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Brian Michael had a question that I remember asking myself years ago when I was learning about flash photography, and that’s whether or not you can use multiple speedlights to replicate the power of a single studio strobe.

Here’s Brian’s question:

I do love my monolights and get great results from them.. But when going to remote locations and carrying gear myself.. its a bit much to handle with batt packs and doing solo shoots without assistance. what I would like is when traveling or exploring… to not have to bring my cumbersome monolights..
How many speedlights would = 1 monolight? I know it would depend on the watt second of the light.. but lets say 500ws
You can buy a 3 hotshoe/coldshoe bracket for speedlights.. so would 3+3 speedlights acting as a 2 monolight system with modifiers be enough to use in daylight conditions?

I know in studio, cloudy or other low light conditions they would be suffice… but in studio.. I would just use my monolights.. I would only incorporate my speedlights if I wanted to add more than 2 lights..

The short answer is sort of. See, adding multiple speedlights does increase the power of the light, but it increases according to the inverse square law, which complicates things a bit and ends up making it impractical to use multiple speedlights in place of a single strobe.

Check out the video for all the details and to see how quickly trying to do this can get out of hand.

I used to be scared of my flash, and I understand how intimidating flash photography can be, but a flash is just a tool. Once you understand how that tool works you’ll be using your flash to create photos that used to seem impossible.

If you want to master your flash and take those amazing photos, check out my Understanding Flash Photography Video Course.