August 7th, 2016
In his book, The Essential Guide To Lighting Interiors Scott Hargis describes a simple but effective technique for using a single manual flash to light small rooms like bathrooms and small bedrooms. Scott has a whole chapter dedicated to explaining all the details and all the variations. By setting the flash on the top of the open door pointing up at the ceiling/wall joint you can light most small bedrooms and bathrooms. This means you can shoot a bunch of rooms in a property in literally a few minutes and get the lighting right on. Sure, you have to set the power right but once you do a few you’ll guess the right power easily.
Just don’t bump the door while you are shooting and knock the flash off. Sometimes the flash will survive and sometimes it won’t. So over the years people have come up with clamps and gadgets to prevent the flash from falling off.
Here are some approaches to keeping the flash from falling off:
- Manfrotto 175F-1 Clamp: This is one of my favorites because it easily clamps to the top of doors (if you are tall enough to attach it). It also easily attaches to a light stand. I always have one of these attached to one light stand. This clamp was the winner in a vote by readers on what the best clamp for attaching flashes to doors. You do have to be careful that you don’t make marks on the top of the door because the spring is strong.
- ActionPod Pro: Many readers use clamps.
- DIY door top flash holder by Mark Cornwell: This is a very inexpensive approach and very easy to make.
- Rich Baum’s DIY clamp: Rich’s post explains nicely what you want in a clamp… won’t harm the door and has a very nice inexpensive solution.
In summary, there are many solutions to protecting your flash from falling off the door but with a little care, you can get by with just setting it on the door.