Bieber Photographic

Modifying an SB-25 for 3.5mm Sync

March 12, 2011

I’ve been using Radiopopper JrX Triggers for a while now, and one of their more useful features is remote power control. They can remotely control the power level of up to three groups of flashes, provided the flashes support the older style of TTL: this works with Nikon flashes up through the SB-800, Canons up through the 580EX, and probably others I’m not aware of. The catch is that to make it work, you have to attach your flash to their $30 RPCube. With Nikon flashes, you can make it work by building custom cables with 3.5mm on one end and Nikon’s TTL connector on the other, but those are expensive to build and easy to lose. My solution is to build a 3.5mm jack right into the flash sop you can connect it directly to the Radiopopper with cheap cables. I’ve done this with both SB-25 and SB-26 speedlights before. In this post I’ll be showing the modification of an SB-25, but the technique is not difficult to apply to an SB-26.

The mod is relatively simple, but you’ll need basic soldering skills. In addition, my method removes the auto flash sensor to fit in the 3.5mm jack, so you won’t be able to use the auto mode afterwards. Of course, messing around inside a speedlight can be dangerous, so I’ll start out with the obligatory disclaimer.

WARNING: The inside of your flash contains a very large, very dangerous capacitor. Take caution opening and modifying the flash. You are solely responsible for any damage you cause to your flash or yourself.

Photographic Exercise

December 30, 2010

As far as activities go, photography is pretty benign. Aside from lugging the gear around, there’s generally not much physical exertion to be had on a shoot–not on the part of the photographer, anyways–and it’s certainly far from perilous. My last shoot at Lewis Park, however, turned out to be the exception to the rule. Admittedly, I never truly feared for my life, and none of my muscles ached the next day, but I definitely did a lot more shoving and clinging and climbing than I’ve ever done for a photograph before.

Christmas Portrait, Part II

December 16, 2010

For this year’s Christmas portrait, I put my girlfriend inside a snow globe. In the last entry I talked about the hard part: photographing the snow globe. Today’s entry covers photographing Danie and actually getting her into the globe, which was really more drudgery than anything.

Christmas Portrait, Part I

December 16, 2010

Last year I made a Christmas portrait of my girlfriend, and we’ve decided to make a yearly tradition of it. Last year’s was a simple affair, just a standard headshot with a Santa hat and a red-gelled background. This year we’ve decided to go for something much more involved, and I’m going to be compositing two photos together. I won’t reveal my plan until the composition is finished (that should be up in a blog post tomorrow morning), but I’ll start out by walking through the creation of one of the photos I needed: a snow globe.

Building a Mini Softbox

December 15, 2010

For a shoot I’ll be doing soon, I need a big-ish light source a little more directional than my usual umbrella, so I decided to throw together a little posterboard softbox. I thought I’d have it together in a snap and move on to shooting my subject tonight, but it turned out to be a much, much more time-consuming endeavor than I’d intended. In the process I came up with some templates for the pieces and thought I’d share them, along with a little review and some instructions.