Stroboscopic Flash – 06

A new experience this week – I’ve had a go at Stroboscopic Flash. Impressive name, difficult technique. With a bit of a learning curve to climb!

Stroboscopic Flash – a single, longish exposure ( perhaps 2 or 3 seconds ), where the subject is moving in the frame and the strobe/flash light goes off a number of times whilst the shutter remains open. Best executed in as dark a room as you can manage with a plain black background set up as far back from the subject as possible. ( You may want to keep a low-level light on to stop you tripping over tripods and light stands, etc – but if the light is too bright and the exposure very long, that light will show in the final image ).

You’ll need a strobe that will fire a set number of times at a set frequency ( numbers such as 4Hz are oft quoted, meaning 4 flashes in 1 second ).

So 8 flashes at 4 Hz will require an shutter speed of 2 seconds ( to accommodate all 8 flashes ).

I set the Olympus to Manual mode, 1/250 sec and an f stop determined by trial and error. I told you I was learning! And I used a wireless remote to trigger the strobe.

These images are not perfect, I know that, but they demonstrate the principle and give me a base from which to improve.

If you try it, have fun. And be prepared to take LOADS of images to catch the ones that work!

A single swinging nut!01-Strobe Flash by John Allen

A toy bird that shudders itself down its shiny pole!   02-Strobe Flash by John Allen

Just TWO coloured pig-pong balls dropped onto a table. Shame about the background at the top of the frame. 03-Strobe Flash by John Allen



In Northumberland for a week with some photography friends from our club. The weather for the week doesn’t look too kind but yesterday we went to the Breamish Valley on the east side of the Northumberland National Park. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a shot of the River Breamish running across the rocks forming a small weir. Taken at f/22, 1/20 sec at ISO 320.

Holy Island Sparrows

Yesterday we visited Holy Island and after a long walk around we visited a local cafe. A guy was hand-feeding bread to the tubbiest sparrows I had ever seen! I wasn’t sure about the rights or wrongs of this – but it was a great photo opportunity – which, of course, I could not ignore. 🙂

These are some of my ( 60+ ) images. Lots of blur – but I hope that’s acceptable, given the fast moving subjects.


All taken on the Olympus EM-1 with the 40-150 f/2.8 Pro lens.