Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm "Jellin" with My Zoom Flash

In this non video, but immensely satisfying post - I'm just really hyping it so you don't miss the video this week - we will cover one of the coolest, most eye catching, dramatic, lighting techniques in the history of wedding photography. Here we go. This past weekend, I borrowed one of Matt Adcock's (of FlashFlavor fame) filtered flash techniques and added my little twist to it. Check out the image and read on.
Here is the deal. On my remote quantum strobe, I added a red gel over the light. I just used a Rosco gel I picked up from my local supplier. I asked my assistant to discreetly head into the crowd and out of camera view. Next I asked him to point the flash at the floor, but far enough away to allow the light to spread. With the red gel, the Quantum needed to be at 1/2 power. A few test firing showed we were right on with the light. Now I needed the action to place in my new "red" lighting environment. The party was rocking and one of the couples saw the camera and starting working it.

I had a 10-22mm lens set to 10mm on my Canon 40D - I was pretty darn wide on the couple. Here is the cool part - I didn't want my flash to wash out the red floor, so I manually "zoomed" it to it's 80mm setting. This in effect gave me a much smaller cone of light which only fell on the couple and not the surroundings keeping my bright red background. The result was exactly what I was going for. Give it a try - kind of fun and different image.


  1. A really great technique! Thanks.

  2. sweet frame David, I just love it :)


  3. I love this, but I couldn't quite get it to work. Shooting 40D with a pair of 580's. Got close but could not get a bright enough light on the couple for some reason. Shooting Tamaron 11-18mm.

    Thanks, Charlie

  4. Hey I just posted a DIY guide for making Flash Gels if you guys want to try it out on the cheap!