Bare Tube Flash Head 101
When we’re out meeting our seminar attendees, we know that many of you are total newbies when it comes to AC flash. So this is the first in our series of explorations into what some call “studio flash”. That in itself is an outdated term: Many professional photographers use these AC-powered flash units and shoot entirely on location. Admittedly, there was a time in history when about the only AC-flash units that were available required a great deal of amperage to power, and the physique of a body-builder to transport.
One of the many beauties of digital AC flash today, is how new technology has made them smaller, lighter, and efficient enough not to be tripping household circuit breakers like they used to. Another huge pleasure is to have both the fire-power for a great depth of field, and the rapid flash duration to capture action and freeze it. The late, great Mike Pocklington’s technical expertise and talent for telling a visual story came together when Janet & I sat down with him and stylist/photographer Tracey Lee. The four of us had been working together since the mid-80's, and used to share a big studio in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
The Anatomy of the Bare-Tube Flash Head
If you’re new to AC flash, let’s take you on a tour. To the right is a tight shot of a bare-tube flash head’s front end. There are three key components, from outside in: