Sunday, October 8, 2017

Speedlight Organization

Meeting Joe McNally: I met Joe McNally during the Flash Bus tour some years back, and as is the case in most tours, the speakers offer door prizes based on a variety of criteria. McNally's claim to fame is his routine use of multiple speedlights in his photos, an approach that I often follow. To that end, I've accumulated a significant number of Nikon speedlights, mostly SB-800s, and frequently used them in multiple speedlight lighting solutions. But I digress.

At the conclusion of the Tour, it was door prize time, and Joe being Joe, started by the conversation.

"How many of you have more than one speedlight?"  Fully a quarter of the audience raises their hand.

"How many of you have more than three?" Hands start to drop. My hand stays up. Joe looks around, making a mental note of where the contest winner might be sitting.

"How many have more than five?" Most of the hands are down. My hand is still standing proud. I finally get Joe's attention.

"More than ten?" he asks. My hand is now the last one standing. Members of the audience chuckle, while others grin and shake their collective heads. I won the door prize, a copy of DVD set on Nikon Speedlights, after which McNally offers, with a sly Irish smile, "You need professional help".

Storage Problem Solved: Needless to say, having that many speedlights can cause some small logistical problems, including safe storage that's easy to get to. I found my solution in the form of a 24-pocket shoe organizer from Bed Bath and Beyond. It's actually a little long for the rolling closet my cameras call home, one row being tucked away at the bottom.

Getting Organized. For now, the speedlights are arranged as follows:
  • Batteries Loaded: Facing Up, with domes in place.
  • Batteries Removed: Facing down, with and without domes.
  • Gelled Speedlights: If the speedlights have gels already taped on, they'll be stored loaded, with the domes up, for easy identification.
I think this system has promise, since I can tell at a glance if a speedlight has batteries in place, or if a gel has already been attached. However, it remains to be seen how durable this storage system is, as the sharp edges of  of the speedlights could prove more abrasive than actual shoes.