The Strobist Corner – Extending Your TTL Flash Cord

TTL Cable Extender
When I first got this hack in the mail I immediately thought, hey this looks like something Strobist would do. After all he did it with a PC-Sync cord. This great mod from Mario Giambanco takes it one step further. Instead of using a PC-Sync and a home power cable, Mario used a TTL cable with a network cable. Simple? Kinda. Genius? Surly.

One of the things I really like about it is the extended rage you get, up to 50 feet. Maybe more. Radio Poppers, right behind you :)

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Exploring Small Strobes: Speedlight Accessories

Exploring Small StrobesWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin from Yanik’s Photo School.

In part 1 on Exploring Small strobes, I looked at why using flash guns instead of the built-in flash and studio strobes. In part 2, I went through the importance of using your speedlight off camera. In part 3, I covered how to trigger your small strobes off camera. Today, we’ll look at accessories made especially for speedlights.
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The Headphones Pop Up Flash Diffuser

The Headphones Pop Up Flash DiffuserIn this article Mohamed Talal  shows us how to make a simple diffuser for a DSLR pop up flash.

There are three things that separate this diffuser from other diffusers we have featured before. The first is the total cost – this one really costs nothing.  The second one is the size of the diffusion panel. By using this method you get a nicely sized diffusion panel. Lastly, a quick mod will turn this diffuser to a ring flash.

It is called the Headphones diffuser, but don’t feel obliged to use headphones casing, you can use GI-Joe’s casings, Transformers casings, or just a nice pieces of transparent material.

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Exploring Small Strobes: Going Wireless

Exploring Small StrobesWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin from Yanik’s Photo School.

In part 1 on Exploring Small strobes, I looked at why using flash guns instead of the built-in flash and studio strobes. In part 2, I went through the importance of using your speedlight off camera.

What I’ll be going through today, in part 3, is looking at how to trigger and control your speedlights off camera; more specifically wirelessly. You’re probably saying to your self, it’s about time Yanik gets to the practical stuff! And you’re absolutely right! But I had to convince you first! ;-)

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Avoiding The Double Reflection

Avoiding The Double Reflection On my Ode to my Power Supply Unit post I got quite a few comments about that nasty double reflection. I just had to fix this. The reason for this reflection is that a glass board has some thickness so I got one reflection from the top surface of the glass and one dimmer reflection from the bottom surface of the glass.

I intended to go with the strobist solution of black granite tile when I realized that I would have a hard time explaining my wife why I just had to have a piece of junk I mean a black tile I mean a photography accessory to make my studio complete.

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Exploring Small Strobes: Why Use Speedlights Off Camera

Exploring Small StrobesWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin from Yanik’s Photo School.

In part 1 on Exploring Small strobes, I looked at why using flash guns instead of the built-in flash and studio strobes. Today, I’ll be going through the importance of using your speedlight off camera.

So, we already know that direct flash from your built-in flash gives unflattering results, to say the least. Using your speedlight in the same way won’t change much. I did mention that you can redirect the light by rotating the head of your flash gun and bouncing the light off ceilings and walls but you’re still very limited in your creativity. So what’s a photographer to do? I’ll tell you. Get that speedlight off your camera to unleash its full potential!

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Using A Cooling Honeycomb As A DIY Gridspot

DIY GridspotI just love gridspots. The amount of light control that a gridspot will give you is incredible. So, a while back I ordered some honeycomb grids from saxonpc. It is with two of those gridspots that I took the image on the left, but first thing first. In fact Saxon PC is specializing in making computer cooling solutions, little did they know that their honeycomb is just perfect for light control. OK, they knew, they made a site for it. Yet it was fun to say “little did they know”.

One of the first projects on DIYP was a coroplast made gridspot, which totally rocked, but getting those nice black honeycombs tickled so much and I caved in.

In fact this solution is very similar to HonlPhoto’s 1/4″ and 1/8″ gridspot solutions. If you are willing to settle a bit on the looks and spend a few minutes modding, you can save a few Dollars. Not that a few dollars will take you anywhere today.

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Exploring Small Strobes: Why should I Use a Speedlight

Exploring Small StrobesWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin from Yanik’s Photo School.

You’ve probably heard or read this a gazillion times by other photographers so I thought that I would be the gazilionth and one to tell you that creating a great photo is all about lighting. Light is what sculpts your scene. You can have the best composed shot but if your lighting is crap, good chances that your shot will be also. And sometimes to get good light, you’ll need to work with artificial light sources. One of the most popular light source used by photographers are strobes; also called flashes.

So I figured that I would give you my insights on small strobes (also known as flash guns or speedlights) in this multi part saga here on DIYPhotography.net. So let’s get right to it, shall we.

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More Power To Your Flash – External SLA Battery Flash Mod

More Power To Your Flash - External SLA Battery FlashIf you’ve been shooting with a flash for a while, I’m sure you had some battery problem or another at least once. Like when one of four batteries goes bad and quickly discharges the other three. Or when it’s cold and the batteries don’t hold their charge so well anymore. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a more reliable source of power? One that virtually lasts for ever (well, not forever, but for a darn long time). This is probably on the wish list of anyone who is shooting off shoe and don’t care much about weight, but do care about recycling time and number of pops that can be squeezed in a session.

Konstantin Sirotkin describes how to make a Flash mod that will allow you to connect your flash to an external power source.
Yes this is an external power source, no mater how bomb-like it looks.

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Learning About The Small Things

Nikon sb800If you, like me, have little money to spend on big expensive lighting, you can start up your flash photography with a small flash (AKA strobe).

Actually some of those are so cheap, you can start off with a few, or add strobes as you go along. I started with 1 small flash: The Nikon SB 28, added the Nikon SB 800 when I got my D70, and when I needed more light, I added the Nikon SB 26. The SB 26 sells for about 100 USD on eBay and other small flashes like the famous Vivitar 285HV sells for about 50 on eBay and about 80 for a new flash.

If you indeed choose this path (which from now on will be called the strobist path) there are several very useful resources on (and off) the web for you to learn how to perfect your small strobe lighting technique.

I have deep appreciation for all photographers listed below, they all helped me learn and grow to the photographer I am today.
This is why I am shamelessly promoting sharing their recent and not so recent projects.

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