Friday, April 20, 2012

Accidental Tulips

Happy accident, really.

I have a Pentax AF160 macro ring flash that, honestly, doesn't see much use. Flower macros, obviously, but I've not been doing those lately. I tried using it for portraiture, but the geometry is wrong for that (its diameter is too small).

I recently picked up an el-cheapo wireless flash trigger kit from Cowboy Studios for 32 bucks: one trigger and two receivers. Works fabulously with my two Pentax AF540 flashes. I'm a happy camper ... except: the AF540 no longer fits in my 18" softbox with the receiver attached -- the combo is too tall. In addition, I'm trying to set up more complex lighting needing more flashes. Damn! Where can I get another flash from? Without, you know, spending money. And how can I regain use of my softbox?

So yesterday I was idly staring at the softbox perched on its stand, empty, and I somehow thought of my ringflash sitting in the drawer, useless.


I threaded the ringflash head around the metal brackets in the softbox, dangling the control box on its cable below, attached one of the wireless receivers to the controller, pointed the softbox at some handy cut flowers and ... TADA! Brand new enablement.

Above is one of the first shots I got with it.

The undefeatable 3 minute idle power-off in the ring flash is a pain in the ass, but that's life. At least the flash retains its configuration when you power-cycle it to wake it up as they are all set by switches.

Tulip Study

Pentax K20D, DA* 16-50/2.8 @ 50mm f/8, 160th sec, ISO 200.
AF-160FC macro ring flash, Westcott Mini Apollo 18" softbox, Cowboy Studios NPT-04 wireless trigger and receiver.
Post-processing in Lr 3.6 and Ps CS5.

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