Speedlight Diffusers and Modifiers
When it comes to diffusers there is everything under the sun so what I'm going to show you some of the products that I personally use in my business it's not maybe the best it might not be the worst but it's the best for me and my style of shooting so I want to kind of get that across right now because inevitably I'm going to say some things and I'm going to show you some things and there's going to be people is going to say well that's not the best I use this and hay and I get that and it's very much like I said yesterday to you I don't care what products you use it's a radio papa it's a pocket wizard if it's another one as long as you do the research and you and feel that this is in your heart the right thing for your business then that's the right decision I'm just a strong believer in you doing the research and so hopefully what we can show you this first segment is some of the products that we have that I use talk about it there's some new ones and I think a really, really cool I ...
have some old standards that I've used for literally over twenty years that I still use that air still effective and today's photography and we'll go from there so to begin with and this is just basically what comes with your flash if you're an icon, you basically have a built in what we call kind of a stove from diffuser. But the one thing that I wanted you to be aware of since we have bested one nikon is remember when we talked about zoom yesterday and how you zoom in and by default it's twenty four millimeters and if you have the s p eight hundred or the five eighties back, it goes toe one. Oh five. If you have the new nine hundred siri's of the new six hundred for canada goes to two hundred, it starts off a twenty four that's the widest. Unless you put on this little diffuser this little diffuse that comes with a nikon, it has a little button on the inside that when you snap it on that flash it's actually going to initiate that zoom to go to fourteen millimetres. So not only do you have that piece of plastic that goes over your linds, I mean over your flash to soften the light a little bit, but it's also going to have a wider lighting pattern. Same thing for candy when you pull out that little diffusing this built into it, which is where we're going next, I want to remind people I know we showed it yesterday. But I want to remind people the little diffuser this does diffuse some of the light so right off the bat you have a diffuser built into your flash and in a lot of people no about that we talked about it being broke so I don't want to really repeat myself cannon does not come with one of those little diffusers the ones that we use are called the stove and products and I have multiples of that come in different colors of dreams and and yellows to kind of help balance and orange to help you balance out white balance or you can use him as a jail if you wanted to in a sense on there really nice and so they're very, very simple inexpensive on the easy way to go which again I'm a strong believer you don't need to spend a lot of money to diffuse light you already have a lot of money in your flash if you buy a radio popper system or another pocket wizard system or any other radio transmission device that's more money you don't need a lot of stuff to defuse so these are the first one that I want to go over I wanted to be aware one little trick on the nikon is if you look on the side where the little pin is the little insert the little part that sticks out if you actually want to use it without it expanding to fourteen millimetres you could take a little knife and cut that little part out on the side, so when it snaps on top of your your flash, it won't push that in, and so you won't have it automatically go to fourteen millimetres. Okay, these are the guys that I've used from day one um, I've used in my whole life they're actually out of texas, which helps me since I'm out of texas again south of texas, right on the gulf coast. These guys are in central texas between austin san antonio, but years ago, when I was a crime scene photographer back before teo, right when tt l first came out, um, flash was a huge, huge issue for us because most crime scenes were at night, if you or when I got there was at night, I couldn't turn on a light switch in an accident scene in the middle of the road or if I'm in a house, I couldn't turn on anything that would contaminate the scene, so I had to learn how to use flash and this guy right here this little about which I haven't show in just a second save my world because it was simplistic. It was easy and it basically because back then the shot if you remember yesterday when I overexposed and everything was just so why we call that flash burn and that was such a common problem back in the thirty five millimeter days because you couldn't see what you were getting the photography would just take them, take the photo and you get it back it was so blown out you couldn't see any detail and so that was a horrible, horrible, horrible thing and I was always worried about that. So this setup that this flash was on my camera that was a setup that I used twenty years ago is a crime scene investigator and I still have that actual bounce today in the studio I still use it so it still holds up. It might not be the fanciest thing in the world, but it still holds up back then you had to have in fact you can kind of see on some of my old flashes. This is my old five fifty from years ago. It still has the velcro on the side that actually used this product to stick, stick, stick that product on, and so I brought this just for this segment to show you that I'm not just telling you to try to sell a product because I that I could care less about, but I just wanted to show you so this is the limit quest and and this is where I really suggest starting if