Today is all about gadgets. One gadget in particular. I am growing to love my radio flash triggers. I bought a set of Pixel King radio triggers a little while back and have been playing with them in conjunction with my Speedlite flashes. I usually make the blanket statement that I don't like flash at gigs, but am re-evaluating this a little. There are certain times when you really need to freeze the action to get a picture and in the light available in most of the places I shoot (I carefully avoided the use of the words 'dingey hell-holes' so as not to offend) there just isn't enough.
So if there is something really interesting, but very action oriented going on (head banging, stage diving, leaping in the air legs akimbo, people hanging from things attached to the ceiling) it is really hard to avoid flash. I have stuck up an action pic from an Acacia Strain pic below to illustrate the point.
The subject of the picture is really the rather beautifully executed stage dive, not the Acacia Strain giving it some on stage. Unfortunately, there was very little light targeted on the ceiling where the stage diver just happened to be at the time, so flash was really the only way. The actual pic on the camera was perfectly exposed according to all the fancy histograms etc, but I just never like them like that. So I turned it black and white, underexposed it a bit, grained it a bit and generally stamped up and down on it with my feet to make it look dirty.
So, back to the gadget that started me thinking about this. One of the Pixel Kings had a wonky hotshoe attachment that I somehow managed to bust at 'Live At Leeds'. I was playing with the idea of my mate Gaz holding the flash up in the crowd some way away from me and triggering the flash remotely by a transmitter on the hotshoe. Of course, this would mean that I wasn't technically breaking the 'no flash' rule and Gaz would actually get thrown out. Anyway, for gig where I didn't have a decoy mate I was going to use a small stand and just position the flash well away from me. Why bother? I hear you ask. Well I think the thing I don't like about flash is the 'in your face' blown out look that it gives, along with revealing all the ugly clutter on stage. By positioning it from an entirely different angle to the camera you could avoid some of the things I dislike. Anyway, to do this I needed the Pixel King fixing, so popped down to the Flash Centre. This is where the big difference comes from using a pro dealer vs high street stores comes in. They swapped the receiver without a moments hesitation. I was well chuffed as I expected to not be able to do anything with it for ages.
So now I can play about with the triggers to my hearts content. Starting with making my homemade lightbox out of a cardboard box, white paper and some perspex..... Don't ask!
Late Breaking News:
My Lightbox experiment worked a treat and I now need to take lots of photos of things that have been sliced... like lemons, limes, eyeballs, that kind of stuff