Small Flash - Big Light

on April 23, 2012
Kingsley Klau was talking at the WAPF weekend about his forthcoming courses on small flash technique. It was great to hear someone confident with the equipment and able to produce really outstanding flash photographs - many people shy away from this when they could do so much more.

I asked Kingsley what sort of equipment he will be discussing with the workshop attendees - sort of trying to get an idea where we in the shop side can contribute. Of course there was an ulterior motive - I wanted to get his inside tips on flash for myself. I use the Nikon system and this seemed a good chance to get ahead.

From what Kingsley said it looks as though he will be using several flash heads in soft boxes to do his setups. The flash units might be Nikon, Canon, Pentax, or other small speed lights. We will be able to supply Nikon SB 700 and SB 910 flashes that work very well as slave or master units. The Canon people have a ready supply of 430EX and 600RX speed lights in store right now. Pentax should be able to supply 360 and 560 units as well.

The soft boxes that Kingsley mentioned are made by Lastolite. The smaller of the two is called the Ezybox Speed-lite and is 22cm x 22cm. It wraps and straps on the front of most flash units with two overlapping Velcro straps. It is secure enough not to blow away from the front of the flash.

The larger soft box from Lastolite is the Ezybox Hot Shoe Kit. It is 28cm x 38cm and comes with a bracket at the rear of the box to support a flash unit with a hoe at the back - there is even space to mount a dual flash to push more light into the box. The whole is supported on a tilting mount and a medium-sized folding light stand.

Actually, you might also want to support the smaller flash unit on a similar stand - small CL units are available for as low as $55, though a more versatile size would be about $ 89. In any case, the manufacturers of the flash units always enclose a plastic "foot" with their flash with a tripod socket moulded into the bottom of it. Very useful; you can mount the thing on a light stand or balance it on the floor or table quite independently of the camera body.

The realization that you can have a 2 or three light setup for studio results out on the beach is mind-boggling - particularly when it is small enough to sling over an average shoulder and doesn't need a power station or an electrician's ticket to run.

Want to know more? Computer on over to and look for Kingsley's section in the workshop area. He'll be conducting the workshops on April 29, June 10, and August 12 but it would be wise to book now to make sure you get a spot. It's only $ 189 and it could be the best lighting workshop deal of the year!