Tag Archive for: light shaper

A videotip about using the FlashBender XL Pro (Frank Doorhof edition)

The FlashBender XL Pro is my favorite light shaper

I’ve been using the Rogue FlashBender for many years. And without any doubt, it’s one of the most flexible light shapers.
You can use it as a snoot, bounce card, softbox, and even a striplight with grid.

The FlasBender was designed for speedlights and round strobes. So,  it fits most of the hybrid strobes on the market like Godox, Geekoto, Profoto, Westcott, etc.
Besides all the different ways to use it, the main advantage for me is that there is always room for a FlashBender or two. It folds up very flat so it will mostly just sit on top of my gear in my backpack.

If you also want a FlashBender, or one of the other Rogue products check
Rogueflash.com / Rogueflash.nl

And for the Dutch customers get the Rogue products and the FlashBender XL Pro here.

Because we are the Dutch distributor for Rogue we also have a Dutch version from this video.

That beautiful old glamour light, nothing like it.

I’ve always loved one certain lightsource.

The Fresnel
It’s actually a funny story, one of the first times I demo’ed during a trade show I was actually using a Fresnel as a prop and also several demos as a main light source. And although at that moment in time I was not really yet into the more classical looks I immediately fell in love with the awesome look of the Fresnel.

The look of the Fresnel is really hard to describe (that’s why I use images), but it’s almost immediately recognizable.
Think about almost all the old black and white (and later color) images from the movie stars from the golden era and you immediately know what I mean right… well that era was dominated by the Fresnel look, you found them everywhere in studios. But now a days I hardly see them anymore. Mostly due to price but also I think because people just don’t know the funny looking Fresnel.

I always describe it like a mix between a very hard light source and a nice soft beauty light effect (told you it was unique and hard to describe)
The main thing about the Fresnel is however that it’s not a light source you can use in one way, you can actually zoom the modifier to create a wider or more narrow beam of light, but in some Fresnels you will also get a very nice/nasty spot in the center of the light which can be terrible (just zoom back a little) but if you really want to draw the attention to a model and she/he is sitting still it can work great.

As you probably guessed by now the main thing about the Fresnel is the lens. You probably already have several Fresnels in for example your speedlights, although often in speedlights they are more rectangular, or if you’re an avid nature photographer you might once experimented with a Fresnel lens in front of your speedlight to “throw” the light a lot further and lighting birds or other wild life on distances you normally could never use a strobe. The Fresnel makes it possible due to the unique design of the lens, and the fact (with studio lights) you can zoom the lightsource to create totally different looks depending on how the light hits the Fresnel.

On the other side of the spectrum (zoom the other way) you get a much wider and beautiful hard/soft quality of light. It does give deep crisp shadows but not with the intense look you can get when using a reflector with grid. It’s a more friendly light source with a bite 😀

Now you might wonder :
“why didn’t you use it more before?”
Very valid question.
The thing a lot of people don’t realise is that 95% of my portfolio is shot during the workshops I teach, events we visit for workshops etc. And when I teach I don’t think it’s very handy to demo setups with modifiers that nobody can afford, yes indeed a Fresnel can be incredibly expensive.

Nanlite Fresnel
Recently I started testing the Geekoto strobes and because these use a Bowens mount I was looking at modifiers and actually found that Nanlite was selling a really nice looking Fresnel for under 150,00 euros which is pretty cheap seeing I bought a theater spot online for 150,00 used and using that one with strobes is far from a working solution, well ok it works but it’s not something you easily setup, using two stands te be able to zoom for example 😀 so the idea of having something that works like a Fresnel for under 150,00 really caught my attention. So we ordered one.

The images you see in this blog post are all done with the Fresnel as main light source and as you can see they have that really nice Hollywood like style light quality.

For portraits like these the Fresnel is a great lightsource.
Add some accent lights for extra depth and you can keep them in color or convert them to Black and White, whatever your taste, the Fresnel will look great.

