A couple of weeks ago we had some weather that, at best, you’d describe as ‘ok’. However compared to the rest of the weather up to that point (read: longest winter in human history) it felt like summer was finally upon us!
As you probably know I’m currently undertaking a photography project — Fifty Two Weeks — this project will be running all the way through the summer & beyond. With longer daylight hours & brighter sunlight on the way I wanted to be prepared to balance that with some extreme strobist action.
I’ve played around with making my own multi-flash bracket before & I got some ‘ok’ results but it was bulky & awkward. I’ve also had to improvise in the past — I wanted a better solution. I had heard of/seen people using the Lastolite TriFlash but it didn’t quite sit right with me for 2 reasons:
Price — even the simple version that just holds 3 flashes is about £50. The “Joe McNally” edition allows you to rotate your flash on the bracket so that the IR receiver can always be pointed towards your camera (but come on… who uses IR :P ) that will run you around £60. The most expensive version titled the “TriFlash Sync” allows you to connect 1 receiver to the bracket & the bracket’s built-in hot shoes will then fire all 3 flashes in one go — okay that’s pretty cool but that version will run you about £90! & chances are if you have 3 flashes you normally use them separately & have individual receivers for each one.
Light Distribution — the design of the Lastolite bracket has one light straight up & then the other 2 flashes are at 90 degrees to the left & right of that. That means that all your light is in the top half of your modifier which means you’re not going to get the most even light distribution. I know thats also true of a single light in a modifier but If I’m putting 3 flashes on 1 bracket then obviously having them 120 degrees apart is gunna be the best solution.
I took to eBay & very quickly came across the “Adjustable Tri Flash Sockets Hot Shoe Cold Shoe Mount Bracket umbrella Holder” — I know, catchy name right? Let’s check it out: It’ll screw right onto my existing light brackets or a tripod if I need something with a little more weight. My RF-602 receivers will screw right onto it. It holds the flashes 120 degrees apart. It takes the umbrella/soft box shaft straight through the centre. YES — this is how I would have designed it AND under £10. Perfect! BUY IT NOW.
For my first play with the eBay special tri flash bracket I did some shots for my friend Baker2D, a great benefit of using 3 flashes as one light source is that, when kept on a lowish power, you get crazy fast recycle times. Really happy with how this works with my existing kit & I’m looking forward to using it some more. Bring on the bright light