The HVL-F58AM arrived today in the mail. Normally, I don’t like shooting with a flash but if I am to progress to the next level in my photography I need to explore it as an option.

My biggest pet peeve about flash photography is that images shot straight on with the built in flash or even an add-on flash unit tend to look terrible. Obviously, if you know what you are doing, you can get good results but I am not in danger of actually knowing what I am doing.

Satyr, who was instrumental in my development of available light photography, recently gave me the heads up on the new flash unit from Sony to compliment their line of dSLR cameras. I checked out the early press releases and determined that this might be the flash unit for me.

What struck me the most was the versatility of how this flash can be shaped to allow for bounce as well as proper illumination even when shooting in portrait mode. Check out this video

The flash unit just came out this month and due to a promotion from the Sony Style web site I was able to purchase one at a significant discount.

This thing is AMAZING! Out of the box and mounted on my camera, full on automatic and this is the result:

Dohsung

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Dohsung

Great color, smart white balance. SWEEEEET!

Even better, with the Sony Alpha 700 it can be used right out of the box as a wireless flash. This shot was taken with the flash unit sitting to the left of the subject (Luis):

Luis

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Luis

Again, full auto. Good color, nice contrast due to the light coming in from the side.

Of course the wireless aspect opens up a whole new dimension for shooting with a flash. A dimension of dramatic possibilities…

Mr. Evil

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Mr. Evil

I have a lot to learn, but I am encouraged by such good and fun results minutes out of the box.

Illuminati
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7 thoughts on “Illuminati

  • September 8, 2008 at 11:45 am
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    I love the way the shadow off your glasses make you look Eeeevil!! Love it!!!

  • September 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm
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    Nice! You’ve convinced me to try flash photography as soon as I can afford it.

  • September 8, 2008 at 12:27 pm
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    Most good flash units have had movable heads since the 80s.

    Your next purchase should be a flash diffuser. Not only does it soften the light, it lights up everything around your subject evenly.

    Gary Fong makes a pretty good set of products, if you don’t mind the top of your camera looking like a food processor.

  • September 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm
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    Sweet you got one. I think you are gonna take your photography to a whole new level now. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    I second the Lightsphere flash diffuser but I wouldn’t bother with Fong’s overpriced stuff. Do a search on Ebay for Lambency Light Diffuser you can get one for about 15 bucks I think. The chrome dome for it is nice as well.

    Also since I know you are creative you should do a search for the DIY Beauty dish, it’s a CD spindle, 12 inch plastic planter painted white and a couple of other items you can get at the hardware store. Total cost should be under 10 bucks for a beauty dish to fit on your flash. If you can’t find the link I’ll see if I can find it again.

    And on a last note, since you are now officially a flash person check out strobist.com. one of the best resources around for using your off camera flash.

  • September 9, 2008 at 6:31 pm
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    I’ve got a flash unit like that I use with mine. Never really have played much with making it do cool stuff like that, but I get awesome results with the simple stuff…

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