A few days ago I posted this photo of geese flying in formation at Bosque del Apache. It really is a once in a lifetime shot, because the geese were in great formation with separation against a dark background.
But exposure was a bit challenging. I’d been shooting the geese as they took off in the morning light and realized the incoming storm was reducing the contrast range. That was a good thing, since otherwise I might have had to choose between blown out geese or blown out sky. But thanks to a bit of fill flash, I was able to balance the exposure well enough to get the front birds lit. I had to rely on Highlights/Shadows adjustments in Photoshop to do the back row of birds, bringing up the Shadow detail in post.
But what really made this possible was using a Visual Echoes Better Beamer Flash Extender.
It only works on lenses of 300mm or longer. It offers many benefits including the ability to boost your flash output by almost three stops, reduces battery drain, and allows for greater flash to subject distance.
There are six sizes and all fit in your pocket. I’ve linked to the size that fits the Canon 580 EX II and the Metz 54-4 but you can find a size that fits almost any flash.
At less than $40, this is the easiest and best way I know to project flash without breaking the bank and having a heavy, bulky piece of gear to carry around.