Using A Double Flash Bracket To Add Modeling light To Your Setup

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One of the downsides of using a small strobe is that you don’t get the nice modeling light like the big studio guns.

That means that you have to pre-visualize your light. If you are new to strobes this may not be trivial even on a bare strobe, but throw some modifiers in (e.g. a softbox or an umbrella) and it get even harder. This is why a modeling light is can be your best friend as you make your first steps into the modifiers world. In this tutorial I will explain how you can add a modeling light to a strobe using a DIY Double Flash Bracket, but any double flash bracket will do.

The build is really straight forward, say 5 minutes of work (20 if you count the round trip to Home Depot), but involves live wires. That means that the usual disclaimer applies – either know what you’re doing or get help from your local electrician. Modeling light is great, but it is not worth dying over.

Materials

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  • 1 CFL Lamp (saves on both heat and power vs. Tungsten)
  • 1 Lamp Socket
  • 1 Plug
  • A Short Power Cable
  • 1 Extension cord (optional if you made the short power cable long).
  • Pliers, screwdriver and other tools.
  • Optional: Double Flash Bracket.

Instructions

The first step is to equip the socket with a short power cord.

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Expose the wires on the short cord

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Screw the wires into the socket and tighten the screws. If you have a cable that is already attached to a plug, great! Recycle it into this project. If not, screw the other end of the cable to a plug.

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Here is what the project looks like without a strobe, just the modeling light and bracket.

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Remember, we are using the Double Flash Bracket here, but this is just one way of doing this. A pony spring clamp will probably work just the same if you clamped it to a light stand and attached the socket on the clamp’s legs.

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Now you can see how the construction comes together, a strobe on one”leg” of the bracket and a lamp on the other. In this specific one I used a tungsten lamp, which is really hot, so be careful. In the images below I opted for the CFL type as it is easier to handle.

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In the image below, you can see me using the same device for modeling a Westcott Apollo 28″. In this case it is even more critical to use a CFL bulb as heat from a tungsten bulb will build up and eventually set your box on fire.

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There you have it, instant modeling light.

About The Author

Ray Panduro is a photography hobbyist who adopts the analog passion to the digital era. You can follow his stream here.