How many of us professionals forget that our strobes have a “ZOOM” feature? Zoom is normally set too automatic and will focus the strobe beam of light based on the lens “Zoom” setting.
Example: If we’re using a 24-70 lens and have it zoomed out to 24mm your flash would automatically fire a beam of light broad enough to encompass the entire frame. Now if we take the same picture and zoom in with lens to 70mm our strobe will focus that same beam of light to only strike the area which is now framed within the camera. This process saves flash power and overall works great!
BUT for creative shots when a more focused beam of light is required and a portable snoot is not able, give this a try… Set the zoom on your flash to manual mode and set it’s zoom to double the mm of your lens zoom.
Example: Focus out to 24mm and set your flash to 50mm and take a shot. Now set the flash zoom to 120mm and take another shot from the same vantage point. After reviewing both pictures you’ll see an obvious difference in the amount of focused light you can achieve using different flash-zoom ranges.
This simple TIP will provide you with creative “focused” lighting, in studio and out, while reducing the amount of light modifiers you have to lug around with you!
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Joseph Cristina is a professional photographer based in West Palm Beach, Florida and has over 24 years of experience in both Photography and Graphic / Media production.