish in color) it can be a bit of a pain to create a beautiful image.

My initial idea was to light her with an Octabank and set my exposure so that the output from the flash is the key and ambient orange lights would provide a sort of interesting fill that would complement her skin tones. After fumbling with my Octabank (which was misbehaving) I decided on another approach: putting the flash almost right next to the orange light source (which is coming from a wall), setting the flash head zoom to the widest to make it cover the largest area, and having Amanda sit on the floor.

Then the exposure was set accordingly to drown out much of the ambient lighting and make the flash output the key light. In English, what this means is that I worked with a wide aperture and a fast shutter speed. In fact, this image was shot at 1/60th, f2 and ISO 400. At 7L45PM, 1/60th at ISO 400 isn’t going to do much for you.

The result was a light output that blended very well with the orange light and that later on just required me to push the white balance slider either to the blue or the orange to give the image dominance in one color or the other. Indeed, this is the most common mixed lighting situation that I’ve encountered, and it’s finally been conquered with minimal post-production.

So to recap: place the speedlight right by the other light source, make it larger, an overpower the ambient light using your exposures.

Give it a try for yourself, and check out two other photos after the jump.

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4808_SB-700-AF-Speedlight-front Many think of flash as a tool you use only when there isn’t enough available light to shoot with. If it’s dark, simply pop up the built-in flash and make the photograph. Never mind that the photographs don’t look especially good. The direct, hard lighting a speedlight delivers may not produce fine-art, but at least it ensures that we got something usable. However, flash can be an incredible creative tool especially when you have the flexibility of an external flash to work with. It’s an investment that provides more than just power, but choices that can improve the look of a photograph. [click to continue…]

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.33.17 AM

While speedlight/monolight combinations aren’t a new concept and have been around via CheetahStand and Quantum for a while now, Adorama has decided to enter the game. Today, the company is announcing their new StreakLight designed for on or off camera use. In addition to the bare bulb and umbrella reflector design, the light is available in two power options: 180 watt seconds or 360 watt seconds.

Amongst the features are an LED panel for control, 1/3 adjustable stops from full power to 1/128th, optical slave capabilities, AF assist bulb, and come come with a remote/receiver. Even more interesting is the fact the company claims that high speed sync is possible as well. There aren’t many details on that though. To power it, you can use battery power and even extend it with a battery pack.

The Flashpoint StreakLight 360Ws is available now for $549 USD or bundled with the Blast Pack battery for $749.95 USD. The Flashpoint StreakLight 180Ws is available now for $405.95 USD or bundled with the Blast Pack battery for $599.95 USD.

Check out the product overview video after the jump.

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A new flash has recently become available. It’s the Godox Ving V850 Speedlight, powered by a lithium battery. This hot shoe flash offers remote control and HSS as well. The battery for this flash is not as easy to get as raditional AA’s however this power pack has 3x the lifespan and quicker recycle times, according to Godox. You can keep an eye on the battery with the available indicator on the LCD.The Flash is manual. The Godox Ving V850 has stroboscopic functions and optical slave sensor built-in. It has output adjustment down to 1/128.  With Godox’s 433MHz FT-16S or Cells II radio triggers (sold separately)wireless power control is available. The Godox Ving high-speed sync up to 1/8000 second (with certain cameras).

More Information available on the Godox product page. This can be found on EBay as well.

Via Lighting Rumors