Hotlights Versus Strobes: Why Choose One Over the Other?

When it comes to building out your kit, there is the eternal quandary. Constant lights or strobes? What are the advantages of each? What are the disadvantages of each? What are you giving up going with one over the other? This video from The Creative Contrast gives us a small look into why you may want to choose one over the other.

While the video is definitely not super technical, it helps give a general overview of some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems. Continuous lights (hot lights) are generally far less powerful, but can be used for videos. We get to see David and Giancarlo put their skills to use in a small shootout, resulting in some very beautiful photos of Kathy Jordan. Something that really was driven home in this video is the fact that many LED lights have multiple color temperatures built in, so it is easy to get a two-tone look without buying extra gels. 

While the video definitely could have gone more in depth on the different modifiers for strobes and the different types on constant lighting, it's also nice to see a video not reach really hard for the ten-minute mark just because of The Algorithm. What did you think of the video? Do you use strobes or constant light?

David J. Fulde's picture

David J. Fulde photographs people. Based in Toronto, ON, he uses bold lighting and vibrant colours to tell people's stories. His work in the film industry lends a cinematic energy to his photographs and makes for an always-colourful studio -- whether he's shooting portraits, fashion, or beauty.

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There is a significant difference between f/2.8; ISO 800; 1/125 compared to f/7.1; ISO 160; 1/1000 (speed of flash), particularly with a family group or an intent of a large wall print.

"We get to see David and Giancarlo put their skills to use in a small shootout" lol why do you speak about yourself in the third person ?

Strobes (Profoto and Broncolor) for the life!
Oh, and all my strobes heads have a focus lamps that I could use (but I never use) as constant lights…

I tried to watch their first video but gave up after hearing the term "creative" for the sixth time. That and the referencing themselves in the third person turned me off, with so many great videos out there these guys have a long way to go.

"with flashes, you can mold the light different than with constant light". How so? What is sequencing? That will need some 'splaining Giancarlo.
Did either mention the advantage of shooting people at a fast shutter speed, a reasonable f stop and ISO. Was the strobe shot supposed to be 3 stops under? Could be my monitor...