Incognito Flash Lamps: An Effective Lighting Solution for Low-Light Situations

table with flash lamps

The consummate photographer will always put out the extra effort to capture the ideal shot. Even casual photo shoots like documenting family milestones get meticulous attention to detail if one is truly bitten by the camera bug. Take for instance Zachery Jensen, a photography enthusiast. Jensen is a software engineer by profession, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

people talking around table lit by flash lamps

Confronted with the forthcoming birthday of his daughter, Jensen mapped out a plan of action to capture images of the birthday celebration to be held at a favorite restaurant of his child. The place is unfortunately problematic for shooting without a flash. Jensen narrates his ingenious solution,

“Faced with another birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, a place my daughter loves but low ISO’s do not, I decided to get creative. I shot this album of images with a set of three Yongnuo YN-560 and YN-560 II’s with a diffuser cap/”omni bounce” inside of small lampshades generally placed along the table (and that can be seen in a few of the shots) or moved as needed for certain phases of the party.

I wanted to go for a look like dinner around a table with candles/lamps sort of low key, pleasant ambiance kind of thing. I also wanted to shoot at lower ISOs to get some real nice images of my kid as keepsakes. I don’t know if something like this would be viable/useful outside of a family event where I don’t care that I can see the bottoms of the lamps are actually flash bodies, but, I had thought that perhaps I could push the idea further in the future and hide the flashes in something that actually looks like a lamp. This was a prototype test run where at least I cared to get some decent shots.”

women talking smiling

And decent shots he indeed get to capture. The result is a well lit occasion with exactly what he had in mind, that soft ambient lighting you would expect from a classy candle lit place. The lighting is subtle, but still gives off a festive mood that hints it is a special occasion. The idea is also ingenious, disguising the flash equipment as lampshades

young girl smiling with chuck e cheese mascot

Find out more about Jensen’s technique so you too can shoot the next family occasion this way over at his website.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.