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... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Monday, November 12, 2007

Using Open Flash

I shot this photo back in August for the Houston Peach Football Tab cover.
I had to shoot a group of six football players(one didn't come), and I wanted to do something a bit different. Didn't want the typical portrait grouping.

I decided to shoot from down low with them huddled over me. The first problem was getting wide enough to get them in. I was laying on the ground, and shot with my 15mm. The players were pretty much silhouettes against the afternoon sky so my next problem was how to light them. A typical flash would not cover them evenly. With this wide a lens, the light would have fallen off on one side, leaving some of them in the dark.

To solve this dilemma I pulled out my trusty old Sunpak 120 flash. It is designed pretty much like your basic on-camera flash. The head tilts like most good flashes, and it puts out a bunch of light. It has one really neat feature, one of the reasons I bought it. The reflector comes off, exposing the flash tube giving you an open flash. These were really popular back in the old days, late 60's and early 70's. No one makes them much anymore.

The light coming from the flash with the reflector removed spreads evenly over 360 degrees. Perfect for a situation like this.

I usually have it hooked up to a high voltage battery pack, which makes it kind of bulky to use on-camera. Most of the time I use it as a key light mounted on a light stand.

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