you don't have an idea it's a great product it's very simplistic it's very simple it comes with the velcro already ready of course I already have that on my flash and at five fifty so I'm gonna just pull this spell crow off if I brand new flash you could stick it on if you wanted the belt and it's just a little bounce card it's basically an extender to the white bounce car that comes in your flash today the five fifty didn't have a balance card back then so you basically we just velcro it on and it's a done deal very very simple I like it from a wedding photographer standpoint because I could stick it in my back pocket from a crime scene standpoint as well I could stick it in my back pocket again very portable that's the whole concept of what my style of photography with flash photography everything's very portable stays on very easy the vehicle doesn't bother you at all and it's very easy one thing I forgot to mention yesterday while I'm talking about this and it's a little off track but I want to mention cause I'll forget is yesterday when I talked about the velcro for the radio poppers you have the fuzzy side and you have the non fuzzy side of put the non fuzzy sat on your radio popper if you do this because the reason why in your camera bag this will stick to your camera back the fuzziness in your camera bag, so when you travel, this will stick and it won't move around. So that's, why I have all the fuzzy on all this stuff. And then also on the loom, a quest is another thing that I like is they really have built in velcro the non fuzzy already on their products, and so I like that as well. So it actually you just put the fuzzy on and it's going to stick so you don't have to worry about losing or this getting hot and running off, and it gets sticky or whatever else. So that's another thing that I like simple about this so a very simple bounce card. In a sense, this is the product. Like I said, I still have from twenty years ago. It's very just simple it's, just simple. You can adjust that the angle if you want to buy the velcro however you want to do it, it's just a very simple defusing panel. So any questions on this now today, what they've done in limit quest, which I think is really, really nice, is they've made these velcro straps, so if you don't want to stick velcro on your flash you have a brand new nice six hundred and you just spent five, six hundred dollars on it they make these little velcro straps it's got a little kind of like the bottom of a rug you could buy to put in your rugs they won't slips kind of the same material just stretches around and it's velcro together if I can put it on straight I need another cup of coffee it seems like and then all their products will actually velcro to that so that's another nice feature if you don't want to put velcro on your flash and now everything works the same and it won't it won't come off it's on there and so this is nice so when I use these products and I go into a wedding and there's multiple products and I'm gonna talk about here from this company you just pull that off and you can put on another one so here's a soft box that I use this is actually their little kit it's nice mini stroke his fans know david javi he's a great guy he actually uses this product as well. And so what I like about this this is made of course I'm sure david hobby had something to do with the design but this was made for portability I literally slide this an outside pouch of my camera bag it's very simple and it has all the tools that I pray pretty much need it has a couple of velcro straps already built in it's got a great jail kit which we're fixing to talk about this goes over and it's got this great little soft box so everything is rite here built in and they have all kinds of kids they have starter kits and that's what I like about it if this is too much for you they have other other products that are less so there's something for you to get going and so again you have the strap already built on and these guys just velcro around your flash and so there's a little soft locks it's very simple yesterday I talked about that I am a regional coordinator from now let me down to sleep and this is how I shoot most of my sessions in a dark little hospital room which you can equivalent to a dark room and in a reception hall or whatever else and I would have this and I would stick it up and bounce it off the ceiling so be diffused here and then it hit that and we refused and if I don't have a high ceiling I can literally just stick it like this and it's a nice diffuser so we'll be using some of this outside on the roof later on today and in here in just a second but I just want to show you that this is a great great little product very simple this is a medium size when they make bigger ones that make smaller ones but it's the same concept across the board and again it's not going to come off it's on there is starting you got your uh your flash on like a stick around you know absolutely let me let me get one of those easy stands in here real quick and I kind of just show you thank you yeah now you live on this one this one I'm just gonna angle it thank you so again I'll put the velcro on your lower I'll put this soft box on it you like that butterfly it's ah it's harder to do with smaller light sources no question everything is going to be more difficult to do with the smaller white so you better deal with stroke well, the big three before that we showed yesterday that I have with the hybrid that is really what we use in our studio to create butterfly we have that I have a men photo stand that goes up about ten feet nine feet one of the just like the grips and you can slide up, push it up and I angle it down we angle it about forty five degree angles coming down on the person so if you want to do that basic it's basically it's the person standing