Today’s LED lights are brighter, cheaper and better than ever, and ready for your studio
The flash of a strobe is intertwined so closely with the identity of a photographer that it has always been the signal in entertainment that a character is a photographer. Think, for instance, of film-noir dramas, where a news reporter catches a shot of a mobster—their Speed Graphic camera is always seen with a large, round Graflex flashgun popping...
We made our own 11,200 lumen LED lighting solution that’s lightweight and durable. Check out the how-to video.
We’re always looking for ways to save time and money in the studio, so we set out to see if we could create a low-budget but powerful lighting solution for photography and videography.
After wandering the aisles of the local hardware store, we found materials that allowed us to create our very own studio lighting hack—an 11,200 lumen light that...
Blending modern LED lights with strobes for unique lighting options
Text & Photography By Tom Bol
This image uses two LED lights and one strobe. An 18” circular flapjack is the main light on the left, with a ring flash as an accent light on right. An Elinchrom ELB 400 strobe using a 30-degree grid lights the blue background.
I love my strobes. Watching them pop away during a shoot energizes the set and amplifies my creativity. My obsession with...
LED lighting matures, giving a whole new set of possibilities
It’s odd to think that today’s LED lights—bright, low-power and lightweight—are related to the LED lights of the late 1960s and 1970s. Anyone of a certain age who suffered from insomnia or rolled into bed after a night of partying is familiar with the persistent, obnoxious glow of a bedside alarm clock. Who knew that the technology used to...
Battery powered lights have really come into their own. Here’s a rundown of great location lights that work even when you’re far afield.
By William Sawalich
Want to bring studio lighting control into the great outdoors? You can, with a wide array of battery-powered location lighting tools. From small flashes to high-power strobes and LEDs, there’s a wealth of great options for bringing studio-style lighting to the most remote locations.
When you think about going on location with strobes, the...
Affordable, powerful continuous light for location or studio
By David Schloss
The idea of continuous lighting is incredibly appealing—create your lighting solution without having to predict the effects of various strobes and light modifiers, and adjust your settings and solution on the fly. Thanks to the rapid increases in LED technology, the pricing has plummeted while performance and power have increased.
The result has been...
How a little light can go a long way to make a dramatic, dark and moody portrait
Text & Photography By William Sawalich
In a lot of commercial portraiture these days, there’s an emphasis on high-production values. Whether from exotic locations or from using a lot of lights, it seems the conventional wisdom is generally “more is better.” But, in fact, when trying to create a moody, dramatic or intimate black-and-white portrait, sometimes less actually is more. With...
Expand your creativity with these nontraditional uses of lighting tools
By Ellis Vener
Mastering softboxes, beauty dishes, reflectors, gobos and spots is all part of the job of the commercial photographer. Having the ability to dig into a bag of lighting tricks and come up with a “solution” to a challenging shoot is all in a day’s work.
A masterful photographer, though, keeps looking for new solutions to problems, even before they...
With a combination of portability, power, versatility and the ability to be used away from an AC outlet, battery-powered monolights are gaining an increasing following among professional photographers
Monolights are self-contained pro flash units that plug into standard AC wall sockets, no separate power pack needed. All the controls are on the flash head—no need to move to a power pack to adjust power and other settings (although many newer monolights feature standard or optional remote controls). Some monolights can also operate from battery...
The art of portrait lighting is the art of bringing out the essence of an individual.
The art of portrait lighting is the art of bringing out the essence of an individual—identifying the person’s personality and facial features, and coming up with a lighting scheme that will synchronize with them. Many photographers fall into the habit of using a stock setup for all of their work without consideration of the person they’re...
The Elinchrom BRX 500/500 two-light kit provides on-location lighting that’s on par with studio gear back home
By David Schloss
Location photographers often have to make compromises when it comes to lighting, opting to carry an unreasonable amount of lighting gear in order to achieve a look similar to studio lighting, or dramatically scale back the power and performance of the studio for weight and cost savings. The Elinchrom BRX 500/500 two-light to-go set aims to address those...
With a combination of light weight, portability and high power, monolights are serious tools for wedding photographers who need more than an on-camera flash
By The Editors
There are two basic types of studio flash: powerpack-and-heads systems and monolights. The former provides a lot of power and control, but is a bit unwieldy, and the cables connecting the lamp heads to the powerpack are just waiting to trip someone. Monolights are self-contained; the lamp head and the powerpack are built into a single unit. Like the...