Posts Tagged ‘Cactus V2s’

Nick v. Wireless Flash

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I just got a Cactus V2s wireless flash transmitter and receiver — not exactly top-end technology, and not crazy reliable, but crazy-cheap, and that’s often what matters most.

I tested them out using a Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop, my Vivitar 285HV, and a couple pieces of paper towel:

There were a couple of failures to trigger (2-3 out of probably twenty or thirty shots), but otherwise, they work just fine…

Here’s one directly backlit:

Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop (BW)

The same image in color with less cropping:

Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop

Here’s a front-lit version:

Lollyphile Absinthe Lollipop

The black and white image is by far the best, I think. It’s also the one which I find most heartening in regards to flash photography and me. The reason I find it heartening is this: shooting with strobes is (so far as I can tell) all about controlling the process to control the results. It’s like previsualization in that respect, and that’s a problem for me — why engage in an activity when you know its precise outcome in advance? Where there is nothing unexpected, there is no sense of reality. (Per Simone Weil.)

In this case, the flash is revealing the inner structure of the lollipop in a way that I could never have fully previsualized — the flash can, in this instance, be a tool of discovery, rather than an instrument of control.