Stroboscopic Flash Techniques

In this photography workshop, recorded LIVE, Karl explains the stroboscopic effect and demonstrates how you can use it to create some striking and unusual images.

Working in a dark studio with a badminton racket and a shuttlecock, Karl experiments with a range of different setups and settings as he tries to capture the perfect shot.

As he works, Karl answers members’ questions, clarifying the concepts and techniques on display.

As you watch a professional work in real time, you’ll pick up a host of tips and tricks to get you inspired.

In this class:

  • Stroboscopic flash photography techniques 
  • Sporting equipment photography
  • Capturing movement
  • Angles of incidence and reflection
  • Flash duration

If you enjoy this class, check out Tennis Racket Photoshoot and Creative Moving Bodies Photoshoot.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hi Karl,
    When dealing with stray-light suppression I was wondering what materials you would recommend to absorb light most efficiently besides black velvet and velour. I have recently learned that new materials made of carbon nanotubes have been produced in the aerospace industry with the potential to absorb up to 99.95 of stray light. This will probably cost a fortune therefore my question would be what is your take when it comes to controlling stray light in a budget-friendly fashion? Also, at 1:30 :00 you are talking about moving the camera even slightly so as to reposition the camera sensor and “reset” the bayer array so to avoid collecting excessive light on the same photosite. Do you think this could increase the chance of artifacts such as moire? Thanks for any input.

    1. Hi, yes the material you mention is Vanta black but is very expensive or almost impossible to get hold of. There are also some third party paints in matt black that absorb more light than others but your best budget option is a good black velvet. Also distance plays a big part due to the inverse square law so if your black is going to be far away you can almost get away with any old black material. What I was talking about at 1:30 was this shoot that we did for broncolor. You may also be interested in this one too:

  2. Question, if I setup the flash to fire let’s say 5 flashes per second but the recycling time of the flash is 1 second, how can 5 flashes then be fired when the flash does not recycle fast enough?

  3. jeahn

    Thank you Karl for another amazing show. I’ve been looking into stroboscopic solutions for Profoto lights but can’t seem to find any. Are you aware of any solutions for Profoto systems? Thanks again

    1. Hi Jeahn, I would be very surprised if Profoto didn’t have strobeoscopic options on their top end flash or packs, especially the packs? I don’t know the profoto range well enough I’m afraid. Most Speedlites also have strobeoscopic flash.

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