Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Rogue FlashBenders from Expo Imaging

My youngest daughter and a good friend camped in our garden recently and in the morning decided it would be a nice idea to have a photograph together in the tent. So I took the opportunity to create a few snaps using the new Rogue FlashBenders from Expo Imaging.


Basically, FlashBenders are flexible light modifiers for just about any make of hot shoe mounted or off camera Speedlite flash unit. They are well made and benefit from their own intergral rubber backed Velcro fasteners, which incidentally also fasten Go Pro Photo Gel Clips in place. This is handy as these shots were warmed up with a 1/4 CTO gel** for a bit of localised warmth in the shot. It is quicker and easier colour correcting in camera than messing around with layer masks in post-production. All the shots in this piece are as they came out of the camera with very little (if any) tweeking in ACR (Abobe Camera Raw).

As you can see from the image above, Rogue FlashBenders produce a soft even light when used close-in for portraits, in this case about 2 feet from the subjects.

This shot was lit with one Speedlite to camera right, level with the subjects, at about 1/8th or 1/4 power. The shutter was set fairly fast at around 160th/200th* second and the stop f7.1 at 100 ISO to over power the ambient light which was sun peeping through broken cloud. The Speedlite was triggered with a “Poverty Wizard” radio trigger bought from some oriental outfit on Ebay! The ambient light was under exposed by about 2 stops for the cloudy conditions - I tried to shoot when the sun was behind the clouds. I suppose I could have gone the e-TTL route to over-power the ambient, but this was Sunday morning. Hey!

In the following shot you can see the under exposed ambient light and the set-up. The flash with the large Rouge FlashBender was mounted on a Manfrotto backlight stand as I was shooting from close to ground level.


Rogue FlashBenders are a good investment for any off-camera flash photographer or fan of Strobist style lighting. They are light and very well made from high-quality, durable materials. Their construction allows you to shape the modifier to control the light from your Speedlite just about any way you want, including making snoots or acting as a flag to mask light from part of a shot.

Rogue FlashBenders are available in three sizes:
  • Large Positionable Reflector
  • Small Positionable Reflector
  • Bendable Bounce Card/Flag
These reflectors are flexible enough to carry in most camera bags - so no excuses for not having a flash modifier with you. I’ve carried one in my Think Tank Photo Retrospective Lens Carrier 2 and all three just lay on top of my kit in my Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW back pack.


These lovable Rogues will soon be available in the UK - click here for a list of distributors/resellers.

* I’d like to have worked at 1/250, but these cheap radio triggers will not sync at higher shutter speeds - you get what you pay for!

** CTO is actually intended as a daylight 5500k to tungsten/incandescent 3200k conversion filter gel. The 1/4 CTO gives just the right amount of warmth to pale British or northern hemisphere skin tones.

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