Pro Insights For Studio Lighting

Two professional studio photographers share their go-to gear and setups to help you choose the best lights for your projects
As part of a multi-portrait story on Steven Spielberg, Art Streiber used a Profoto head in a small, gridded softbox for the main light; the catch light is a gridded 7-inch reflector right over the camera. The backdrop is lit by a Profoto head in an extra-small, gridded softbox. Studio lighting, both flash and continuous, tends to be larger and more... Read more

Portable Lighting Solutions

Keeping it “light” with on-location lighting, from speedlights to monolights and LED
Winemaker Bob Tillman at his Alta Colina Vineyard in Paso Robles, lit with a Nikon speedlight with a Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible attached to soften the fill light and a ¼ CTO to warm it. The days of lugging bags filled with heavy lighting equipment and paying hundreds of dollars in excess and overweight baggage fees for location shoots are over.... Read more

Light Modifiers

Softboxes, beauty dishes, ring lights, snoots and more tools to get the photo you want, in any situation, even when traveling
Use softboxes to create even, flattering light without harsh shadows. You can see the softbox in this portrait reflected in the subject’s sunglasses. Considering that, as photographers, we’re essentially capturing light in a box, modifying how that light gets captured is a key to creativity. When you’re working with artificial light sources, light... Read more
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Lighting Demystified

Mastering photographic lighting is easier than you think, and will open up a world of possibilities
It can take just a single light to completely change a scene—if you know how to use it. Photo by David Schloss Whenever I hear a photographer say “I just use natural light,” sometimes what they mean is “because I don’t know how to use lighting equipment.” For most photographers, understanding how to set up and modify lighting to achieve... Read more

Strobe Fun In The Cuban Sun

Ira Block spent three years photographing baseball in Cuba, with a little help from strobes and a lifetime supply of lighting know-how
“If we didn’t have a connection,” Block says, “we would pull into a town, and all you’d have to do is ask someone, ‘Hey, where are they playing ball here?’ And you’d get to someplace and that was a start. You’d get to a place where some kids were playing ball, and, you know, we’d ask questions: Where’s a good field? Where’s a... Read more

Studio Lighting

Whether shooting in a dedicated studio space, a garage or a spare room, you can create professional-looking images with these powerful lighting setups
Studio lighting, both flash and continuous, tends to be larger with separate power sources, it’s less portable and, often, it’s more expensive. These power packs and strobe units pay off in power, however, allowing photographers to shoot at virtually any ƒ-stop with fast recycling times and no fear of draining their batteries. The shooting space... Read more

On-Camera Flash

Using this often overlooked lighting solution for creative effect
On-Camera Flash
There’s so much talk about OFF-camera flash these days, hardly anyone explores the nuances of the obvious useful technique of ON-camera flash. After all, every camera and every flash is designed with a convenient “hot-shoe” connector so the flash can be mounted and communicate with the camera. In simplest terms, a flash lights up a scene when... Read more

Portable Lighting Guide

On-location lighting is a balancing act of working with ambient and artificial light. These lighting solutions will help you capture your shot.
photographic lighting
Day In The Life Of A Location Shoot. This behind-the-scenes shot on location with photographer Gavin Bond reveals the need for lighting that can go anywhere and do anything. Multiple lights were used to create the look the client requested, and the results can be seen in our profile of Gavin Bond in our sister publication Digital Photo Pro in the September/October... Read more

Photography By Bike With A Good Light

With the Lustra 50, PRL has figured out LEDs so photographers don’t have to
lighting for photography
Last week in Seattle, on Tuesday, when I was writing about dreariness (I called it dreeping), it was three times darker than the solar eclipse. THREE TIMES, and that reminded me to share with you how I’m getting street shots, even on the darkest days. It’s the Lustra 50 light, and what you need to know is that PRL has figured out affordable high-quality... Read more

Hands-On Review: Interfit Honey Badger Strobe

A tough, lightweight and powerful strobe/head lighting unit. Oh, and it’s bright yellow.
Interfit Honey Badger strobe
A four-foot-wide, brilliant yellow snow shovel sat for several years in the corner of my studio. Without exception, men who saw it would get a kind of gleam in the eye and immediately start asking where I got it, how it was to use, and on and on, no matter the season. Oddly, in the three years I wielded it to great acclaim, not a single woman took the... Read more

DIY High-Power Video Or Still Light For Under $200

We made our own 11,200 lumen LED lighting solution that’s lightweight and durable. Check out the how-to video.
LED lighting solutions
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... Read more

The Portable Studio

Instant feedback from your camera’s LCD and lighting gear that’s lighter and more powerful can turn challenging lighting situations into stunning photos on the road
portable studio
Photographer Tom Bol travels most of the year on assignment and inevitably finds himself in challenging lighting situations. His portable studio kits help him conquer the conditions and return home with the shots he needs. Nikon D3, 14-24mm, shot at 1/250 at ƒ/14, Elinchrom Quadra with 39” Deep Octa Softbox I spend much of my year traveling the globe... Read more
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