Photo365 – 2 Mar 2011

Star Trails

Star Trails

Todays image is a composite of 12 individual 4 minute exposures that was processed using the StarTrails software.

This has been processed without using any dark frames, and hot pixels have been cloned out in the Gimp.

Given that this image was taken in my parents back garden on the edge of the New Forest, I was surprised by how much light pollution there was.  Most of the colour cast has been removed in DPP, but there was almost as much light pollution here as there was when I took a similar image from the northern part of Weymouth earlier this year.

Next attempt will be in the middle of the New Forest somewhere.

Cheap Alternative to the Honl Speed Strap

I’ve been considering buying a Honl Speed Strap to attach a Gel Clip that I was given to my flashgun, but think that £8.99 is a bit much for a length of stretchy velcro with a Honl label on it.

Yesterday, I was in Halfords, of all places, and I found some Velcro Stretch Straps (priced at £4.79 for 2 straps), so I picked up a packet and took them home, as I thought that they might make a cheap alternative to the Speed Strap.

First impression is that these straps are much too long (68 cm) for what I intended, and will definitely need to be cut down to be useful on a flashgun.

The plus side is that each strap should make at least 2 straps for flashgun use, so thats 4x straps for about half the price of a single Honl Speed Strap.

However, whilst they are stretchy, these straps are NOT rubberised, and so will not be as secure as the genuine Honl Speed Strap.

Testing the un-butchered straps on my Speedlite 550EX revealed that they are reasonably secure and can be pulled very tight.  However, unless some non-slip matting (that you use to stop things sliding around a vehicle dashboard) is also wrapped around the flash head, then the usefulness of these straps to secure large flashgun modifiers is probably fairly limited, although I haven’t yet put it to the test.

My main requirements were:

  1. To secure a plastic Gel Clip to my flash head without using permanent sticky velcro; and
  2. To secure bare flash gels to another flash head without using sticky velcro.

When shortened to the correct length, these straps perform these functions very well indeed.  I Haven’t yet got around to building a large softbox for my flashguns, so I can’t comment on how well these straps will secure a large’ish modifier, but I hope to complete the softbox in the next month or so.