Flash Accessory Test

Flash Bender Accessories – New Toys!

Always on the look out for new “light modifiers” of “flash accessories” to advance my off camera flash photography – I’d seen these flash benders around before, so thought I’d take the plunge and get a couple.

I took them up to Temple Newsham with trombonist Chris Colbran and had a look at what they can do.

What are they?

First off, here’s Chris altering one – you can see that they strap on to the front of the flash with velcro and have a pretty large white area off which to bend your light. Inside the plastic are 3 metal rods which easily deform into any shape you like – including a “snoot”, or tube, which creates a spot light.

They’re really light compared to metal snoots, so no worries about breaking the flash with the extra weight.

The one in the shot is fitted side on, so you can use it as a “gobo” – a light blocker, a bit like one part of a Barn Door flash accessory… handy for stopping light spills on rim lights.

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On this next shot we can see the flash in action – the front one is camera right lighting Chris’ face – the rear creating a rim. I’ve for the flash pointing vertically and the bender curved towards Chris.

The surface is a bit rippled, so you get more spread of light than bouncing of a flash reflector would do.

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A bit closer in with this shot, you can see the bent reflector

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They’re not that big and don’t seem to catch the wind in the same way a brolly would do – or a softbox for that matter. Was on a hiding to nothing with this particular setup – but you get another shot of the bender in action… impaling a passing mother!

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So to some completed shots. Here’s my favourite from the shoot – used a 3-stop ND grad to kill the sky, ISO50 and 1/250th sec also helped. The front flash was incredibly close to Chris to light his face through the ND grad.

The back light subtly adds some sheen to the back of his jacket – the Bender was acting like a snoot at this point – needed the power of direct flash on this one.

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This had 2 snooted flashes pointing directly at Chris – with Chris standing exactly 1/2 way between them Note how small the lit area is – the snoots really do create a small pool of light so you need to direct them accurately and make sure your model dosn’t move far!

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Another with cross lighting – this time with chris playing almost straight into the light source. The bender softens the light quite a lot.

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Back light probably a little too powerful on this one, nice on his jacket, but causing a bright patch on his neck. The front light is really smooth, creating a shadowless effect.

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Pretty cool effect here too – lights in the same position as the last shot, just a better angle for the back light to do its thing

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And finally, that epic sky look…

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Would I recommend them???

So they cost about £15 each from China… money well spent as they do seem to create a decent light, they are very convenient to carry around and double up as back-light gobos.

Well worth the money – will be showing them off at workshops in the future.

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