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Supporting Off-Camera Flashes

December 7, 2015 2:11 pm

Photographing with natural light offers great variability and produces amazing images, but it can be challenging to be at the mercy of natural light and making it work for a shoot. Using off-camera flashes and speedlights are an ideal way to better control light in images without the glare and washed out effect of an on-camera flash. However, to utilize the potential of off-camera flashes fully, you need to be able to put them wherever you want and ensure that they’re stable and supported. Finding and using the right stand for your off camera lights helps ensure a productive shoot.

Human support

One of the simplest ways to support your off-camera flash is by having someone you know hold your flash. You can then give them verbal instructions on how to adjust the light, where to move it, the right angle, etc. This is very handy if you have a moving subject matter, but you need someone with experience in photography who knows how to position the lighting modifier to prevent it from drifting during the shoot.

Handheld support

Handheld support involves either you or an assistant holding the flash. You can do this solo if you can shoot pictures single-handled and it provides excellent control. If you have an assistant, they can hold the flash, and you can instruct them where to aim it.

Small tripod

Although tripods may not get the off-camera flash as high as you want, they’re great for uneven ground and are stable if you weigh them down by hanging something from the center column.  A small, lightweight tripod that you can stash in your bag or carry on your belt works well as an off-camera flash support in a pinch, but you’ll need to put it up on something for better height.

Large tripod

For larger light modifiers and off-camera flashes, a large, heavy tripod is a good option. It’s usually heavy enough on its own to be stable on uneven surfaces, but you can weigh it down further as necessary. It’s bulky but relatively easy to carry if it has a broad shoulder strap and you can find larger tripods in taller heights that work well for raising the light up.

Dedicated light stand

Designed for the sole purpose of supporting an off-camera flash or light modifier, a dedicated light stands are one of the best ways to get the flash higher above the subjects. There are a variety of styles and sizes available as they range from light and flimsy to heavier and stable. Unfortunately, light stands can break easily in transit, and although they raise the off-camera flash adequately, they can be unstable and don’t work on uneven ground well.

When you have the right support for you off-camera flash and don’t have to rely on natural light all the time, it opens up new possibilities in photography. Bring all of your images into the best light with unique printing and mounting options from Baboo Digital including metal prints and gallery plexiglass mounting.

Featured image by WickedVT