My Budget Strobist Shoot by Will Db

My Budget Strobist Shoot

by Will Db

His website is HERE

I’ve been playing with flashes for a while now, and have been buying bits and bobs from ebay. The kit I have so far includes three Minolta AF4000 flashes (costing about £15 each), generic radio controllers from China (brand name – ‘Nice’! – £15 for a three of them), and a flash stand (I ended up spending more than I would have liked on this as I needed one quickly for a proposed shoot – which ended up being cancelled). I also have a couple of white umbrellas and a honeycomb grid, again cheapies from ebay.

I had put out an advert for a model simply to help me get used to using this kit, and after a while with no response, I was contacted on Thursday night by a model/actor called Tomasz looking for a shoot the following day. He lives in Nottingham and I was struggling to think of a location, but he said he was interested in shooting in some sort of derelict industrial place.

As luck would have it, I had found just such a place a matter of hours before he contacted me! On Thursday evening I had gone for a walk in some woods where I used to spend a lot of time as a child, and found that the old abandoned factories I remembered there had not been demolished, and even better, were easy to get into.

I showed some pictures of the location to Tomasz and he loved tit, and agreed to meet me there the following day.

It turned out he needed to get underwear shots to send out to an agency. Luckily I was so involved in setting up the lights and shot set ups, that I didn’t have time to get embarrassed.

I shot with my K10D and Tamron 17-50, and Pentax F 35-105mm. Generally I used two stobes either side, one above and slightly to the front, one a tad lower and slightly to the back. I also used a Sony NEX and lens turbo adapter and Pentax K 135/2.5 for available light shots

The shoot went very well, and ended up helping Tomasz get signed up to the modelling agency. We actually returned the following week to take some more creative shots with a ‘paint spatter’ theme – something I had never really thought about trying but I loved the results!

Shoot 1.6 Pentax k10D Tamron 17-50

Shoot 2.3 Pentax K10 Tamron 17-50

Shoot 1.4 NEX Lensturbo SMC 135 f2.5

Shoot 2.2 Pentax k10D Tamron 17-50



  1. Hey

    Sorry dude, while I personally was thrilled about the idea of budget strobe work, only 1 of your pictures really uses strobes with a bit of visual effect, for most of the I dont really understand how you could use 3 flashes with that limited effect.

    Best wishes


    • ” Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography” by Kirk Tuck shows some of his professional, paid work done witha 2 or 3 strobes and some accessory set up. A book I recommend to everyone seriously interested in travelling with basic lighting gear.

    • You got me there, Jakob! The number of shots you can include in an article are limited, and it just so happened two of the shots I selected were available light (shot with the NEX and lens turbo). I thought these shots might also be of interest to the mirrorless system users here. There are plenty of strobist examples on my website from this shoot and others (which do include some shots of female models)… 😉

      • Hey

        Ahh ok then it makes a bit more sense for me :0), I will check your site out, thx for clarifying. Best wishes


  2. Nice shots, they proves that a camera you find being at ease with+skill and imagination get big results, even when the rest of the equipment is very basic.

  3. Awesome light in the 1 and 3 photo. Good job with the colour too.

    To some other comenters: Do You aprecciate good photography, or the photography is good only if there is half naked women pictured?

    • I appreciate good spelling, capitalisation and grammar, and maybe the photography is even better if fully naked women are pictured.. what’s with half-naked being the only good shots? 🙂

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