Beaming the Beamer Better

Silhouette of Pigeon Point Lighthouse during sunset on California Central Coast (Greg A. Lato / latogaphoto.com)

Silhouette of Pigeon Point Lighthouse during sunset on California Central Coast (Greg A. Lato / latogaphoto.com)

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.

Silhouette of Pigeon Point Lighthouse during sunset on California Central Coast (Greg A. Lato / latogaphoto.com)

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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.

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