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Thread: "Strobist"...? What Is This

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    "Strobist"...? What Is This

    On another forum there was a reference made to "The Strobist School". I gather that this is an photographic esthetic involving off-camera flash.

    I didn't want to seem ignorant in THAT thread and I didn't want to seem challenging the other photographer. So I ask here...Hasent off-camera flash been a staple of advasnced studio technique for just forever...or is this technique like "Painting with light" that was the fad a hile back?

    Any input on this?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2

    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    Part of the Strobist concept recently is low cost or build it yourself solutions. I think this is a large part of the newness of these ideas, though many are variations on older ideas. I browse through there every once in a while. I have also made some of my own lighting set-ups to meet specific needs for what I wanted to accomplish, so I suppose I fit into the Strobist mentality a little.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  3. #3

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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    That is just off-the-camera flash - the point being that digital cameras allow for instant control, so that it can be done with cheap old handhelds where you'd once need a studio rig with control lighting.

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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    For those who have not browsed the Strobist blog, it is www.strobist.com. I actually, quite enjoy browsing the site now and again after having run across it only a few months back. It was information there that motivated me to start playing with flash in large format.

  5. #5

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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    Strobist makes using off-camera flash accessible for everyone...It touts cheap, small strobes, do it yourself stuff, etc. It has a lot of great technique. It is more-or-less the experience of someone who was once a PJ. He shot in a similar way when he shot film, too. I follow the blog, because it is just good advice...

  6. #6

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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    Gordon, not to quarrel with you but at least for closeup work there's nothing new about using small flashes off camera. People who shoot fishes in aquaria have been doing this since the 1950s.

    Sevo, re instant control. Interesting concept. I think what you mean is mindless instant control. Guide number arithmetic, after the flash(es) GN(s) is(are) determined is pretty instant too. And using a pre-calibrated flash rig is fast and amazingly reliable.

    FWIW, I finally got around to making and calibrating a closeup flash rig for my 2x3 Graphics -- the previous one used 283s, was at times a bit much -- that uses tiny flashes. With it, getting the right exposure is no problem at all. Getting good focus is, though, driving me nuts.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  7. #7

    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Gordon, not to quarrel with you but at least for closeup work there's nothing new about using small flashes off camera. People who shoot fishes in aquaria have been doing this since the 1950s. . . . . .
    Actually Dan, we agree. That's why I italicized newness. I did think the do-it-yourself ring flash was interesting, and I have never seen that previously.

    Ciao!

    Gordon

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    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    You know you're a real strobist if . . .


    . . . the trigger voltage on your strobe can also be used on the electric chair at the state pen.

  9. #9
    Downstairs
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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    As a low-cost strobist, I would like to recommend the tool I use most. There is nothing quite so versatile on the market. Missing from the image is a plastic flash shoe which screws on top. (The other picture is done with three $10 strobes on 4x5)
    Last edited by cjbroadbent; 10-Feb-2009 at 03:57.

  10. #10

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    Re: "Strobist"...? What Is This

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Sevo, re instant control. Interesting concept. I think what you mean is mindless instant control. Guide number arithmetic, after the flash(es) GN(s) is(are) determined is pretty instant too. And using a pre-calibrated flash rig is fast and amazingly reliable.
    One of the things the "strobist school" advocates is a great deal of flash modification, often impromptu. It ranges from traditional bounce cards to plastic cups over the head and also advocates lots of things like bounce. It heavily emphasizes on location "mobility" in technique. Under such conditions, calculations fail rapidly with too many fudge factors. In this particular case, digital (even just as a flash meter) offers some real freedom and does help improve creative use use of flash. I am not particularly enamored of a lot of the output from the "strobist school" (I prefer a more natural result), but some of it is very good (and natural) and it is an intriguing approach that lends itself to digital well.

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