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Anyone a Strobist?

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by Saelee, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Saelee

    Saelee Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 10, 2011
    What is a Strobist?
    In short, a Strobist is a term made up by David Hobby. Basically it is anyone using a flash or any other man made light off camera. He did not invented this style, he just made it popular.
    You can find more info here at David Hobby's blog
    Strobist

    So is anyone here a Strobist? I've only seen a few post about using flash and many of them are talking about using it ON the camera.

    Myself, I've been sleeping, eating, and breathing this since I was introduced to it in 2008. I can say this changed the way I shoot and improved the quality of my pictures by 10 fold.

    My main system is a Nikon. The beauty of it is that it does not matter which system your shoot or which brand of flash you use(unless if you want TTL). So I am able to use the same equipment that I have with my Nikon flash and trigger over to my Olympus EP-1.

    I just want to see how many people use off camera flash on their m43 camera or how many people are interested in learning about this.

    If anyone have any questions about using there flash off camera or what to buy feel free to ask it here or PM me. I will try my best to answer any questions.

    **Disclaimer**
    I am not here to take over this board or anything. I am not a vendor and I am NOT selling anything myself. I am just an enthusiast who love doing this and want to share my knowledge to the m43 community.
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I use off camera flash all the time, mainly using ETTL pocket wizards on my Canon system. Theyve all but replaced my studio flashes for all jobs except when i need masses of power. I've just bought a LED video light and will be doing some experimenting with it and my m43 cameras when ot arrives.

    Gordon
     
  3. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Saelee... I still use studio flash in my camera room for some set-ups, but have moved over to continuous lighting for most of my studio work. Outdoors, I'm a long time available light/reflector user and never use flash. I totally love the look of reflector lighting outdoors.

    I've never liked the look of flash on camera and never use it. BUT, that said, I've seen some wonderful results with the strobist approach and very much like what some are doing with that. I'd like to learn more about it. I know that Radio Poppers is extremely popular, but have never really given strobist nor poppers as much time or attention as I would like to. I'm glad you started this thread!
     
  4. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I'm a Strobist. I've been using my Vivitar 285 off-camera for the past year with good success, although I don't use it all the time. I see the term Strobist to not just refer to using off-camera flashes, but also to using flashes creatively and inexpensively. I've had really good success using my on-camera flash on my GH1 for macro shots using a home-made diffuser along with my enlarging lens. To me that fell into the category of a Strobist as well (not that it matters - I don't do labels).
     
  5. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    309
    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI
    Canon users might want to check out syl arena speedliter's handbook at

    speedliting.com

    I also have just ordered some cheap LED video lights to experiment with.

    BK
     
  6. hendrik78m

    hendrik78m Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Feb 11, 2011
    For fashion/beauty type of work, i use off camera flash(es). For casual shots i mostly use flash on hotshoe. Recently after acquiring m4/3 camera, i try my best to use available lights in order to test the capability of this new camera system.
     
  7. Saelee

    Saelee Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 10, 2011
    That is great, I am glad there are people using there flash off camera.

    I am not saying that I never use my flash on my camera, I just prefer them to be off camera.
     
  8. Plimsol

    Plimsol Mu-43 Regular

    112
    Mar 29, 2010
    Belgium, Antwerp
    Hello DHart,
    What reflector do you prefer for outside?
    I am looking at a California Sunmover, do you have opinion about this.

    Thanks, and grtz from Belgium.

    Jean
     
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Jean... what I use on my 5-acre studio property are 4x8' sheets of silver colored insulation, cut in half and taped along the cut as a hinge. So I can stand the reflector on it's own like an "A-frame". These are quite efficient and especially good on the frequent overcast days we get. When the sun is out in force, I feather these to tone down the intensity, throw a white fabric over it, or use a white foam panel in the same way. Check your local home improvement store for 4x8' sheets/panels of silver colored insulation. You can paint them white or silver as well.

    When on location I have used the same (carried in my Yukon XL) or the smaller, round hoop style reflectors if I have someone available to hold the reflector.

    Years ago I used a California SunBounce that had an aluminum frame with three cross bars... it was about 3.5' wide and about 6' long. Worked great. For a number of years after that fell apart I used the black PVC plumbing frame work with a white fabric stretched over it. Also worked very well... it too was about 3.5' x 6'. Any and all of these work great to achieve a totally natural, beautiful lighting result. It's the most beautiful light of all in my view. I never photograph portraits without reflectors. Here's the look I achieve on my property with reflector lighting: (yes, it's time for me to update my splash page!)

    http://www.legendimaging.com
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    538
    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I've been using off camera flash more and more for portrait work and intend to use if for some photos for friends later this afternoon. As a hobbiest, I can't say that I've had extensive use, but I have had a lot of fun experimenting.

    I use the Olympus FL36r set to slave mode, and use the pop-up flash on my GF1 to trigger the FL36r. In order not to light the subject from the front, I dial the exposure on my pop up flash to the lowest possible setting. My GF1 is set up on a tripod and I am able to position myself with the flash where I want it, and trigger the shutter with a remote release.