here I'd have it about right here and you would create the butterfly so it's coming down attain their nose, causing that shadow and calls on the shadow underneath your chin and that's the whole concept. But you don't want to do it too far back because then you're going to start getting the shadows underneath their eyes so it's enough for and that's why that reflector underneath that we talked about it so nice because when this light does come down and hits that reflector, it will bounce some up and get into their eyes and not calls that dead I look but this is how I would actually go into a wedding as well and I want to solve box I have this this is my set up literally as you saw, I could just pick this up run wherever I want to go, which in my age I don't run anymore because I'm too fat, but then go come back and be able to lay it down it's very easy and she she was starting to do when she brought it out. I can literally if I need I could just unscrew this since the little black piece of plastic does come off and I could just put that anywhere on the table they have a larger one that I used for even formals, which I have to, and so when I shoot my formals at weddings not quite getting into your answer yet, but starting to, um I actually have two of these and I'll put them side by side. So when I shoot formals for weddings it's kind of like the old movie ghostbusters, you never wanna cross the streams. I never want to angle the light on everyone across the line because you're gonna get this horrible, horrible, horrible shadows behind people. And so I want this up high so the shadow and coming down slightly so the shadows will be behind the person. So if you have multiple levels of people, you're gonna have shadows, but that height is going to put the shadow of my shoulder down here on the person behind me so you won't actually see it, and the same thing goes for the person behind it will be down down low, and so you can actually put the light up and come down. But if you cross him and you do see some shadows, you're gonna have this weird cross in effect behind them that really distracts from the image. So I had the larger one from lim quest and it's probably about this big I guess fits the same way, and I used those performers on lee and then when I do portrait too, this is pretty much what I'm going into with, but very, very, very simple take that off! Yes, I'm sorry for the larger does it takes some of the power out of the flash. It's a great stop! Yeah, you're going to lose and that's why? I like using these inside more than outside as a general rule, if you're going to lose generally and there's that's not a scientific answer because changes depending on how much life you're going to lose about a stop power going through a diffuser panel with flash not any size, yeah, for the most part, yeah, this depends. In fact, one thing that out failed to mention on the stove fins before I use radio popper and I was using a lot of sight when it's so bright outside and you're holding that line up or you have the light over here, you're on your wireless flash, flash and it's photographing on your person it's so bright outside sometimes when I take the photograph, I can't see if that flashes firing. Right now nikon has an alarm on their flash if it's the correct exposure it's going to go beep, beep it's the incorrect exposure it's going to go b, b, b b b b b and by what we're going to get into today about how I under exposed a lot of images outside on purpose that nikon flash thinks that that's incorrect exposure so it's going to be going b b b b b b every time you push the button and you're gonna have nightmares about that you're gonna wake up in the middle of night and slap your wife because you're having your having a fight with a nikon flash and you get in trouble so I turn that alarm off so what I did to fight that actually you had the stuff ins and I would actually cut the front off so it would not actually defuse the light because I would lose that stopped that I needed in the bright sun but the side of this would actually all my flash it would show the light firing because I could see it so is a photographer I could see that light is a visual that yes, my flashes were communicating optically but I wasn't losing any light by the diffusion so that was if you don't have a radio papa or wait you're transmitting device that is one little easy kind of cheap way of doing it just goto online and buy some cheap cheap versions of these and just cut just get it hack solar and cut off the front and I still have four or five of those the house and the studio that I do that with all the time so yeah that you will lose some power and it is kind of a pain that you have to go through um on a day like today it's sunny so we might actually have some issues we'll see but even here on the west coast because you have that hayes even when it's clean it's still a lot easier to get the deep blue sky here than it is like saying mexico or something. So in mexico I have a hard time florida when we shed a lot of weddings on the beach is I have a harder time and that white sand white dress blue light blue water caribbean sound it's very difficult sometimes. So all right, the gel kit the jail kid has really, really need I like it basically what it is you can't even really get these anymore these are what used to be where they still are here we're doing video, we have huge stage lights and these lights here and they have the jail's actually coming big giant rolls and they cut him and they put a frames and they slap a man. Well, this is the little basically sample kit from that company, and so before photographers, they got so many photographers who realised that they used to give these away for free and so I used to call them up and get him all the time, and it sent me these giant pack because this is about three