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Multiple flash photography
http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1069
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Author:  Mike Page [ Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Multiple flash photography

Most of my bonsai photography has been done with multiple slave triggered flash units. Usually 3 slaves triggered by the on-camera flash.
In an attempt to refine the technique, I bought 2 ac powered slave strobes, and created a "lightbox" using white window shades, one on each side. To make the box, pull down the shade. Easy!
The image shows 3 units at the top of the picture, and 2 at the center, 1 on each side with diffusers mounted. With the camera flash, this gives 6 units, and the shades diffuse and reflect the light to give better balance. Anyhow, that's the theory.
Here's the setup.
Mike

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z_litebox.jpg [54.47 KiB]
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Author:  Mike Page [ Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  The first try of the new setup

Here's my first image shot with my "lightbox". It's a dwarf escallonia.
The camera was tripod mounted and set on aperture priority. The lens setting was f13.
I'm quite happy with the result, based on the first try. Improvments in technique will come along.
If anyone has questions, please feel free to email me, or post questions onsite, and I'll try to help.
BTW, my camera can be set to not fire the preflash, which will trigger the slaves prematurely.
Mike

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z_escallonia.jpg [68.62 KiB]
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Author:  Carl Bergstrom [ Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Mike,
Great setup! Thanks for the picture. I fantasize about putting something like that together here myself. Hasn't happened yet -- in part because I'd first have to clean the garage.
The picture looks quite nice (and this is one my favorite of your trees). One suggestion would be to bring the intensity of the side(?) lights down just a notch. Escallonia will be tricky to ever get right, because of those glossy leaves, but as you can see the highlights are blown out on many of the leaves and also, I think, on the right side of the trunk.
Best regards,
Carl

Author:  Mike Page [ Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Carl Bergstrom wrote:
Mike,
Great setup! Thanks for the picture. I fantasize about putting something like that together here myself. Hasn't happened yet -- in part because I'd first have to clean the garage.
The picture looks quite nice (and this is one my favorite of your trees). One suggestion would be to bring the intensity of the side(?) lights down just a notch. Escallonia will be tricky to ever get right, because of those glossy leaves, but as you can see the highlights are blown out on many of the leaves and also, I think, on the right side of the trunk.
Best regards,
Carl


Hi Carl
This picture was my first try with this new setop, and fine tuning is required. However, I think the light balance is much improved. More diffusion may help with the shine on the glossy foliage, but as you know, shiny surfaces are hard to photograph.
Part of the problem with the right side of the trunk is some discoloration which may be correctable with brushing and some walnut oil.
I'm very pleased with the ac slave flash units Theh have a standard light bulb base and I have them in clipon sockets.
The brand name is MORRIS AC SUPER SLAVE. I found them on amazon.com and they were shipped from ADORAMA in New York City. Cost including shipping was $107.85. I may order 2 more. They have difussers for them which may improve the results.
There are contests to enter, and a well groomed bonsai that is well photographed is very necessary for success.
Regards
Mike

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