Tag Archive for: rogue

Some fun images with Nadine and crazy styling

Today just some images I shot during a workshop with Gabe and Nadine.
With sets like this it’s always fun to experiment with different angles and expressions.
So walk around your model and sit down, or stand on a ladder, make it fun and creative.
And don’t be afraid to use your wide angle for some nice leading lines.

Oh… and even during lunch keep shooting 😀

Shooting models in the sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash

Geekoto is the perfect off-camera flash to get full control over your light. In the studio and on location!  Read more about shooting models in the sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash.


During the location in Emmeloord workshop with Claudia, it was the first time I used the Geekoto GT200 and GT250 during a workshop. I only shot the first set with the set with Geekoto and after that, we switched over to the powerful Hensel Porty System which images I will upload tomorrow. The weather was great. So, we had to shoot model Claudia in the bright sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash.

Yes, the Hensel Porty system is with its 1200W and large reflectors a lot more powerful, but for those small strobes, the Geekoto’s surprised all the attendees including myself.

We started with just using the Geekoto and a reflector on the Bowens mount.
Now I have to add it was very sunny.

As you can see it’s pretty easy to push away the ambient light, and it’s easy shooting models in the sun with Geekoto Off-Camera Flash. And this was not even on full power but actually on almost the lowest setting, adding a reflector with highly reflective material really helps a lot.

For the next set, Claudia only moved to another angle where the sun was a bit more challenging especially because I decided to also add a red gel and our Rogue dome to the setup, now you have to realize that adding a gel will take away a considerable amount of light, but as you can see in the results, the system had no problem keeping the mood I wanted.

Now the original idea for us was to use the Geekoto system as a replacement for our Nissin system making it easier for me to demonstrate our Rogue products during trade shows and workshops/events on location where you would normally need speedlights. But the Geekoto’s impressed us so much for the price that we decided to go a few steps further.

Starting next week we will be the official distributor for the Benelux for them.
We are building the website and will add the products to our shop this weekend, so if you want to order please send us an email or wait till we add them to the shop in the coming days.

For the time being, we have built the pages on:www.geekoto.nl

Combining/mixing light sources

One of the questions I hear a lot during workshops is the problem of combining/mixing light sources
Now let’s first do the easy stuff.

Combining/mixing light sources: strobes and speedlights

This is one of the things that happens quite often, and in all honesty, it’s a bit of figuring out stuff but when you get it, it’s pretty easy.
There are some different solutions, so let’s quickly go through them.

  1. the first one is the easiest
    Use a system that uses the same trigger for their speedlights and strobes. And nowadays with brands like Geekoto and Godox the line between studio use and portable is getting smaller by the minute.
  2. Use a cable trigger
    Very old-fashioned but it still works, get a cold shoe with a cable connector and use the trigger for your studio strobes and the cable for the speedlights, or the other way around.
  3. Use a system that can learn the pre-flash
    Most speedlights have a small flash before the main flash and sometimes you can disable this, but often it’s not possible some strobes, like the Elinchrom system, have the option to learn the pre-flash, and now you can use your speedlights to trigger the studio strobes via the optical slave.

Of course, there are more solutions, like optical slaves, IR, etc. but today I want to talk about something that is a bit more tricky.

Combining/mixing light sources: continuous lighting with strobes

To get a proper understanding of what’s going on I always joke that this is as close to HDR (not Highly Destructive Retouching) as you can get with one exposure. So what’s going on.

When we look at the way continuous lighting is captured it’s a matter of the longer you keep the shutter open, the more light enters. But when we do the same thing for flash/strobes it doesn’t really matter how fast the shutter speed is, as long as it’s within the so-called X-sync (often 1/125) it will render properly.

So when we want to mix strobes with continuous lighting we actually already know what to do, but it’s still important to talk about some issues that can/will go wrong 🙂

another example of combining/mixing light sources. Christmas lights, lights in the branches and flash on the model


The first thing is of course output.
Our Hensel studio strobes are much more powerful than a lightbulb.
So we have to make sure that we keep the output of our strobes as low as possible when we want to mix them with for example Christmas lights. But how do we do that ?

  1. Buy the right strobes
    When buying strobes it doesn’t make sense to get 1000W strobes with 3 stops of range. You will get a lot of light but 1000W is really a lot and 3 stops range is not that much. A much wiser investment is anything between 100 and 400W for studio use with loads of stops, for example a 400W strobe with 6 stops of adjustments will give you more than enough output but it also makes the lowest setting ideal for mixing it with continuous lighting.
  2. Use the right light shaper
    When you use a Hensel 14″ reflector you already know you can never mix this with continuous lighting (as is) simply put, because the 14″ reflector gives you so much light output it’s hardly usable in the studio (perfect for outside to kill the sun).
    But for example, a striplight with a middle diffuser and grid literally eats light so this is perfect for lowering your strobe.
  3. Be smart
    if you don’t have the options I just mentioned always remember that a white T-shirt also does wonders to tame your light output, do make sure you don’t create a fire hazard 😀

Now that we understand that we have to lower the strobe output the rest is easy.
What I always do…

I choose the lens with the fastest aperture and the DOF I like (in most cases just f2.8)
Now with the new EVF cameras, there is an awesome way to set up your lights.
In the past I would use the light meter and try to meter the output of the Christmas lights, which sounds easier than it actually is, because you don’t want the lights to blow out (not seeing the colours) but you also want a modest output, it’s a fine balance.