quarters of what a new one would look like and it comes on a little piece of like a little while I mean piece of screw you take it out and you just put it on here and it's great and so I needed a green I just pull it off and I would take it on the front of my my flash with that tape that I mentioned yesterday that eighty nine model eighty nine seventy nine that doesn't leave any residue the problem is they're so thin four five strong flashes or at least a session is going to melt it it's going to trash so these air really disposable jails but they're awesome because you get so many of them so that is basically the same thing that we have in the loom a quest without the holes in the same identical type of jails but now instead of me having a table so I use these and the ones that come with also have to do is have a little velcro right here if I put it on correctly and it sticks right there and what's nice is they hold right on top of your jail I mean on the jail holder so when I'm rolling, I put in the main colors that I need for the day, which is just really the reds of the blues, the greens I'm not getting a real fancy just some basic colors if I do know for in my wedding's if I know what college the kids go to the white bridegroom like let's say it's ellis you so it's got that purple and gold I'll make sure I have a purple and gold jail and when I shoot like their rings or something, I'll make sure there's purple and gold in the ring shot kind of add stuff or you get the ag ease and if you're from texas and you're a nag ee the aggies rings is like everything else I mean that's that's like every I don't know of another and I'll put down agnese I respect him I don't know of another university that people wear the ring all the time I mean it is it's a and so I will make sure I haven't you know, a reddish deep red maroon jail in that photo with that aggie ring and I promise you it will make your clients happy and so that's kind of how I used jail's a lot and so when I get ready when I'm prepping, I actually make sure I have those colored jails for my client to make it a little more personal because I'm shooting the same shot is just adding a little color, different jails so this is really nice little thing and it is very simple you just literally it has a little piece of paper that you don't need that out of the way but then you just literally have the different color jails that you slide right into the holder here, and then that your jail, and then you would just velcro it right on. So it's a very, very simple, very, very easy, very, very fast joke it. And when I like again, it all comes in this one one pouch. It all comes together in this so you can actually add other items. Shovel man. And so that to me, that's a that's, a great great product of a limit quest. Get a little messy and it's just starting. If you have any questions, let me know. All right, so yesterday we talked about snoops, and we could do a beer cozy or you can actually a little more fashion. You can actually use their their snoot here. Yeah, right before he moved to snooze. We do have a few questions over here. Absolutely. I'm going to just keep forgetting to look at you. You're just not that important to me. No, no problem. S o some folks asked about the difference between the lumen x and I say that correctly. Andi, just a regular soft box. You're going to get pretty similar result, you can here's the deal. That big giant soft box you're not going to get pretty. You're like from a little flash that big right? Just your not so let's. Just get that out of the way and let's get it over with. Like you said earlier in our break you're like, look, I was a teacher, you know? They told me my school I'm not gonna make a lot of money I went into because I love the kids. I'm not expected make a lot of money it's the same thing you're not going to get that beautiful, beautiful light. You see, all these classical portraiture is there going to be with a bigger john soft box? However, you will get a lot prettier, like with a soft box on a flash. Then you will generally with a with it non defused. If the flight is really close to the subject on a cloudy day out here in seattle, I can pull this light bare bulb way back and still get beautiful light on that subject because there's on ly so much by science that this light's going to spread it's gonna hit and he's going on ly soften so much and I kind of laugh I would say laugh, but I look it sometimes when I see these photographers doing this with these diffusers on their way back and everything else and you could just take it off and get the same effect. It's kind of like, if you see, like, american football game and at the kick off and everybody's taking photos with their flash and you're like that's not gonna help your in section six hundred they're down with the fifty yard line that flash that pointed shoes just not gonna reach him and it's kind of the same concept, but it goes back to marketing same thing with cameras, the bigger the mega pixels and consumers, the better the camera and that's really not true it's all about the market and that's one thing that I'm trying to really push to you guys that get away from the bells and whistles. What everybody's preaching to you grab a few of the simple ones and do some tests which we're going to do today as well and it's really gonna help you? You got another one. We're good. Okay, thank you so much. Mike deke was wondering regarding the diffuser lowering the light output about one stop wouldn't e t t l compensate for that and give you the correct amount anyway, it's a great, great question and theoretically, yes, but sometimes if you need plus two and you put that on there it's going to take it away and it plus three you're fine but if you need two and one third and you put that on there it's just not gonna be enough light so you're