But it doesn’t stop with portraits.
I also love to use it for a more rough looking full body shots agains for example seamless. The shadows are very defined and sharp and you can play with them by angling the light and really create a nice combination of model and shadow.

As you can see here the Nanlite Fresnel has more than enough reach to light a full body model from app 3 meters distance, and the cool thing is of course that if you can really fine tune the look of your images by simply zooming the Fresnel.

Lets take a look at a few more images I shot with our model and awesome stylist Nadine.
All done with the Fresnel as main light.

But let’s take a quick look at the next blog post.
Because believe it or not, I used the Fresnel also for these shots….

For me the Fresnel is one of those light sources a lot of people don’t really know about but when they see it…. let me put it this way, since I’ve been using it several students immediately bought one after the workshop. So I think it was a logical solution to also add the Fresnel to our webshop.

On our webshop you can find of course our tutorials, books and presets, but also our own products IQwire tether cables (5-10mtrs), ClickPropsBackdrops, Rogue, Expoimaging and Geekoto but we also created a special category for the Nanlite accessories I’m using myself.

Here is a link straight to the Fresnel.
We can ship it ourselves in the Benelux, for outside orders check the Nanlite website for dealers in your area.

Our Geekoto GT200 on the Nanlite Fresnel


The amazing Rogue snoot

Rogue amazing snoot for creative photographers (and all others)

It’s no secret that Rogue creates some of the most creative light-shaping tools on the market.
Last year they released their hugely successful magnetic system for speedlights and round flashes (like Godox, Geekoto, Profoto, Westcott, etc) containing the omnidirectional dome, grids, and gel holders, including color and correction gels. This is already a very complete setup, but recently they added an amazing snoot to the system, and I mean amazing 😀


the complete Rogue magnetic kit including Snoot

As you all know I love to play with light. And I love products that don’t lock me into one or two uses but also can be used creatively. I always called it “gear that invites the creator to be used in ways it might not directly be designed for”. Think about the FlashBenders which started out as a high-end bounce card but quickly grew into a complete lighting system including accessories for a gridded strip light, a softbox, and a snoot. You can even get different accessories to combine with the FlashBender, but even without any modifiers, it’s already incredibly flexible as a background light because you can literally bend the light.

the Rogue FlashBender v3 XL with grid on a speedlight

But let’s focus on the snoot

The snoot is fully collapsable so it doesn’t really take up any space in your bag, and Rogue could of course just give you a snoot that….well is collapsable… but why stop there, right?

The snoot fits round flashes but with an adapter also your rectangle speedlights

The snoot fits round flashes but with an adapter also your rectangle speedlights

So they created a snoot that has 4 different settings, from relatively wide to a very focused beam of light, but wait… there is more about this amazing Rogue snoot. When we look at the snoot it’s a round modifier, so meaning when you place it on a round strobe it will create the familiar round light beam we all love and mimics the theater spots to really make your subject jump out or just add a touch of light on the face/eyes or whatever you want to jump out, the snoot is a very cool light shaper.

So I already told you the snoot can create 4 different beams of light, but think about this.
If you place it on a speedlight you need to use a gel holder with a diffusion gel, a simple white gel that creates the round effect you also get with round strobes…. but…. what if… indeed you don’t use the gel holder?

Indeed you get the form of your speedlight, which is rectangular, and this is what I absolutely love to use with the snoot, I’ve written about it before but we are a bit further in time and I just keep finding amazing things to do with the snoot.

Some examples

First of all, you can use the rectangular look on a portrait, or just to make your model’s eyes jump out a bit more (been there done that and it works). But after doing that a few times I started to think…. “what if we use the strobe not horizontally but vertically”

Because of the rectangular light shape, this is a really powerful tool to really create tight lighting setups.
Here you see two examples where I used a boom stand to get the strobe into a vertical position and use the snoot on the setting I liked to create a sort of vignette around our new model Wendy.

model Wendy in the light of the snoot for the Navy Wall

In this shot, you can see that I’m using our ClickBackdrops Antique Navy wall and shooting from a low angle to create a bit more tension in the shot. If I would have used a striplight with a grid I would have come really close to this but the striplight has to be really close to the model. So close it’s almost impossible to shoot it like this. And with a normal round strobe… well you just can’t create this effect easily, unless you block off the light with flags, which (let’s be honest) on location (and even in the studio) is a lot of work to get right and not a setup you get perfect 1,2,3.

