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Strobist Lomography

What the heck is a strobist? It is basically off-camera lighting. What is the point of off-camera lighting you ask? Find out after the jump!

Let’s face it. attaching the flash on your hotshoe and burning everyone’s faces off isn’t flattering. Not one bit. But what can you do? You can try going about it strobist style and getting the flash off camera!

Strobist was popularized by photographer David Hobby. Off-camera lighting existed before him of course, he just gave it a catchy name and spread the good word of lighting like Moses. While you might think its a completely digital exercise, rest assured that even with film the fundamentals remain the same. In a nutshell, it is all about sculpting your subject with light in the best way possible. This of course entails getting the flash off the camera.

If you remove the flash, just how do you sync it to the camera? With older analogue cameras, there should be a PC socket around the side of it. You can then connect it to the PC Flash Adaptor and you’ll have the freedom to move your flash around for a few inches! You can go with the radio frequency route as well. Cactus and Phottix RF triggers from ebay should just be around 20$. There are pricier alternatives such as Pocket Wizards but they will cost you a pretty penny!

If you don’t want to buy anything yet though, have no fear! You can still try out off camera lighting with the LOMO LC-A or Lomography cameras with a BULB function such as the Fisheye No. 2 and the Holga. Make sure you’ve got plenty of juice in your flash as well as a slow film inside your camera. Head on out in the dead of the night and party with your flash on the left hand and your camera on the other.

Click and hold the shutter of your camera to let the light in as well as the beautiful streaks. This should just be a couple of seconds. At this point, you can even shake the camera around to add funky light streaks. Once you think there’s enough light burned through the film, pop the flash with your left hand. You can pop it close, from above, from below, from the side – it’s up to you!

This of course involves a bit of trial and error. If you have a digital camera, you can experiment with the lighting ratios and emulate the aperture and shutter speed of your analogue toys. Try it out! Don’t let your creativity be hampered by forcing yourself to shoot with the flash on the hotshoe all the time!

All the photos in this Tipster are all taken by yours truly with the flash off the camera. If you have your own Tipster about lighting or anything else for that matter, feel free to submit yours today to get Piggies!

The PC Flash Adaptor will quickly connect any standard hot shoe flash to your PC-only camera’s unreachable PC connection. You can use any flash with a standard hotshoe connection with this handy accessory. Get your own PC Flash Adaptor now!

written by cruzron


  1. aroninvt


    Awesome work! I've thought about trying this before, but I guess I never dared to, I certainly will now! Thanks!

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  2. adi_totp



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  3. badjuju


    Thanks! Great tip for keeping friends too. Mine are getting tired of seeing spots haha.

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  4. dearjme


    Love this!

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  5. cptpartyshark


    i've done a similar thing recently putting my 166B on a tripod and bulb mode in the dead of night, then using the flash from my holga 120CFN to light up people (works awesome in a field)
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  6. mindywinograd


    I tried this with my first roll the first night I had my Diana F+, but I kept the shutter open too long and didn't realize how bright was already inside my apartment. I ended up over exposing most of the photos. Going to have to try it again, though!

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  7. superlighter


    I'm a Bulb mode strobist maniac! :))

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  8. domo-guy


    Waiting to try it someday :)

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  9. elvis


    Great article, allready tried it and the first results were great, allthough i moved a bit too mutch with my camera and had lightstreaks from cars and lanterns through the object i wanted to strobe :-/

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  10. brittany


    nice! camera in one hand, flash in the other ;) only way to go

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  11. chaotic4life


    Great Tipster! I have to def. try this out.

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  12. jcgepte



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  13. pyropanda


    those photos really pop! as it stands, I'm new to lomo and really clueless about lighting, but it seems it's definitely a skill worth learning more about...

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano.