Family / friends group shots with travel - flash photography

Discussion in 'Travel' started by RaymondC, May 13, 2018.

  1. Hi all

    On travel etc .. I can take my smaller tripod and can still awesome capture fireworks, night shots etc ... We get nagged by people to take their photographs. Hasn't worked out in the past, what do you guys suggest?

    ILC with 2 or so lenses, maybe a speedlight in a pinch but what modifier and would that even help at all? I thought about a 12" or 30cm FStoppers Flash Disc on the speedlight rigged up with a flash cord or wireless held by the left hand. Travelling away from home, out most of the day, after dinner, so sunset and after that - dark blue skies twilight, 1 or 4 people half body etc ... at the sightseeing area, lookout points, waterfront etc etc ..

    So no light stands, no bounce. What would you do in this instance or would you just leave the flash at home and use available light?

    Many thanks.
  2. There is a 30cm ringlight softbox. - My modifier of choice for portable speedlite work. OK, it drains a bit of power it also hides you behind your camera but I guess among the cheap quick dirty outdoor solutions it would be among the best. - Don't forget to drag your shutter and expose for the (due to camera shake) blurry background.
    Usually I am just mercilessly cranking up my ISO etc.
    Make up your mind in advance with some test shots if carrying that ringlight converter + a big 4AA speedlite is worth it compared to a smaller bare 2AA alternative.
    Holding a flash away from the camera outdoors by night will produce structures and show wrinkles etc.
  3. I've traveled with lenses up to 400mm, a tripod to match, and sometimes with flash, but never with a light modifier (except for gels to match fill flash to the available light.) The small modifiers I've tried were useless and the large ones wind catchers. I never tried the ring light attachment Jochen that describes, and it could have been helpful, although adding a small ring light to my bag might work as well. How much I carry depends on the means of transportation and the purpose and length of the trip. I have never worried if a shot might have been improved, or made possible, with more equipment. I did the best I could with what I had with me.
  4. I make do with a small size shoe flash. My big flashes stay at home. And I live with the power limitations of the smaller flash.
    A long sync cable, so that I can hold the flash over my head.
    Once you learn the tricks of holding the flash away from you, and practice, it becomes relatively easy. At least it is for me.
  5. Yep, to me the hard part is what is suitable esp when you are with other people in a busy area like a city which is where most people generally travel to. It does seem to me I can use the Nikon with its builtin wireless mode or the flash cord but at most I could manage is a 8 or 12 inch diffuser. Or maybe just a white card or styrofoam wrap tided on the flash with a hair band. Then they want a group shot of 3 or 4 people there is only so much what you can do. I am also likely to size down to a mirrorless in the near future ....
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I used to travel with a small Metz for Nikon when I just had the DF, but rarely used it. Now I have either the D 750 or D 7200 along as well. They each have the built in, which does a decent job on fill. Last trip to Bermuda, I took a couple of night shots with the flash, some potential, but not enough to make we want to drag one of my big flashes on a vacation.
  7. What I carry and use is constantly changing. For strobes it's a Phottix Odin xceiver plus Mitros+ and Lumapro LP180R strobes. This is the best compromise for me in weight, compactness, easy setup and light quality/control. I wouldn't mind if the strobes were less bulbous and more rectangular (and smaller) so they'd pack tighter. Much easier to deal with than pocket wizards and better color consistency (Mitros+) than Yungnuo.

    I've a Lastolite one-handed bounce that has become a favorite as well as a round one that's larger but requires finding a voice activated light stand (VALS) to hold it.

    A few micro shoot thru umbrellas that are unfortunately no longer made. I think I have 10", 14" and 18". Not as nice as a 60" soft box but better than nothing and actually work quite well when you can use them fairly close for a one or two person headshot. Oh, and they take just about zero room when folded.

    Roundflash foldable ring flash. I like the effect, some people don't. Much easier to deal with than a 60" soft box. If I know I'll be doing group shots that I want to turn out then this will nearly always go along.

    2 - 4 (or more) strobes shooting through a 50" round shoot thru can work great if you can deal with any wind and have VALS available. I've also got a bit of shoot thru material (I think 48x60") that takes up much less room than foldable options and comes in handy if there is no wind or enough VALS to hold it tight.

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