This past weekend, while at the annual Pigeon Point Lighthouse lighting, one of the photographers from our group had a Better Beamer flash attachement. It consists of a Fresnel lens that is held about 8 inches in front of your strobe by a plastic holder. The lens focuses the light from the strobe into a narrow beam that increases the distance of your strobe and the brightness by 2-3 f/stops. The Better Beamer is typically used by nature photographers to provide a glint in an animal’s eye (like a bird which could be a hundred feet away).
However, when you use a Better Beamer for landscape photography, it provides a wonderful way to light paint a subject with a single flash. Especially if the subject is a building standing off by itself…like a lighthouse at sunset. The above photo was the combination of an image taken without any strobes and one taken with a single better beamer aimed at the lighthouse. The strobe was aimed a bit low, so it illuminated a bit of the hillside below the lighthouse, but by combining the two images you get a nice balanced affect.
It’s interesting looking at the two individual images. Especially the person that was caught by the flash lounging on the hillside talking on his cell phone… 🙂 Click though on each image to view larger image.