    Here are two recent examples of portraits of my twin (fraternal) sons, shot using this technique:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/s7ZzMHKiE0UqG2DNgWW5ig?feat=embedwebsite">https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_8rsKLcUXdBs/TYdW-XXAh0I/AAAAAAAAEU8/4iQL_PhNxLY/s640/P1250400.JPG" height="428" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/ExampleStrobeShots?feat=embedwebsite">Example strobe shots</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rC3NdrSjMa1aubBrTpirkw?feat=embedwebsite">[img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_8rsKLcUXdBs/TYdXHpK67cI/AAAAAAAAEVA/itvNl2Wzb1Q/s640/P1250395.JPG" height="428" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/StephenAGeis/ExampleStrobeShots?feat=embedwebsite">Example strobe shots</a></td></tr></table>
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 19, 2010
    It's one of the things in my very long to-do list…

    I've studied this in theory but I have only a little practical experience.

    I just haven't had the time and the money. But I'd really like a wireless setup. Somehow working with cumbersome studio flashes has made me abhor wires…
     
  12. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    Likewise, a simple disposable snapshot to make sure the Metz 44 AF-1 "talked" to my E-PL2 properly. In 30 seconds, I turned on the Metz, pushed the SL button, and set the flash on the other side of a small room. Then I turned on the camera, turned "RC" on and shot. I'm not saying this is a great photo by any means (his chin needs some fill badly), but it is really easy now to have a different perspective, and much more simple to shoot from where the light isn't. This was after dark with the only light being the Metz and a very little room light from a small desk lamp.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    309
    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Brian... that's a link to my (little used) blog, not to my website. Also, I have no idea what you
    are saying when you say "FYI, this link is 404"?

    Here is the website link:

    Legend Portraits: Senior Portraits Vancouver Washington


    EDITED TO ADD... OH, I get it now, you're just posting that to inform me that one of the links in the blog is a dead link. Sorry to be taking space in this thread to discuss that.
     
  15. Plimsol

    Plimsol Mu-43 Regular

    112
    Mar 29, 2010
    Belgium, Antwerp
    Hi Dhart,
    My sunmover arrived yesterday, had no time to use, it feels very solid,
    Time to learn to use it now.
    Do you have any tips how to use it in bright sunlight?
    I read on the net the reflection is so hard and people can not look in to the screen.

    grtz,
    Jean
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Jean... Generally the most flattering portrait light is from about 45 degrees off camera axis on the side that the subject is facing. If the reflector is white, most people can deal with that on a full sun day (you are positioning them with the sun behind them!) I always tell my subject that if the reflector is doing the job I want it to do, it's going to be bright and that they should mentally tune it out and look at me, not the reflector.

    If the material is silver, that can be too harsh on a full sun day, so feather the light to more between the subject and you... That will lessen the brightness, but reduce the reflective surface (giving you a smaller light source, thus harder edge transition of highlight to shadow on the subject). You can also soften the silver by tossing a white cloth or sheet over it.

    With today's digital camera color balance tools, most see little need for gold reflectors unless you want a warm main light contrasting with colder ambient light in surroundings and background.

    When you've got some brilliance in the sky to work with, including bright overcast days, reflector lighting is gorgeous and very natural looking. even on a dark day, an acrylic mirror will pick up a bright spot in the sky and provide nice lighting.

    Start by looking in the sky and finding where you're going to pull your light from, could be the sun behind the subject or a brightish area in an overcast sky, put your reflector off at about 45 degrees from camera, then aim the reflector 1/2 way between the subject and the light you want to reflect... That will bring the reflected light right into your subject. Voila.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. John Bourne

    John Bourne Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jan 30, 2011
    I use manual flash off-camera

    Hi

    I have a couple of Nissin flash guns. One is dedicated to Nikon & the other dedicated to m43. Both have a manual mode, can be triggered as slaves and are smart enough to ignore digital metering flashes. Oh and they're quite inexpensive.

    I sometimes use one or both off camera using the pop up flash to trigger them. I dial the pop-ups flash level down to a minimum (-2EV) and either use it for fill or deflect it up wards. This works with the Nikon or Panasonic cameras & I can also do the same with my Canon S95. Very flexible. The down side is that you can't use this kind of set up at family gatherings or anywhere where others are using cameras with flash - they all trigger the slaves and ruin their shots.

    Alternatively I might mount the dedicated gun on the appropriate camera and bounce its output (sometimes over my shoulder) and use the other unit as a slave. This has the advantage that you can avoid having any light coming directly from the camera position without having to perform any awkward tricks to deflect or block the light from pop ups.

    At some point I want to get some radio flash control system. Pocket wizards are apparantly very good but they are expensive and not flexible enough to be used on multiple systems (eg m43 & Nikon) They are very clever in that they allow you to set different levels on remote flashes all from one position, but I would gladly loose that ability to be able to use them on any camera system. I've been considering some units from Pixel. So if anyone has used them ...

    Regards
    John
     
  18. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I semi-follow Strobist. Next week I'm going to David Hobby and Joe McNally's Flash Bus Tour in NYC. I really like and recommend Syl Arena's Speedliters handbook for anyone that wants to know about off camera flash regardless of the system.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Lisa.. Thanks for the referral to that book.
     
  20. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I'm reading it at the moment. Good info, but the guy needs a proof reader. I've never seen so many typos. Unless the 480exII is a flash I havent heard of and canon flashes can be set in 1/4 stops.

    Gordon