One of the keys to great flash photography is getting the flash off the camera so that you have creative control over your lighting. In the studio getting your flash off the camera is really easy — just put it on a light stand. However, it’s not as easy when you are in the field or on location. Sure you can carry a light stand with you, but they are bulky and can be difficult to set up on uneven ground or on a slope. I was recently introduced to the Joby Flash Clamp and Locking Arm and I’ve found that it’s a great way to mount your flash on a variety of structures.
The Joby Flash Clamp and Locking Arm is a compact and lightweight two-piece system consisting, as its name suggests, of a clamp and a locking arm. I really like that it has this two-piece construction as that makes it easy to carry in my camera bag. Since it’s made from a plastic material it’s very light (130 g) while also being durable. The jaws of the Flash Clamp extend to about five centimetres and have rubber pads to securely attach it to things like tree branches, a tripod leg, a pole, a railing, table top, shelf or just about anything that the jaws will fit around. The Locking Arm piece attaches to the Flash Clamp via a universal ¼”-20 screw and has a small ball joint at each end. This gives it two pivot points that can rotate 360° and pivot 180° side-to-side, allowing you to position your flash at just about any angle that you want. A universal cold flash shoe can be attached to the other end of the arm by screwing it onto the ¼”-20 screw to hold your flash, or you can attach a threaded flash cord or remote flash trigger like a Pocket Wizard.
The Joby Flash Clamp and Locking Arm is a versatile, compact, lightweight and reasonably priced ($39.99) accessory that allows a photographer to get the flash off their camera so that they can maximize the control of the lighting in a wide range of situations, both outdoors and indoors.
To read more of Mark Degner’s reviews and other great how-to articles please pick up the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of OPC today, or subscribe!