There was a time early in my photography career that I bought into the idea of becoming a natural-light photographer. In secret this idea manifested because using off-camera lighting to help shape my images meant learning about all of this crazy lighting technology. I’d rather just stick to what I was comfortable with forever and just not use it. Sound familiar?
Most of the new portable flash units released in the past few years have been 200-600Ws strobes. Not many manufacturers decided to bet on powerful packs. They seem to focus heavily on HS, HSS, TTL, or simply lighter units instead. However, there are photographers who require power and Elinchrom listened to them. The ELB 1200 is not without reminding us of the aging Ranger RX, but they only share the power output, the brand name, and very few features. The Elinchrom ELB 1200 is a new product in itself and one that action photographers will love without a doubt.
This week I was invited to the head office of Rotolight in Pinewood Studios, London to check out one of their flagship products, the Rotolight Neo. This is an LED light that can mount to your camera or can be used off camera using boompoles or light stands. This constant light source that can run off six AA batteries claims to be industry leading in areas such as brightness and color accuracy. But at $399.99, is it a worthy investment?
One of my favorite setups for studio portraits of children was inspired by Jill Greenberg’s photos of crying babies. These portraits are fun, simple, and focus on teasing out a variety of natural expressions of children as they are being photographed. This tutorial demonstrates how to photograph and edit this particular style of a three-light children’s portrait.
Polaroid is a brand many have forgotten, a true classic of yesteryear, but today they seem to continue to push out new and innovative products that can be used by any type of photographer. Last week I reviewed the Polaroid Snap Touch and today, I am checking out the latest BrightSaber. A powerful yet portable light in a form factor many find appealing to those on the go or wanting to simplify their gear.
TTL, HS, and HSS have pretty much become a standard across the flash industry today. Every manufacturer is releasing new units on a regular basis with more features than any photographer could ask for or even need in. Following the trend, Nissin just announced a new TTL transmitter, the Air10s.
Grids are probably amongst the best pieces of equipment a photographer using flash can own. Alas, they are often either underrated or misunderstood. On one of my recent shoots, I decided to create a lighting setup with grids on every single strobe. My goal was to create a somewhat complex setup, that once broken down step by step would be easy to recreate by any photographer starting out in studio photography.
A while back, while on a shoot for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art here in Northwest Arkansas, I was asked to get a shot of the museum’s executive chef and the Director of Culinary for their members magazine. Time was short, the kitchen was starting to prep for dinner service, and every second I was there I was inconveniencing someone. I had to get in and out quickly and create a dynamic image in the process. Here’s how it happened.
While it certainly wasn't my first time using one, a recent shoot I did for TEDx at the Ohio State University made me realize how much easier life is with a light meter. For almost all the time I've spent behind cameras, I've been creating portraits. And for most of that time, I've been using flash. Starting out, I would just shoot and tweak power settings and my aperture and the light placement until I got what I wanted. As an amateur, it worked. But once I decided that photography was a career for me and as I began picking up client work, this method became quite ineffective, forcing me to get the one tool I never realized I needed.