Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Toolbox: Lighting Is The Difference
From light modifiers to complete studio setups, there are lights that will make your photography more radiant than ever before
Making a picture stand out from the crowd is an incredible challenge, and having the right tools for the job allow you to create the images the way that you imagine them, setting your photos apart by making your still images pop with life. Try the creative use of lighting for a variety of in-camera effects, and also for achieving total control over a scene for perfect exposures every time.
Studio kits provide photographers with commonly used lights that cover the range of classic interior studio setups. A typical kit includes a main key light and a fill for balancing the shadows created by the main light source. By playing with the light output and the distance between the light sources, camera and subjects, photographers can control exposure, contrast and the quality of light. The more advanced the kit, the more options are available for affecting the look of an image. Strobes are most popular for photographers because they offer high-powered light bursts for freezing dynamic action while consuming less energy and producing less heat, important when working with models or on closed sets.
Speedotron offers a Black Line and a Brown Line of products for high-powered control over lighting. The Black Line is designed for more power and faster recycling times, while the Brown Line is more economically priced, in-cluding the DM402 CC 2-Light Travel System. The kit comes with two M11 light units and silver umbrellas for evenly spreading light, a power pack for shooting on location and a soft carrying case. List Price: $1,075.
The Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 strobe has a range of nine ƒ-stops, from 2.5 Ws to 640 Ws with accurate and repeatable flash and color consistency with plus or minus 50K color temperature at any power setting. In Action Mode, the light also bursts at an amazingly fast commercial level of 1/13,500 sec., and the mono light is plug-and-play ready with automatic switching to operate in most common voltages, from 95-265 VAC in 50 or 60 Hz. Recycle time at full 640 Ws power is only 1.7 seconds, which decreases proportionally at lower power settings. List Price: $499.
Photogenic’s StudioMax III Light Kits are an ideal choice for beginning a studio setup with your choice of two or three lights, accompanying stands and umbrella reflectors. There also are kits available that include an AC or DC battery pack for taking your photography out on the road, and the line is compatible with Photogenic’s line of StudioMax and Quick-Change accessories for building on to your setup as needed. Estimated Street Price: Begins at $409.
The wireless PX system from RadioPopper gives full control over remote flashes, with a range of more than 1,500 feet, compatibility with Canon E-TTL or Nikon i-TTL modes, manual options and a high-speed sync of up to 1/8000 sec. The RadioPopper PX Transmitter controls as many flashes as you need with a separate PX Receiver that you attach to each flash. List Price: $249 each.
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