I have recevied emails and posts about a device designed to stop photographers being able to take photographs with flash that could be used by celebs in their handbags. And each time I have seen it refered to I have said that it is a lot of bollox. The idea stems around a flash and a slave being mounted in the Handbag.
Most photography studio strobe lights are what they call “slaved,” or light-triggered by means of internal sensors; when one of them fires, all of them will fire simultaneously, so you don’t have to plug a wire from your camera into all of them during multiple-light set-ups.
NYU Interactive Telecommunication Program student Adam Harvey has harnessed this simple technology to devise a brilliant anti-paparazzi device that goes well beyond Ashton Kutcher’s Tweets: A purse with a flash sensor and flash. His clutch purse contains a sensor that is triggered by a flash going off, and it instantaneously fires its own flash, completely ruining paparazzi shots.
Harvey is currently working on the patent and hopes to have the bag ready for sale by Spring 2010.
Even if it could be made to work it wouldn’t be practical, for a start it would need a power supply, a couple of AA Batteries are not going to be able to keep up with a 580EXmkII with Rechargables and a Quantum Battery Pack, which will cycle 8 times a second. Secondly, The Handbag would have to be strategically placed to prevent the picture being usable, which is fine if there is only one photographer unless it is “omni-directional). Thirdly, how powerful has the flashgun got to be to ruin the picture, baring in mind, most night papparazzi will be shooting at F8 or smaller. Fourthly, and this is the killer, most flashgun/camera combos use a pre-flash to determine the correct exposure, this pre-flash takes place a few hundreths of a second before the main flash, this pre flash is usually strong enough to trigger any slave devices that are close by, I can’t see how this can be avoided, The device will not recharge quick enough to fire again, and whilst the picture may be a little under exposed, paparazzi will have his photograph.