Contrary to popular belief you really don’t need that flash photography equipment for flash photography, however there are a few essential accessories I recommend to make life a little easier. I have dabbled in flash photography for a few years now and I have built up and honed my flash photography equipment to include what I consider the essential items, as follows:-
My flash photography equipment – Camera
Arguably you can use any camera for flash photography, however since most of my flash photography involves taking photos of people my go to camera is the Canon 6d. The best things about the Canon 6d are the full frame sensor (which obviously results in excellent image quality and photos I can blow up to poster size without visible loss of quality) and the comparably low cost. The 6d is Canon’s most affordable (cheapest but it’s still not cheap) full frame camera. In addition to the full frame sensor the 6d is small, light and user friendly.
I spent ages deliberating about whether to buy the Canon 6d or not and finally took the plunge and got out the credit card, and boy am I glad I did. I could go on and on about the Canon 6d, and if you are interested take a look at “The pros and cons of the Canon 6d”.
My flash photography equipment – Lenses
Since my flash photography typically involves photographing people I use lenses that are suitable for portrait photography and my lenses comprise the Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens for group shots and wide angle type shots, and the Canon 24 – 70 f2.8L as my general work horse lens. Up until very recently these were the only two lenses I used for flash photography, however I have added a third lens to my armory, and that is the Canon 35mm f2 IS prime lens.
My flash photography equipment – Godox Ving speed light
My first speed light was the Canon 600EX, which is an exceptionally good flash. I ended up accidentally damaging my Canon 600EX a couple of days before a photo shoot, which was a bit of a pain as I was totally broke and could only afford a cheap and cheerful alternative, which was a Ving. When I received the Ving I was impressed, and whilst it wasn’t as well made as my Canon 600EX it was just as powerful and full of features (ETTL and HSS), and the best thing is the Ving is more user friendly than the Canon 600EX. I was so impressed with the Godox Ving I bought three more of them to gang together as a single lighting solution. If you want lot of bang for your buck, and let’s face it who doesn’t? The Godox Ving is the speed light for you. If you’re interested in the Godox Ving you may want to take a look at “The pros and cons of the Godox Ving”.
My flash photography equipment – Godox Wistro AD360
As much as I like my 3 speed light ganged set up I have to admit that it can be a bit of a faff to put together and set up, and when speed is of the essence it isn’t an ideal solution. When I am out on location, need a powerful portable flash, and also need to act fast I use my Godox Witstro AD360, which is basically a large speed light. Even though the AD360 has a hot shoe attachment I would never use it on camera because it is big, heavy and would probably damage the camera (although I can’t confirm this). I only ever use the Godox Witstro AD360 as an off camera flash solution, and this is where it excels.
The Godox AD360 is an excellent flash light, and one I highly recommend. If you are interested you may want to take a look at “Review of the Godox Witstro AD360”.
My flash photography equipment – Yongnuo 622 flash triggers
I like the versatility of off camera flash and the only way I can achieve this with the Canon 6d and Godox Ving or Godox Witstro AD360 flash photography equipment is to use some flash triggers. There are plenty of flash triggers around and the prices vary enormously. There are the top end brands (like the Pocket Wizards) costing hundreds of bucks and the bargain basement end generic brands (like the Chinese imports) costing a few bucks. Whilst I would steer clear of super cheap flash triggers (I have been there, done that and got the t-shirt) however there is no need to spend a fortune on the top branded triggers.
The flash triggers I use are the Yongnuo 622s and I have to say I am very happy (and impressed) with them. The Yongnuo 622s have ETTL, they are reliable (misfires are rare), they don’t eat the batteries and they are also affordable. If anyone asks me to recommend flash triggers my first recommendation are Yongnuo 622 flash triggers. If you’re interested you may want to take a look at “Review of the 622 flash triggers”.
My flash photography equipment – Light modifiers
Flash light can be a bit harsh, even when you dial the power right down to the bare minimum. Because of this I always make sure I use some type of light modifier to soften the light and reduce the chances of hot spots. My range of light modifiers comprises shoot through brollies, a small on camera soft box and a small soft box for the Godox Witstro AD360 off camera.
I know of many photographers who carry a lot more flash photography equipment, and have invested a lot of money in it, however I find the flash photography equipment listed above is more than enough for what I need.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.