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16 Jul 2024

Flash Snoot

Term: Flash Snoot
Description: A flash snoot is a photography accessory that attaches to the front of a camera flash unit to modify and direct the light output. It is a tube-like attachment that narrows the beam of light and can be adjusted to create a spotlight effect. The use of a flash snoot can create dramatic and artistic lighting effects in photography, particularly in portrait and product photography. It is commonly used by professionals and hobbyists alike who want to have more control over the lighting in their photos.

Creating Dramatic Images with a Flash Snoot

Flash is an essential tool, but bare flash is going to send light everywhere, destroying the ambient light needed to create dramatic imagery. What we need is light control and an effective light modifier for speedlights.

Which speedlight modifier should you use?

If you are looking to create dramatic images the best light modifier for your speedlight is either a grid or a snoot. These speedlight modifiers pin the light on your subject similar to how a spotlight on a stage would work. Magmod flash modifiers do a great job at focusing the light with minimal light spill and can easily be attached to speedlights without the hassle of velcro or tape.

For this photo we used the MagSnoot since we want optimal light control and this tool allows us to do that with four differing levels of precision. You can also use 1-2 MagGrids to prevent light spill and pinpoint our light.

Here is how to used the MagSnoot to create our dramatic image in three simple steps:

Step one | set exposure for ambient light

Before you even touch your flash, dial in your camera settings to expose for the ambient light in the room. Although the subjects in the photo are silhouetted, our background is exposed to reveal detail in the shadows and rich color in the highlights of the bar.

Step two | Add flash modifier and adjust direction

Light control is all about the prevention of light spill. In order to pinlight just our groom we reached for the Magsnoot to avoid hitting portions of the bar and other groomsmen. You can see a full tutorial on how we conceptualized this photo in our Photographing The Groom workshop available in SLR Lounge Premium!

Step three | Adjust flash power & position

Remember that the MagSnoot varies in light spread depending on the level of extension you choose. The power of our light will appear more concentrated depending on the precision of the snoot so dial in a flash power setting that is appropriate for your subject without blowing the highlights.

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