Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shoot the Snoot, Advanced Techniques

Diffused, White, Black and Confused?

Just because we have the gear and spent our valuable dollars on it, doesn't mean we'll get the shot let alone know what to do with it.

In this Post I talk about how to use a snoot and look at the few albeit simple differences the slightest changes can make.

The first three images below produce dramatically different results, leaving the camera settings the same, the distance from the light source doesn't change either (about 5' from the end of the snoot). As with all the images from this post the only change was the way I used my snoot. And I'm about to share them with you.

The Top image has been made with a white snoot, typical results nothing to fancy, sure can tell they are fake silk flowers. I choose flowers for this example because of the many colors and edges in the image lots of contrasted areas between the highlights and shadows.

For the Middle image I used a diffused snoot. No, I've not placed a diffuser between the flash and the subject material, what is it then? 

I've made a snoot out of diffuser material, some of the light travels through the snoot but most of it gets diffused through the sides of the snoot and now become a little late and softer getting there, now I've begun to produce a more interesting look.


Remember you're not putting a diffuser over the flash or between the snoot and the subject, the end of the snoot stays open just as if you are using it normally.


Now for a more extreme quality to my image. I've used a fully black snoot.

Take the Rogue Flashbender for example, its white on one side and black on the other, try using the black side for the inside of the snoot. It produces more contrasty image quality. Now I've got a much more interesting image, even for fake silk flowers, this end result is dramatic and fun. I've still got one more tip so keep reading. 


Difference Between the Black and White snoot, zoomed slightly out.

A snoot is just a easier and much cheaper way to create a spotlight drama that you can get from stage lights and barn doors, it will be a great way to take photo's of the kiddos during halloween, and it doesn't have to be night out side either these where taken at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon right next to a window. 



One last Tip for the Snoot Shoot!

I choose this clock for subject matter but I could have just used a plane backdrop, all I did with the snoot here is pinch the end a little and got this wonderful teardrop quality falloff from the light. Remember it's important to have the light coming from the same side as the pinched edge of the snoot. Here the light is just over my right shoulder and about 8' from the clock. 

Keep practicing and Happy Shooting. I look forward to seeing some of the interesting images you can create, feel free to share your results and post them in the comments below.  

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