Wednesday, 2 December 2009


After a year or so with a DSLR I realised that most of my pictures were going to be of the children. I had already purchased a 50mm f1.4 prime lens and this was perfect for indoor use without flash. The pictures were really good but I needed something better and the answer wasnt a new lens, it was light.

I went for a Canon 430 EX II and also purhased the off-camera cord (what a waste of money that was). After playing with the flash for a while I soon realised that I had to get the flash off-camera but the cord I had just wasn't long enough to do anything of any use at all.

In fact, I didnt really think I could do anything worthwhile until I got hold of a light-stand, bracket, modifier (umbrella, softbox etc). That was when I started making snoots and grids to get some neat effects with the strobe light.

I also spent a lot of time looking at various blogs and forums to see how easy it was to extend the length of my off-camera cord. Given that it cost £50 I was a little reluctant to "cut it up".

The main benefit of the off-camera cord was that it provided full TTL control of the strobe. However, I soon found that the majority of people were using strobes set on manual. This was also the case on the OneLight DVD by Zack Arias, I too have since found that lighting manually gives you complete control and ensures consistency.

Finally, after weeks of trawling through even more blogs and forums I took the plunge and purchased some ebay triggers. I went for the CTR-301P which has a PC connection on the receiver as well. These things don't break the bank at less than £20 but they are really good value. I get the odd mis-fire but for £20 I can live with that. Not long after that (and several nights of trawling through Ebay listings) I purchased the rest of the lighting gear. (Stand, bracket and Umbrella.)

I was now all set to go and get those pictures of the kids I was after. And this is where the fun began......2 kids (aged 2 and 3) don't tend to sit still for long !

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