Light Blaster Part 2 … Tips and tricks.

Here are a few things I have noticed about using the Light Blaster over the last week of playing around with it. If you have any other recommendation/ideas please let me know.

tanja_web-105Light Blaster Creative Kit (printed transparencies)- Effects


Light Blaster turns your system flash into a portable slide projector allowing you to project slide images onto or behind your subject. In consideration of the vast amount of existing slides, the potential of Light Blaster is infinite.


Using the Light blaster inst for first time flash users you will need to understand a bit about light and EV with flash get the best from it. Keep in mind TTL flash will work but you will get the best results by doing everything manually.


tanja_web-110The slide of fish is actually in focus on the back ground, but its outside the depth of field of my aperture


Getting the prospected image exactly where you want it is the first problem you will face you will need is A to better control the Blaster.

  • As the blaster can only hold a slide in the vertical (landscape) position if you have slides shot in portrait mode having a stable tripod or ball head that you can tilt 90° will allow you to place the blaster in a position to project vertical slides.
  • A tripod or ball head will also allow you adjust the X,Y and Z axis so you get the blasted slide exactly where how you need it


The second issue you will have is getting the projected image sharp and in focus. This is definitely one thing you will struggle with more that once, not only do you need the slide projection to be sharp but it helps if the model and blasted image are both with in the depth of field that you are shooting at.

  • The slide holder is positioned so you can use the focus guide numbers if the lens has them, measure (or have a good guess) at the distance between the surface you are using. Simply set the lens focus to that distance  and its a matter of trial and error, it usually takes no more than 3-4 test photos  to get the focus right.
  • Set up your Blaster and use a high powered touch to focus the lens, or if your flash has a modelling lamp on it you can use that as well. Once its focused place your flash into the Light Blaster.
  • There is another good, relatively sure-fire way to focus the lens you are using with the Light Blaster.  First, setup the Light Blaster.  Then put the lens you plan to use with the LB on your camera.  Then focus the lens placed directly above the Light Blaster. Turn the camera off and take the pre-focused lens and put it on the Light Blaster.


tanja-140No light other then that of the Light Blaster


The Lens you chose to use on the blaster will play a large roll in how the projected image will end up looking. Having Bright sharp lenses on the blaster will only hep you in the long create a better photo.

  • For covering walls or otherwise big surfaces a wide angel lens is going to yield the best results
  • For tight projections you can use a tele/zoom focal lengths but think about the weigh that is hanging from the front of your Light Blaster (use the tripod mount on your lens if it has one)





There is basically no limit to what you can create as long as you can get a lot of different images to put into your blaster. Slides aren’t the only solution so this adds to the diversity of your creativity, the blaster can hold printed transparencies.

  • You can print your own transparencies using a variety of templates (see link below)
  • E-Bay and Flea markets are a great source of old slides
  • Light Blaster has several packs of pre-printed transparencies available
  • They also have a pack of random 35mm slides get a few of them and be surprised by what you get
  • you can cut your own paper gobo, using those fancy paper napkins for interesting patterns

Click here  for the template downloads.

One of the hardest things for new users will be dealing with stray splashed light washing out that blasted image. If you have barn-boors, grid-spot, or flags that help you control light from spilling then you have a big advantage.


tanja_web-103Stopping flash light from spilling onto the blasted image.

If you don’t know a lot about how to use “FLAGS” have a look at the photo above. The strip light on the left is “Flagged” that means I have place an object there that controls the light better. Follow how the light spreads off into the background but doesn’t actually hit white paper background and you can still easily see the image that is being flashes out of the Light Blaster (on top of the tripod in the for ground).

tanja_web-127Here is the same basic set up but with the blight blaster behind the model and the key light coming from the other side.

I think that covers most of what I have discovered by experimenting with the Light Blaster so far. But a few final things need to be noted

  • Batteries Batteries Batteries …. I want through 5 sets of 4 (20) fully charged Eneloops in one evening.
  • Flash recycle time… At full power some cheap (or older) flashes need a long time to reload so if you have an external power pack for the flash you are using on the blaster it will help a lot.
  • Triggers… If you have a trigger for every flash you are using its better then relying on slave mode. Especially if you have tightly controlled key light.
  •  The different transparencies and slice packs you can buy for the Light Blaster also come with an extra holder. This actually had several benefits – not only could quick and easily change an already prepared slide (not that’s its a long slow task or anything). But one of us regularly disappeared into the dark room and changed the slides, preparing new images to be blasted but none of the others know what it was until we actually took a photo.
  • It is very potable and you don’t need any power other then a few batteries so try it out and about.
  • Remember the inverse square law when placing your light blaster. “The farther the light source, the more it falls off” i.e. your subject will be dimmer. The rule says that light falls off as the square of the distance. That sounds complicated, but isn’t really. If you move a light twice as far from your subject, you end up with only one-quarter of the light on the subject.
  • If your flash isn’t putting out enough power to get a nice bright Blasted image, try adjusting your cameras ISO a bit higher
  • Its not going to be for every one but that is a large part of its appeal for me.


I have a few more shoots planed in the next few weeks with the Light Blaster so I hope I will have more ideas to shear soon.

4 Responses to 'Light Blaster Part 2 … Tips and tricks.'

  1. Thanks for posting this! Looking forward to experimenting with mine when it arrives in a few weeks.

  2. Egami says:

    Thanks a lot , one of the best reviews on this product, where can find pre-made slides other than those made by light blaster company

    • Scott Lewis says:

      i get old photo slides from flea markets or go out and shoot a roll of slide film 🙂

  3. Gary Field says:

    I use my blaster with my Canon 600EX-RT speedlite.
    One thing I ran into the first time I tried my blaster was that the top and bottom of the image were much darker than the center… The solution turn out to be to set the speedlite’s zoom to 105mm. It had defaulted to 24mm. I used a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens on the blaster and set it to about 35mm to get a 6 foot diameter image on my backdrop from about 12 feet away.
    Using the lens’s focus distance markings worked well to get the projected image focused.
    This unique accessory has lots of potential!

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