The Top 3 Budget Flashes for Photography: Good, Better, Best

You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a great external flash
Photos for Best Budget Flashes
If you recently purchased a DSLR or mirrorless camera from one of the top brands such as Canon, Nikon, or Sony, you’ve probably also gone looking for an external flash (aka a speedlite, flashgun, or hot shoe flash) to provide extra illumination for portraits and event photography. And, understandably, you’ve likely tried to match the flash... Read more

The Top 3 Ring Lights in 2021: Good, Better, Best

We pick our favorite ring lights for photography and video
Lead photo for best ring lights 2021
Ring lights have long been a popular and easy-to-use lighting option in portrait photography. When deployed, ring lights provide flattering, balanced light on your subject while virtually eliminating shadows. But many people might be familiar with ring lights these days because of how they can make you look more attractive on a Zoom webcam call. And... Read more

Lume Cube 2.0

The second generation of this ultra-compact LED light includes several upgrades
lume cube 2.0 in use
We thought the original Lume Cube was a bright idea when it launched in 2014, but this highly-portable lighting solution for still photography and video has gotten even more versatile with the new Lume Cube 2.0. While it looks essentially the same as its tiny predecessor, Lume Cube 2.0 offers significantly improved battery life, better quality of light... Read more
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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

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