Flashing Flashers

I’d missed the post on PetaPixel in January on the development of a novel range of ‘Anti- Papparazzi’ Clothing, but apparently some items – a scarf and a hoodie – will shortly be available.

The idea of highly reflective clothing that will reflect the flash back and thus trick cameras into severely underexposing will perhaps foil a few less experienced photographers, but it is hardly a novel concept, as many of us have been photographing police and others wearing fluorescent jackets with reflective strips for many years.  They are often a pain, but they don’t usually make photography impossible. In most cases you can tame those highlights enough with a little work in Lightroom. And if you do work on auto-exposure the reduction in exposure from the light reflected back is a good thing, as it helps to prevent burnt-out highlights. With cameras like the D800E (or the Fuji XT-1) you can pull an awful lot out of the shadows without problems.

I’m not a ‘pap’, but DJ Chris Holmes’s introductions would probably have little effect on my pictures. Apart from often shooting flash on manual to get more consistent exposures, I’m also using flash less and less for working at night.

Firstly because digital cameras are getting so much better at high ISO, and I often work at ISO3200, but also because to avoid black backgrounds and the flattened look of direct flash I usually work at and aperture and shutter speed where pictures get considerable exposure from ambient light, with flash mainly helping to bring out the subject a little.

But it is perhaps also an idea that has come too late with the increasing use of bright LED light sources. While still more commonly used for movies, increasingly still photographers are making use of them. Tonight – like last night – I’ll be working with one on the D700 and keeping the flash on the D800E. Partly this is because the flash has a longer range, and I’ll be using the 18-105mm on the D800E, often from a longer distance. but its also because my ageing D700 has become rather unreliable with flash.

The Neewer CN 216 LED unit I’m using isn’t perfect, and even though it has a diffuser, doesn’t cover a particularly wide angle of view, and is not really quite as bright as I would like. I could I suppose write a proper review, but if anyone is interested they are cheap enough for you to buy one on eBay and play with it yourself.

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