With the EVF you just choose the option WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and dial in the way you like the continuous lighting. I always keep my camera on Manual mode for this (using strobes) and set the aperture on a setting I like (often f2.8 or faster), lock the shutter speed to something I know I can keep steady (often 1/30) and now I use the ISO to dial in the effect I like. And because of the EVF you literally see the end result getting closer in front of your eyes in real-time. I can’t stress how much this setting on EVFs has changed how you can accurately set up complex lighting situations.

Now that we know for example that we need ISO400 f2.8 1/30 of a second to get the result I like, it’s a simple matter of grabbing the light meter and adjusting the strobe until it hits f2.8 at ISO400… and …. well that’s all folks 😀

Let’s take a look at some samples I shot during workshops.
But don’t stop reading, there is a whole part under the images.

see the YouTube short about this workshop

I do have to add one more thing about combining/mixing light sources.

If you want to wow your customer or have more options yourself and you don’t want to change anything in aperture or strobe output I always advise setting the shutter speed as fast as possible and the result to the darkest you like. So let’s say f2.8 ISO1600 1/125. The added benefit of this method is that if during the shoot you realize you want the lights to be brighter you don’t have to panic or change something. You simply grab the shutter speed dial and lower the shutter speed. The model will still be correctly lit (the flash is just a pulse) but the continuous lighting will become brighter.

Combining/mixing light sources: Day-to-night

This is also super handy when working outside with the day-to-night technique.
No more need to use spot metering outside.
Just take the EVF and dial in the look you like (as long as the shutter stays at your X-sync) and after that use the light meter to get the strobes to the settings for aperture and ISO you just saw in your EVF. If you keep it as dark as possible you can literally light the background by just changing the shutter speed. Customers really think you’re a magician 😀

Day to night. Combining/mixing light sources. The sun in the back and flash from the left

check out this video of a workshop outside

Some final thoughts

You hear me talking about the X-sync a lot during workshops, live streams, and in articles. Let me explain a bit why.
When we think about DSLR cameras when we take a photo the mirror flips up and the first shutter curtain opens followed by the second one, the faster the shutter speed, the faster these two follow each other. As you can imagine when you use strobes there is a pulse of light that is very fast (often 1/2000 and up) so when you want your image to be correctly lit you need to make sure BOTH shutter curtains are not covering the sensor, and in most cameras that are every shutter speed below 1/200 for their own speedlights and 1/125 for most strobe systems. If you shoot faster there is often a distinct black bar covering your image, that’s your second shutter curtain.

When we take into account the 1/125 rule all strobes can work in normal operation mode (later more) and you can use a normal flash meter to meter the light.

This is of course a limitation that has haunted us photographers for decades and there are solutions.


One of the most known solutions is HSS (High-Speed Sync) this makes it possible to shoot at shutter speeds up to 1/8000 without the horrible black bars. In simple words, the strobe fires several times a second covering the whole censor in different periods of time. It’s an amazing system with many drawbacks, but it does have more positives than negatives. One of the negatives is without a doubt you need a special flash meter that can meter HSS, for example, the Sekonic 858. If you use a system like this you still do the same thing as mentioned in the article but you can also make the scene darker very easily by raising the shutter speed.

BUT…. do beware that when you enter the realm of HSS the output of the strobe falls dramatically so personally I would be a bit careful with planning a shoot whether you are on the edge of HSS or not.

Other solutions to break the X-sync are :

Leaf shutter lenses
These lenses are pretty heavy in weight and price but they are awesome.
Most of all the quality is often perfect, but due to the design, you can often shoot at shutter speeds of 1/750-1500 and sometimes even higher.

Specific digital cameras
And not even the most expensive ones, my Point and Shoot Fuji camera from years ago was actually able to shoot with strobes on 1/2000 which at moment stunned me because I didn’t know this, imagine my surprise when I saw a cheap camera doing the same and even faster than my 20K+ medium format setup with leaf shutter lenses. (Don’t tell Annewiek).

Combining/Mixing light sources: in this case flash and the sun


Working with different light sources in one shot is great to really set a mood, or sometimes you just have to because it’s part of the area you are shooting in. So don’t panic and just remember that X-sync rule and that the strobe is always a pulse and the continuous lighting just builds up over time.

Next time we talk about light metering on location to fight the sun and how to combine/mixing light sources


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.