Tip#4 Equipment (Flash)

Most big-name bands will not allow you to use flash, assume you can’t use it unless you find out otherwise. Good bands will use a good light show on the whole, and you don’t want to destroy the effect with flash anyway. This means you need good equipment… a DSLR which can shoot at high ISOs without noise and fast lenses.
However, you’ll be able to use flash with almost any band that hasn’t hit the big time. But don’t just flick the inbuilt pop-up flash and fire away, you’ll get bad looking snapshots.
You must use a good external flash capable of bounce and swivel. Don’t point the flash directly at the performers, bounce the light off ceilings and walls. This gives a much more natural effect, direct flash is the work of the devil and looks terrible.
I met a pro photographer recently who carries around a reflector (circular reflective material that folds down), and he bounces his flash off the reflector and onto the performers. Very good idea.
Other people attach a diffuser onto their flash.
I personally hold the camera in my right hand, and hold the flash in my left which is connected by the PC Sync socket. It’s a cheap flash but it works like a charm, I thoroughly recommend it. It’s a Sunpak 383. Here are photos taken using this method: 


FourWayKill

FourWayKill

Burden of Reality

Burden of Reality

Divide

Divide

The Seventy 7s

The Seventy 7s

Raging Speedhorn

Raging Speedhorn

2 Responses to “Tip#4 Equipment (Flash)”

  1. Hugh Macdonald Says:

    Just working my way thought your tips (I will read the rest of the blog at some point, too!)

    when you’re using an off-camera flash, who do you do about focus/zoom? I recently got myself one, and feel very uncomfortable not having one hand on the lens….

    I usually leave my flash round my neck, so it’s easily accessible. It does mean that I can’t use it and be as immediate as I’d usually like….

  2. Bob Rose Says:

    Thanks Hugh,
    yeah, my right hand is getting quite strong! I’m not one for constantly zooming in and out, I prefer to just physically move about. If I need to change the focal length, I stick out two fingers from my left hand and zoom that way. If I stop using the flash, I put it in my jeans pocket with most of it sticking out so I can be quick on the draw if I need to use it again.
    When I use flash, I’m usually using my 12-24mm lens and I’m getting quite used to holding the camera at arm’s length to get unusual angles while estimating what the shot will look like.

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