Flashback Anti-Paparazzi Clothing Now a Reality. Nay Sayers, Eat Your Hats. Maybe.

Feb 26, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Feb 26, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Several readers and many people I spoke with were unimpressed by the anti-paparazzi clothing we covered last month.

The most common response was “I’ll believe it when I see it”. Well, it’s time to start believing.

A crowdfunding campaign has successfully raised the necessary funds for the Flashback Photobomber Hoodie and Silver-Screen Scarf to start shipping in August.

The fabric used in this line of clothing is embedded with glass nanospheres that reflect light and therefore mess up the exposure of photos taken with a flash.

However, its main feature might also be its weak spot.

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It seems that DJ Chris Holmes’ line of clothing has gained the trust of many skeptics with the photos and video uploaded in Flashback’s crowdfunding campaign.

Other than the hoodie and scarf, the campaign is also trying to raise funds to manufacture the Flashback Halo Hat and the Illuminati suit jacket and pants:

YouTube video

As you can see in the video, Flashback’s grey fabric looks like normal fabric until a flash is fired in its direction. When that happens the fabric bounces the light thanks to embedded nanospheres.

Seems great, right? Yes it does, but…

I was very impressed to see the Flashback clothing in action, but what really caught my attention was what the designer, Steven Wheeler, said about the nanospheres being retroreflective – “it’s bouncing the light back at the same angle that it’s coming in at”.

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I may be wrong about this, and I reached out to Wheeler for clarification (will update once I get it), but doesn’t this sound exactly like an animal’s glowing eyes or the red eyes you get with on-camera flash photography?

I wonder if using a bracket, perhaps a bit longer than usual, wouldn’t outsmart the Flashback fabric in the same way off-camera flash is used to avoid red eyes?

Another thing to remember is that this clothing has absolutely no effect under normal lighting, so non-flash photography will remain unaffected.

If you’re not concerned about functionality with off-camera flash and are simply looking to buy a cool item, you still have 12 days to get onboard and help these prototypes make it to production.

YouTube video

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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10 responses to “Flashback Anti-Paparazzi Clothing Now a Reality. Nay Sayers, Eat Your Hats. Maybe.”

  1. Arturo Garcia Avatar
    Arturo Garcia

    Non sense! they just need to spray an invisible Hyper-reflective, formula (incredible cheaper than this)

    1. Jayson Carey Avatar
      Jayson Carey

      People that are worried about paparazzi don’t have to worry about a cheaper option.

  2. jim Avatar
    jim

    Sort of pointless. You can overcome this by
    1. Turn the flash off
    2. Use manual mode with manual flash setting

    1. Jayson Carey Avatar
      Jayson Carey

      paps aren’t that smart.

  3. Bob Markin Avatar
    Bob Markin

    I shoot fire and emergency scenes. When using flash, the reflective trim on the firefighter’s safety gear is a pain,as is the trim on the fire engines. High ISO reduces the need for flash, but at night you still need to use it quite often. I can’t imagine shooting someone wearing a whole garment with the stuff. Due to the number of people shooting celebs at any one time, you may not be using flash, but some other knucklehead will be!

    I can see it now, the Canon 5D ppzi, ultra high ISO so no flash needed. Those garments will then be worthless.

    1. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
      Kay O. Sweaver

      The angle of light has a huge impact on this though. Someone using flash a few feet away will have negligible effect. Mind you if you were using a ringflash this would be outrageous. I suspect the truth is that people are more interested in looking like they’re in TRON wearing these than actually battling the ‘razzi.

    2. mike Avatar
      mike

      Obviously Sony is pushing this to boot stales of the a7s. :)

  4. Paul Walters Avatar
    Paul Walters

    Reflective clothing isn’t anything new, Stone Island have been making fully reflective clothing for years.

  5. Steven Avatar
    Steven

    Great… so he’s invented a product which turns sleazy, creepy paps snapshots of Z-listers falling out of Chinawhites into fine art photos?

    There’s an easier way to avoid being photographed, by simply not becoming famous.

  6. Bryan Avatar
    Bryan

    It would be interesting to see how this stuff performs BEHIND the camera used in modifiers. :-)