Photo tools for the road


Since I’ll be traveling in Israel in coming weeks I wanted to mention a little tool that can lighten the equipment load. Since I believe there are only two kinds of baggage…carry-on and lost, this feather-weight reflector piqued my interest. It’s called the Light Scoop and it can eliminate the need for additional flash units which in turn can make your passage through airport hell a little more tolerable.

Nikon D2x’s are my primary platform but I also use bodies with pop-up flashes (formerly Nikon d-70s, currently Nikon D40x). I also favor wide angle lenses which is where the trouble starts. Starting around 24mm the front of the lens starts to cast a shadow in the foreground. The wider you zoom out, the bigger the shadow gets. Bouncing the light fixes this.

The Light Scoop snaps on to the top of the camera body and redirects 100 percent of the flash upwards (or to the side for verticals). These flashes are puny compared to off-camera studio lights or even hot-shoe mounted strobes for that matter. The scoop’s workaround is by using a “mirror” to bounce all of the light produced by the strobe either up or to the side.

My favorite application for the scoop is side-lit, vertical portraits. You can get a nice, soft-box effect by using a wall to reflect the strobe light. Or, combine it with the photographer’s best lighting friend…the white plastic shower curtain.

I used the scoop during this impromptu portrait session with Johna Burke (see above). I shot this with a Nikon D40x with the white balance set for electronic strobe. Johna was (uncharacteristically) in a corner when I shot this. (I removed the yellow cast from the bounce wall and added blur in Photoshop).

This is the kind of tool that can help get you on the plane with no checked baggage.

Light Scoop



~ by keithphilpott on November 12, 2007.

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