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Type of flash photography from 20 years ago?


2 May 2019 8:48AM
I'm trying to recall the name given for a type of flash photography that was very popular about 20 years ago.

It involved using off-camera Speedlights (1 or several) strategically placed around the subject. This style of flash photography had a name back then, but I can't remember what the name was that was given to this style of photography. Can anybody on here remember, or know what I'm talking about? Might have had the word 'strobe' in there somewhere, but can't be sure.

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altitude50 15 16.1k United Kingdom
2 May 2019 9:04AM
Was it Rembrandt style?
2 May 2019 9:24AM
Might be strobist, from the blog site by the American photographer David Hobby. I seem to recall this being very popular around 15 years ago
2 May 2019 9:30AM
Strobist could be it. I'll look into that. Only asking as I recall there were books on the technique back in the day and I'd like to buy a couple.
Tianshi_angie 4 2.6k England
2 May 2019 9:36AM
Thanks for asking this question - it led me to research a bit and found this article from The Spectator.
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/11/a-short-history-of-flash-photography/

And I believe - as you mentioned 'strobe' - your missing style name is 'stroboscopic'.

It is a subject which looks to be very interesting and worth looking at in more detail.
2 May 2019 9:44AM
Just looked up Strooscopic and that's not it. That's about 'motion' etc. The style of photography I'm talking about was simply a way of lighting a subject, only instead of using studio flash equipment, people used small speedlights. Typical shot would be to light a car in a car park with say a speedlight underneath with a coloured gell on it and several more hidden behind concrete pillars to light up parts of the car.
2 May 2019 9:55AM
I think it is 'Strobist'
2 May 2019 10:07AM
The Strobist site was more about portraits, but his basic techniques could be used for all sorts of subjects (the site is still live https://strobist.blogspot.com ). Think he did some still life photos, and plenty of others did similar things around this time such as Joe McNally and Chase Jarvis. I remember shooting cars like this back in the day!
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 591 England
2 May 2019 10:08AM
Strobist.

Quote:instead of using studio flash equipment, people used small speedlights

Exactly.

Using any light away from the lens axis (apart from ring flash, which is dsigned to be used that way) gives you more control amd creativity.
The name isn't used (much) these days but the technique is as people who want to take control over their light just get on with it as a matter of course, helped by the fact that off camera radio triggers are plentiful and start at inexpensive levels..
2 May 2019 10:12AM
Thanks guys. Got there. Time to invest in another two flashguns and a remote trigger.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
2 May 2019 10:43AM
It certainly was Strobist as has been mentioned... the term Off Camera Flash is used more commonly now. You can get away with just a single flash if you are working in darkened conditions, open your camera shutter on bulb (or similar depending on the make) and you can walk around firing your flash from the appropriate positions (you can even change cells as you move around...
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
2 May 2019 3:33PM

Quote:It certainly was Strobist as has been mentioned... the term Off Camera Flash is used more commonly now. You can get away with just a single flash if you are working in darkened conditions, open your camera shutter on bulb (or similar depending on the make) and you can walk around firing your flash from the appropriate positions (you can even change cells as you move around...


Nah, that's a fairly modem term used for flash the has really been around since the earliest days of photography, being a strobist is nothing new.

Looks like he is looking for the name of a particular lighting style, Rembrandt, Butterfly/Clamshell and loads more, think the poster needs to be a bit more specific.

Could it be one of these, who knows.

Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
2 May 2019 4:47PM

Quote:Nah, that's a fairly modem term used for flash the has really been around since the earliest days of photography, being a strobist is nothing new.

Looks like he is looking for the name of a particular lighting style, Rembrandt, Butterfly/Clamshell and loads more, think the poster needs to be a bit more specific.


Maybe read the thread Paul... instead of picking on one reply that mentions Strobist.

From the OP...

Quote:Typical shot would be to light a car in a car park with say a speedlight underneath with a coloured gell on it and several more hidden behind concrete pillars to light up parts of the car.

Whilst classical lighting can be used with subjects other than portraits, I do not think that is what was being asked...
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
2 May 2019 5:08PM
Ok just read another of his post.

Looks to me like he wants to do a bit of light painting using flash, either a single flash and a longish exposer, move the flash around popping it here and there or just multiple flash all fired at once.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
2 May 2019 5:19PM

Quote:Ok just read another of his post.

Looks to me like he wants to do a bit of light painting using flash, either a single flash and a longish exposer, move the flash around popping it here and there or just multiple flash all fired at once.


Agreed Paul, Light Painting is what I described (incidentally a technique I was taught in the early 1970s) Wink


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