Wireless flash systems give more freedom when it comes to creative lighting
There are two main categories of wireless flash control: standard optical slave triggering and the more modern and more versatile radio transmitter/receiver triggering. Both provide us with a variety of control over flash setups, whether it’s firing multiple compact flash units or the more powerful strobes and power packs. Read More...
In the realm of continuous lighting, these lamps are king, and for good reason
Even though strobes are favored by many pros, there's definitely a core group who prefers continuous lights and, in particular, HMIs. They have a phenomenal watt-to-luminance ratio, produce comparatively little heat, are flicker-free, and emit a quality of light that's something to behold.
There's no substitute for getting the right exposure, and there's no better tool for that than a precision handheld meter
It's a simple rule: The exposure has to be correct. That's it. Period. If the exposure is off, no amount of postproduction Photoshop wizardry will bring it back. Of course, we've all heard about the power of a RAW file and how you can massage the RAW processing to fix exposure problems, but really, the whole “fix it down the line” way of thinking is a fallacy. Now, I'm sure someone will read this and shake their head as they think back to an image that was “saved” through RAW processing, but to that I simply say, think of how much better it could have been if you didn't have to save it.
For control and certain effects, many professionals find "hot light" to be the ideal lighting gear
With the prevalence of strobes in the professional marketplace, continuous lights or “hot lights” have fallen out of favor, but they're still excellent tools with some distinct advantages. The term “hot light” actually refers to tungsten, quartz, HMI and halogen lighting equipment as well as newer continuous sources that aren't all that hot to the touch. Although they're all hotter than a strobe setup, technology has made advancements in these lights that has resulted in much cooler units, so that a hot light can be used in some situations where you previously would have shunned them because of the heat.
Having tools that let you take your studio on the road can open the door to more and better-paying jobs
Most studio photographers choose either a power pack and flash head system or continuous lights (hot lights) for the vast majority of their work. Monolights have been largely relegated to the sidelines due to their reputation as being limited in usefulness. In a marketplace where studio space is being abandoned as too expensive and more photographers are being asked to do location shoots in a limited time and with limited notice, monolights are tools that might prove to be your best options.
Get creative with your lighting technique with some inspiration from these case studies by a master of illumination
To me, lighting is the most important tool for creative photography. It's followed far behind by focal length, aperture and so on. Too many photographers approach the same “problem” with the same technique—and always get the same result.
Flash photography has come a long way from the days when Weegee stalked the streets of New York with a Graphlex Speed Graphic and a pocket full of flash bulbs. Today's electronic flashes are small and powerful, filled with advanced features that help produce well-exposed photographs, all without leaving the smell of burning magnesium in the air.