gonna lose light and most the time when I'm outside I'm working my flash is between one and two at least if not higher which is why I have these little guys over here we're very simple where actually could mount this here and I actually put two flashes on there, so lots of times when I use some of these soft boxes I'll put multiple flashes in there which again is kind of getting away from when we talked about because now you're looking at, you know, a thousand fifteen hundred dollars and flashes on the soft box and quite honestly I would just rather curious strobe out if that's if that's going to be the case, it just doesn't, you know, because they're soft boxes that have four, five flashes you could put on there, but I'd rather carry a two hundred eighty dollars alien being with a battery pack that point only because it's it's it's money I don't want that to fall over and waste all my flashes, so I really try to not put any more than two flashes on my my system if I have to if it's more than that, I'll just carry a stroke and go from there but yeah no he's absolutely right theoretically it should but sometimes you reached the limit of these little guys and then just when you put the diffuser on it she's not gonna get it and we're going to talk about especially when I get down teo bigger soft boxes on how I how I battle that and how I work with that one more before you move on as many as you want but this is from me so I purchased a oh no that I don't listen we want other people I purchased this round diffuser for the top of my and it's about this big wide at the top do you know which which product I'm talking about? Yes, I was wondering what your thoughts on that product are wow put me under pressure it works great for general flat light which is what defusing aboard but there's a lot of other ones that do the same thing and I don't think you waste your money you're not gonna get creative light with it it's a very flat light I mean if you just want just a general same thing is this soft box I just put on there and other things it's going events going to events no prob that's how I would use it I would never use it in a portrait session anything like that, but if I'm doing table shots something of that nature just gentle snapshots where I don't wantto you know a bright spot on my face and then fade off just one yeah that's I mean that's great because it basically also doesn't just comes up and just shoots the light everywhere and so and diffuses it cool but you can get the same thing and not with his product but you can get the same thing like I said yesterday with a half gallon junk mail takes I got when you mentioned that I was like man I could've had a half gallon but no it works it works I mean there's there's great marketing there's great products and then there's great marketing with not so great products and then there's not so great products with great marketing I mean so it just there's that's why I'm saying you need to do all the testing yourself but no that is it's a very valid valid a product I don't use it but I don't know what I person don't like about anything that didn't collapse is that I want something more portable sure for me person that's why everything up here on this table is laying flat and that's that's important to me for my style of shooting because I can pack four or five of these on top of all my camera here in my bag and zip it up and have them with me when I travel and and to me, that's, the logistics of that is more important than the other ones because that one takes up, you know, elin space or a flash based and when I travel overseas and a lot of people that are watching overseas already know this when you fly, they actually charge you for your carry on his wealth in way your carry on. So I you have to really think about all those logistics when you travel tisa is getting, you know, tougher and tougher to get stuff there, which is why I don't care lithium batteries when I travel, they get on t for lithium batteries and so that's, why start karen rechargeable sze or anything I have is the double a's for if I don't bring my rechargeable zai could buy them anywhere in the world. So all that goes into the style of teaching and shooting, and I'm talking about awesome great onda content question for you. Are we going to be talking about the flash percentages today? Your power like, one third or yeah, when we actually start shooting, okay, especially were definitely I'm gonna be explaining exactly what power amon great explain exactly, because again, it's going to be this detail meeting, I mean. Start off zero like we talked about yesterday we're going to look at the image and that's kind of my first when using tl we're going to manual too because I have a light meter but when we're doing tol we're going I'll take the shot start off zero even exposure on my exposure, compensation, even exposure of my flash compensation take the shot and then we're going to just from there we're going to say ok, you'll want the background better this is what we do don't want the background more blown that's what we do, I want a stronger, less flash this is what we do and so we're going to take that step by step we're gonna do it up on the roof and we're gonna do it inside so absolutely okay, so to the snoot it's a it's a I would say it's a little cumbersome, but it's that I like it I'm most of time don't use this, but I'll explain what this this is um so basically just the general snoop again just fits right on it has first what has the same built in? Um velcro on the inside so you don't have to worry about losing the velcro, which I like and it just fits right on so it's very easy just snaps right on and then you have this little I think it actually tells you how many inches is the father out the tighter and so you can actually just roll this up and then it just kind