Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trade Tricks: Hot, Cool And Continuous

Studio lighting the easy way

TT: Hot, Cool And Continuous

Stop wondering. While strobes throw out a short burst of light, continuous lights provide a constant output that allows you to see where your light is going. You don't have to constantly check your image via LCD screen or computer monitor to make sure the light is hitting your subject and you can make adjustments before capture.

If you enjoy close-up photography, own collectibles that you'd like to photograph or just want to shoot using studio lighting, continuous light units provide an easy and affordable way to make your images look exceptional.

Tungsten. Continuous lights that utilize a tungsten bulb are called hot lights. Emitting a warm color temperature of 3,000 to 3,500 Kelvin, these units are powerful. They also can be very warm, as they tend to generate a lot of heat. If you're in a small studio, this can become uncomfortable. Nevertheless, they're perfect for tabletop photography, as the light is shapable and easy to work with.

A Cool Alternative. Another solution is a daylight-balanced fluorescent light, like the Lowel Ego light or Samigon FL-360 light kit. These lights have a color temperature of 5,000 to 5,500 Kelvin, much cooler than tungsten.

The Lowels are small, compact, free-standing units while the Samigon kit looks more like a traditional studio light, complete with stands and reflectors. With a relatively inexpensive price tag, both lights provide cool, soft illumination for photography without the heat implications of a tungsten source.



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