Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test—What is a Snoot and Why You Need One


The new Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1 can turbo-charge your macro creativity by isolating subjects and creating a completely new perspective for your shots. We’ll look at side-by-side comparisons of the same subjects with and without a snoot to see the difference, and an image gallery showing creative ways to use a snoot.

Why Do You Need A Snoot?

One of the biggest challenges in macro photography is making your subject stand out from the surrounding environment. When using only a single strobe with a broad beam, it is nearly impossible to selectively light just your subject and not all of the sand, reef, and distracting elements nearby. Unless your flash beam is significantly narrowed down, your subject won’t be able to ‘pop’ out from a dark background.

The best way to overcome this challenge is by using a snoot.

Snoots add that desired level of separation between subject and background by severely reducing the diameter of the flash beam, allowing you to exclusively light the subject and preserve a clean, dark background. These classic fundamentals of macro photography add mood to your shots and create a much more dramatic effect. By adding a snoot you can take your ‘standard fish ID shot’ to something that looks ready to hang on a gallery wall.


Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test—What is a Snoot and Why You Need One

Take a look at these example images of the same subject shot with and without our Optical Snoot OS-1 accessory for the Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1. In the images shot without a snoot, it’s easy to see how the subject appears much more ‘flat’ and less interesting. When the snoot is added we instantly achieve a much more eye-catching and captivating presentation of the same subject.

REGULAR FLASH & MINI FLASH WITH OPTICAL SNOOT


©Berkley White - Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - Octopus Side By Side


Left image: Regular flash only. Right image: Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1 accessory.


©Berkley White - Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - Cuttlefish Side By Side


Left image: Regular flash only. Right image: Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1 accessory.


©Berkley White - Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - Scorpion Fish Side By Side


Left image: Regular flash only. Right image: Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1 accessory.


Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - with w/o optical snoot


Adding and removing the Optical Snoot OS-1 is simple and easy to do, even underwater.

Fresh Sample Images From The Field

Following the launch of our new Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1, we set out for an expedition to Komodo to perform some hardcore field testing and put the strobe through its paces. On this particular expedition, we were lucky to have guests with a very wide range of shooting experience, from the salty snoot veteran to those who had never even heard the word ‘snoot’ before.

Below is a gallery of awesome images captured over several days of macro-tastic diving. Whether a seasoned master of the macro craft or a first-time snoot shooter, the Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1 proved to be just the tool for producing outstanding macro images.

Big thanks to Berkley White, Erin Quigley, Bonnie Wong, Jill McCarty, Natasha Hinojosa, and Philip Seys for sharing their images and showing what the Backscatter Mini Flash MF-1 and Optical Snoot OS-1 can do.


©Erin Quigley - Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - Mantis Shrimp

©Erin Quigley - Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - Seahorse Black n White

©Erin Quigley - Backscatter Mini Flash Field Test - Rockfish

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