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

Gear — Travel

Our gear recommendations for returning home with meaningful travel images
Read our travel how-to guide Cameras There are pros who take high-quality travel pictures with an iPhone. If you want professional-quality images, with fine detail and low levels of noise in all settings, though, you’ll need a DSLR or mirrorless camera. The larger the sensor, the better the image quality, generally speaking. For all-around photography,... Read more

Westcott Basics LED Hands-On Review

An inexpensive and portable light that may be the ideal solution for many photographers
Westcott Basics LED
Lighting gear is essential to us as photographers, and one of the challenges we face is finding good, inexpensive solutions that are small enough for us to carry anywhere. Our portability and affordability problems are solved with Westcott’s Basics LED, thanks to the unique design of this LED light system—it uses standard “Edison” fixtures (those... Read more

Gear — Portraits

Our recommendations for the best gear to level up your portraiture work.
Read our portrait how-to guide Cameras Most pros prefer full-frame cameras for portrait work, but whether you use a full-frame or crop-framed one like APS-C or Micro Four Thirds, you have the same needs. You want good image quality, a camera that feels comfortable and that makes sense to you. I use a Canon 1D X Mark II, but honestly, if I weren’t... Read more

The One-Light Portrait

Simple and elegant, less can be very much more

Over the course of a 40-year career, Annie Leibovitz created some of the most iconic and unique editorial portraiture, recognized all over the world. Being a self-taught photographer, I looked to her work time and time again for inspiration and motivation. I scoured the Internet for information on her lighting setups, equipment and methodology, but... Read more

Pro Light With Flash Modifiers

Use these key accessories to refine the output of your portable speedlights

Modern on-camera flashes are so powerful that many photographers are looking at them as a primary light source, and not just for events. Many of the advanced capabilities that used to be reserved for much more sophisticated and expensive lighting systems are now found in speedlights. Like traditional studio lighting, adding any of several light-modification... Read more

High-Power Monolights

For versatility in and out of the studio, these high-output strobes are ideal

When it comes time to invest in in serious strobe lighting, many photographers opt for the versatility of monolights. Whereas pack-based systems typically provide greater output (measured in watt seconds, or ws, equivalent to joules), monolights are modular, self-contained and less expensive—making them the ideal entrée into the studio strobe lighting... Read more

On-Camera Lighting

Accessories and light modifiers for controlling speedlight flashes and adding photographic effects

Camera flashes are highly directional light sources. This means that the burst of light is coming from a single light source, the bulb, resulting in an uneven style of lighting with a brightly lit subject in the foreground and a lot of heavy shadows surrounding the subject. This effect is especially unappealing when working with portraiture, which,... Read more

Off-Camera Lighting

Monolight and strobe options for powerful studio lighting capabilities

Monolight and strobe options for powerful studio lighting capabilitiesFor freezing action, creating exciting motion effects or achieving fast shutter speeds and extended depth of field, monolights and strobes are lighting systems that are portable enough for field work and bright enough for work in the studio. Monolights are generally thought of as... Read more

Monolights & Strobes

Gear options for powerful and fast illumination to capture the action or create amazing effects

Monolights, flashes and strobes are lighting systems capable of timed bursts of light in a rapid sequence. Because the bursts of light are intermittent, they’re much cooler to use instead of most traditional continuous light sources, especially important in closed studio environments. Low-heat continuous LED lights are challenging this advantage,... Read more

Benefits Of Continuous Lighting

Constant light sources are great solutions for both still and video because what you see is what you get

Continuous lighting is always on, and the obvious advantage to working with continuous light sources is that unlike strobes and monolights, which take a great deal of practice to learn before you inherently understand what changes will look like in a shot, what you’re seeing in the real world with continuous lights will closely resemble the image... Read more
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