I have been traveling for the last few months and I usually like to pack light, (carry on only) so bringing a studio strobe like the White Lightening x1600 is out of the question. I recently acquired speedlights made by Yongnuo. Bought a pair of the YN 560 which is 100% manual non TTL version. The reviews were good, and the price was unbelievably cheap, but what really blew me away was how powerful and efficient these little lights are. Perfect for shooting environmental portraits. Paired with a set of Sanyo Eneloop batteries, this set up easily pulls the stage curtain closed on the days when Vivitar 285 were paired with Quantum Turbos. What I really like about the Yongnuo YN 560 is the multiple options for syncing: you can radio trigger one from your camera which will in turn fire the second (or third) one with an optical slave. Another little trick I did was tape diffusion material over the light for a slight softening without bringing a long an umbrella. They come with small stands like the canon speedlights, and the metal base helps when you want to do some unorthodox mounting. Do the math: for the price of one Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT you can buy 7 Yongnuo YN 560’s.
As I write this, it appears that Yongnuo has upgraded the non ttl model to YN-560 II which I will need to check out as well, but for new I highly recommend the Yongnuo YN560 speedlights for travel.

Here are some photos I took with them on the North Shore of Ohau… You can check out an even larger set here:

Aloha.

North Shore musician portrait
Grace’s violin on the beach shot with one Yongnuo YN-560
Yongnuo YN560 Speedlights for Travel
Honu (sea turtle) North Shore Ohau shot with a Yongnuo YN-560 © brian birzer
Grace’s violin on the beach shot with one Yongnuo YN-560
kMax north shore sunset shot with one Yongnuo YN-560 © brian birzer
Polynesian shadow puppet at sunset north shore
Polynesian shadow puppet at sunset north shore
Polynesian shadow puppet at sunset north shore
north shore family portrait
north shore portrait shot with two Yongnuo YN-560 © brian birzer
north shore portrait shot with one Yongnuo YN-560 © brian birzer
north shore portrait shot with one Yongnuo YN-560 © brian birzer

 

Hammock Time
Yongnuo YN-560 mounted to a rusted carbon fiber pole with Manfrotto head
Yongnuo YN-560 mounted to a rusted carbon fiber pole with Manfrotto head + pocketwizard