By simply angling the strobe on the stand you can create this effect really easily. After that, it’s a matter of setting the snoot to the position where you get the right coverage and fine-tuning it by changing the distance. Easy peasy 😀

Adding lens flares

Now of course we also love lens flares, but getting them so close to the background is often not easy. Especially when you want to also open up the shadows with some color (and who doesn’t :D). So in the next shot, I used a second strobe fitted with the dome from the magnetic system and placed it just in front of the camera lens, by changing the distance to the lens I can have full control over the amount of lens flare I get, while not influencing the shadows I open up. This is an insanely flexible setup that I use more and more and is actually very hard to do with studio strobes but a breeze with the dome.

I moved the snoot slightly to the right in this shot to get a nice shadow that is also opened up with the blue from the dome. Normally I’m not a fan of eye-height lighting but in this case, I absolutely loved the outcome so I just left the snoot in a slightly lower position than I would normally do.

But that’s just the start….

I love the old-fashioned photos from the ’70-’90s and the classics like Harcourt, George Hurrell, etc.
Photos where they really knew how to create a mood in the images but also where you could find unique and intriguing patterns on the background. One of the solutions I use a lot (and love) is the Westcott Lindsay Adler projector where you can use gobos or even the built-in blades to create sharp (or soft) patterns on the background, but let’s be honest… it’s not a cheap solution (although from what you get it’s one of the most interesting on the market in my opinion).

Another solution is of course to use plants, ladders, etc. to cast shadows on the background, a much cheaper solution but also a bit harder to get something you really like. So I started to think… with all the different ways you can use the snoot, what if I would use it under an extreme angle on the background, add a gel, and play a bit with the angles of the snoot itself. And the results actually surprised me a lot.

This is just the first test I did with this. I’ll create a video about this in the coming weeks, but it’s really super easy to do. Just play with the angle itself, but you can also play with the snoot itself, creativity is your only limitation :D. Thank you Rogue for this amazing snoot.

the Rogue amazing snoot can make wonderful patterns on the background

I took this picture with the snoot folded in a weird way. Because the snoot is so flexible, it’s not a problem

another image with the amazing Roug snoot, folded in a weird form


As you can see you can get some really nice and funky patterns on the background with the amazing Rogue snoot,  and it really makes the shot a lot more interesting.

Can’t wait to start using this on more complex lighting setups and backgrounds. But I couldn’t wait to share this already with you guys. I just love it when light shapers really wake up the creativity in a photographer :D.

More info about RogueFlash on the following sites :

If you have any questions about the amazing Rogue snoot or want to know what you need for your strobes just drop us an email and we always try to respond the same day.


As you probably know I’ve been working with Rogue/Expoimaging for many years and also had input on the Frank Doorhof FlashBender products In April 2022 we made the next step, and after being an ambassador for over 10 years, we became the distributor for Rogue in the Benelux. 
First of all… I’m not for sale 😀
So I would never promote any product I’m not 100% convinced about or use myself, so all the reviews and enthusiasm I show for these products are 100% honest. I’m fully aware that building trust takes years and can be broken down in seconds so we value that a lot.

The rogue snoot in action

The rogue magnetic system is absolutely awesome and together with the flashbender it gives you a total solution that fits in almost every bag

The most recent addition is the snoot. A super flexible snoot that in speedlights can be used in 8 different ways.

Today some images I shot with the snoot and as a fill in light I’m using the dome with a blue gel.

Model : Claudia

You can order all rogue products via www.rogueflash.nl and www.rogueflash.com