What’s the best flash? The one you have on hand.
I was called a Strobist (off camera flash user) the other day by a fellow photographer and I was not sure how to take that. So I asked him what did he mean! He said that since I always shoot with my off camera flashes, I was Strobist.
I took a minute to think about it, I told him I was not a Stobiist but I was a “What is the minimum amount of gear can I take on shoot to accomplish my goal” -ist and I think there is a big difference.
Okay follow me on this. I have both off camera flashes (speedlights) and studios flashes. Both have their pros and cons. Off camera flashes generally are cheaper and easier to carry around. I keep three of them in my camera bag. Small and portable they have been my go to for many of my shoots when I need to move around a lot or be quick. They will sit on lightweight light stand which are easier to carry and can fit in a duffel bag when traveling. Studio flashes are bigger, require a bigger light stand and pack more power but need a power source. Some studio newer studio flashes have a built in power pack vs an external power pack that require you plug the studio flash into them. My complete studio flash set up with a power pack will not fit in my camera bag which means I have to tote another bag.
For me it ultimately depends on what I plan on shooting, the environment, how long I am shooting, and style of pictures I want. Most of my shoots are outdoors and only last a few hours so my off camera flashes will do the trick most of the time to add fill flash and a rim light to separate the subject from the background. The studio flashes I currently use ( Paul C Bluff Alien Bees) have fan and vents that help them keep cool, for that reason I prefer not to take my studio flashes to places with moisture in the air like the beach or waterfalls.
For me the ease of use and portability make using my off camera flashes my go to when I am traveling whether I am shooting indoors or outdoors.
I would tell any person starting out or an experience photographer to give off camera flashes a try. With the cost of an off camera flash starting at $60 along with an umbrella and light stand combination you can become a “What is the minimum amount of gear can I take on shoot to accomplish my goal” -ist.`
I currently use 3 Nikon SB-910 Speedlights with battery packs, Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 a with Westcott 45" Round Halo Light Modifier as my staple kit.
Often the term Off Camera Flash (when you take your On Camera Flash off your camera) , Speedlight, Speedlite, and Shoe Mounted Flash, Hot Shoe Flash, generally are all referring to the small flash that takes 4 AA batteries. See picture above for reference.
#Speedlights #OffCameraFlash #AlienBee #Strobist #Photography #Photographer #PocketWizards #Nikon #Westcott