Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adding a miniphone sync port to a Sunpak 544

I love my flashes, thanks in large part to David Hobby. One of the things that David is constantly promoting is his preference for using 1/8" (3.5mm) miniphone audio cords instead of the older, standard PC-sync cords for syncing flashes. PC jacks are notoriously unreliable as well as ludicrously expensive. Miniphone jacks are both more reliable and dirt cheap. Even better, the Cactus V4 radio triggers that I use come with 1/8" sync ports built in. Unfortunately, none of my flashes came with them. My old Sunpak Auto 544 "potato masher" flash came with a proprietary jack, but when that jack started to flake out on me, I figured it was time to add a miniphone plug to it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

99 cent flash diffuser

On-camera speedlights are great.  You can angle them numerous directions to bounce your light to your subject while still having the ease of use of TTL lighting.  Alas, if you don't have a bright, neutral surface against which to bounce your light, the shadows resulting from direct flash can be pretty harsh.  I got around this problem recently by using a dollar's worth of materials to make a great, portable diffuser for my on-camera flash.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas party corporate head shots

I was recently asked to make some business portraits for an entire company of 13 people.  Since most of them were salespeople and rarely in the office at one time, and since that office was 60 miles from my base, it was decided that I would shoot these head shots during their annual Christmas party, because they would all be in once place and dressed up anyway.  I've worked with this company before and will again, so I wanted to make this session happen despite sub-optimal conditions.  Given the unusual situation surrounding this session, I figured I'd share it with you all.