The new Rogue FlashBenders v3 are an improved version of a product that I first tried 10 year ago, and have always kept around for when I need to shape light, whether at home or outdoors.
When I first wrote about FlashBenders from Rogue, the accessory was still “patent pending” and I soon discovered that I would always keep them in my backpack, as a solution to fold light the way I needed. That was in 2010, a decade ago. Rogue has just announced the version 3 of its FlashBenders, so it makes sense to mention it and also look at some less usual ways to use this accessory.
Bouncing the light from a flash needs a reflector. From the small ones present on some flashes to those we attach them, there a whole lot to choose from. Then there are… Rogue FlashBenders. The name says it all. These light modifiers for shoe mount flash let you bend the light rays the way you want. Shapeable, the Rogue FlashBenders, are reflectors that let you be in control in ways not possible with regular flat reflectors.
Expoimaging, the company behind the product, said then that this was a new approach to controlling light, showing images of the three different sized models introduced then used on top of flashes, modelling the light from there. That’s what they are used for, and my first experiences when I got the initial kit revealed they worked well. Depending on your needs, you can use the smaller one, or one of the bigger sized reflectors. The big one can even be folded into a snoot, so you get light to the precise point you define. Great.
Creating morning light late afternoon
I’ve used them when shooting at home or outside, and not always mounted on a flash. In fact, I soon discovered that the reflecting surface of the FlashBender was also good… as a reflector. One group of images published here shows a good example of the accessory used to create Autumn light when the Sun was already gone, and the light flat.
The tree log with mushrooms image was shot late afternoon, in the shadow, and to get some contrast I placed a flash with the Rogue FlashBender – and a radio trigger – on one side, to create something like early morning sun rays. By placing a second FlashBender on the opposite side I could create a different look while shooting from exactly the same place. Because of the metallic rods inside the accessory, it can be kept upright in place, and it can also be folded in a variety if ways, to control dispersion if light. Suddenly I had a portable sun I could move anywhere, one I’ve used in a variety of situations, for a decade now.
Shooting small animals the MYN way
Foldable and easy to fit in a backpack, not taking up usable space for other gear, the Rogue FlashBender accessories represent a good way to have a reflector that allows for easy modelling of the flash light in any situation, even when you don’t have much space around your subject. For photographing subjects like flowers, outside, when you want to center attention on your subject, the softbox kit is a good investment and something you should explore.
Another “out of the box” example of FlashBender’s usage is my portable table for shooting Meet Your Neighbours subjects against a white background illuminated from behind. For this setup I use a FlashBender with diffusion panel as my main source of light under the translucent perspex table. Although I could use the bare flash under the table, I’ve found that the FlashBender gives me both a softer light and more directional control of it. For the second flash, used on the table surface, I also use another accessory from Expoimaging, the Rogue Flash Grid, with a diffuser gel filter, which I’ve used frequently for photographing small subjects, even beyond the scope of the Meet Your Neighbours protocol.
The Rogue FlashBender v3
Now ExpoImaging announces that Rogue FlashBender 2 has been discontinued and replaced with the new Rogue FlashBender v3. The new version is another step in the evolution of the series. It fits more flashes, from small flashes for mirrorless cameras to larger strobes, has a new quick release buckle that attaches faster, features textured neoprene strap that grips flash better and its internal mesh improves ‘shapeability’.
The award winning Rogue FlashBenders are portable and easy-to-use light modifiers designed to fit most standard sized flash models including (but not limited to) Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Nissin, Phottix, Godox, Metz, Yongnuo, and the Profoto A1.
Rogue FlashBender Reflectors can be used with on-camera or off-camera flash photography. Attach a FlashBender to your flash and change its shape to quickly and easily manipulate light and shadow in your image. FlashBender Reflectors, says ExpoImaging, were designed for versatility, and they can be used as bounce flash reflectors, gobos, and snoots to soften, shape and control your main, background, hair, rim, or accent lights.
Get one and photograph while home
Multiple videos and articles on Rogue’s website will show you how to use these accessories for portraiture and for wedding shoots, but their usefulness does not stop there, as I’ve demonstrated with some examples of nature photography I’ve created this last decade, and which are just a fraction of all the things I’ve used the Rogue FlashBenders for.
Folding in half to stow in your bag, Rogue FlashBenders can also be used home, elevating your home studio to a new level and allowing you to create photographs with absolute control of light. Maybe that’s a good way to occupy some of this “stay home” period. Discovering how to fold light with FlashBenders. Which can also be used for video shot at close distances – on tabletop video, for example -, as reflectors, or with some DIY work, as a softbox to a LED panel that needs some softening of the light.
ExpoImaging announced a special promotion, which expires Sunday, April 19. Enter code ‘ROGUE3’ at checkout to receive 20% off your order.