of goes in here and you can get a different model light that you want really can get this really really fine tuned kinda looks a little goofy but it's very effective and I like that it's very portable very sits in my pocket since in the camera bags we talked about and I really I mean that's that's even tighter than along that your body so this really really gets you really tight tight tight lightning and we're gonna show some examples in just a second when I start going through all these but I want to make sure we get through everything first and then we'll go back and show some example quick question though like how would that be in what situation would use that differently rather than just zooming your land well you saw when we zoomed yesterday it did get still little wide so if you even did a zoom and you do this it would be a very, very tight I mean it would almost you could do like the old hollywood spotlight absolute right on their face mean you literally could find tune the light exactly where you wanted to go and when like I keep joking about the long that beer cozy that's nice but the problem is that it it's real flimsy this is really firm and you can even you could even tighten us down and you could put a piece of tape over if you want to get it I mean it's tight as you wanted that band of light to come out and so that's why I kind of like this product it's very very simple and it really really tightened down and there's not a lot of suits out there you think there are and I bought some some new supreme ones which worked great at first but then got me thrown in my camera bag putting a flat they started losing their their form and they really just didn't hold up very well and so I found this product actually holds up better for me than some of the more I guess more easier to travel with but they don't hold up that long so this one literally just unfold it has and I really I know people that get real scientific I had a ton of e mails let yesterday on saying they wanted more detail on all these little things and unfortunately this is a basic speed like classes and for me I am a detailed nut freak but you don't need all that detail nut stuff to really make great photos and I think that's what I want to try to pass so you have the one inch, two inch three, four, five and six I really never paid attention that when I use it, I literally just put this in and I'm good in a roll with it so you could play in fact, when you buy this or if you do it, borrow it, I would do test and see what this see what you like, so when you get in there, you know, but don't over analyze this stuff, guys, because again, it goes back to if I'm more worried about all this little details, I'm not paying attention to my client and to me, that's more important, I've got to make sure my client is half I've got to make sure my client's having a good time on this session, I can't tell you how many times, especially with guys, we get a ton of guy high school seniors and my wife is the main high school senior photographer, so most of the high school senior stuff you shoot, you see, she shoots and so we get a lot of guys come in and there they don't want to come in, they don't want to be photographed don't do anything, and by the end of it, there's so excited, we've had several say, hey, I just wanna have another session so I can come back and hang out with you guys. That's when we know we won that's when we know we've done a good job they've never seen a photograph your wedding photographers and I get to you at the end of your wedding when they say you such a good photographer you did such a good job you're like you not even seen a photograph? How do you know I'm a good photographer? But that proves the point that the experience matters mohr and social events than your photographs to many, many people you're the artist so that's very hard to accept but two person that's not an artist that's the that's the truth that's the gospel so you really have to understand that and you have as a professional you have to play that part as well. You use your art but you have to play to that play to them because they're you're client I think there's a rule that the bigger your soft box the maur the amateur photographers at the wedding will stand aside for you. Well, that's true too yeah, get out of your way there's no question um a cz you're gonna find out later on today in this segment in the last segment, I don't hardly if I have a soft box it's going to be one of these on the side, but most of time at the wedding receptions this is my setup I'll have the battery pack that we talked about cp three or four hanging on the side because I need the extra battery power but I want my flash to go all night long and if I do need to change it I won't ever change the batteries in my flash I'll just change that battery pack and it will be good to go and as we're easy to change but this is my set up and we're going to do I'll show you this afternoon how I shoot a reception and with this set up and it's it's very easy it's very simple and the problem is I used to come in with big soft boxes at weddings and stuff but then we'd have these dance floors and people would trip over home and they you know and I had one that probably could have sued because it fell on to a table and broke some of some of tables you know thank goodness I remember the people and they would cover me but they didn't sue me but it didn't leave a good taste in their mouth about me as a professional and so since then I will smaller and smaller that's why I like the denny's easy stands and I would put a little sand bag on it just to keep people from kicking it over or one of those little clamp waits that you can get for like a boom, stand. I've just clamp it onto the leg down here, and I would be good to go. So, yeah, I try to get away from the bigger light stands.