Master Your Flash

Start with the basics to take full creative advantage of modern flash systems

Flashes have never been so powerful. The portable, affordable and simple-to-use units pack a lot of punch in an efficient design that can be hidden almost anywhere within a scene, making modern flashes and their wireless capabilities a particularly versatile solution, whether lighting a single subject or orchestrating a complicated setup with multiple... Read more

Tools For Lighting Outdoor Portraits

Gear to add fill and enhance the quality of natural light for stunning portraits

When working with natural light, the singular light source of the sun is difficult to control. It’s a large, directional light source, which means it produces a lot of "hard" light that comes from only one direction. This results in high-contrast images with a lot of shadows. There’s nothing wrong with this very dramatic look,... Read more

Flash Modifiers

Make your portable flash more capable of professional results

Whether artificial or natural, light that comes from a single source is directional and harsh, which results in images that have a lot of contrast and heavy shadows. Generally, this is unflattering to a subject, especially when working with people. Even with limited swiveling abilities and wireless control over multiple flash units, this unfortunate... Read more

Creative Lighting For Portraiture

Affordable lighting setups that can dramatically improve your images

Einstein E640 Flash Unit From Paul C. Buff, Inc. As a traveling and oftentimes "guerrilla" editorial and advertising photographer, I usually run into a ton of complications when it comes to getting the gear I need into locations, whether it be the need to travel light and get out quickly, or the lack of any source of electricity... Read more

Flash & Flash Accessories

Photography is all about light. Making a dramatic, compelling image often comes down to how effective the photographer is at using the available light.

Photography is all about light. Making a dramatic, compelling image often comes down to how effective the photographer is at using the available light. Whether you’re shooting people, buildings or landscapes, sometimes the light you have on hand is enough. But more often, you need to add to that light, and the most efficient, lightweight and accessible... Read more

Buying Your First Monolight

You’ve reached a point in your photography where you feel that shoe-mount flash just won’t cut it anymore.

You’ve reached a point in your photography where you feel that shoe-mount flash just won’t cut it anymore. You want something with more panache that says, “I’m good; I’m taking professional-level pictures.” Well, you can get studio strobe lighting, which will cost little more than a good speedlight, without making... Read more

Continuous Lights For Still & Video

Now that you own a DSLR with HD video, it’s time to look beyond existing lights and speedlights, at ways that you can light the shot yourself for still and motion.

Now that you own a DSLR with HD video, it’s time to look beyond existing lights and speedlights, at ways that you can light the shot yourself for still and motion. Provided you don’t have to freeze fast action, continuous lighting is the answer. This largely economical solution lets you see what you’re getting every step of the way—the... Read more

Step Into Studio Lighting

If you’re ready to step up from handheld flashes to more powerful and accessory-ready, studio-style strobes, consider monolights.

If you’re ready to step up from handheld flashes to more powerful and accessory-ready, studio-style strobes, consider monolights. They offer an affordable, powerful and easy-to-use lighting solution. Unlike pack systems, monolights don’t tether to a central power pack. Instead, they plug directly into an AC outlet and include all of the... Read more

Flash & Lighting

Mastering the tools to control light is one of the most effective ways to improve your skills as a photographer.

Mastering the tools to control light is one of the most effective ways to improve your skills as a photographer. Your camera’s built-in flash is adequate for typical snapshots, but it will only take your images so far. The fixed straight-on direction, further hampered by generally limited control and range, make most built-in flash insufficient for... Read more

Portable Studio

I spend much of my year traveling the globe creating images, from shooting editorial assignments in remote Honduran jungles to teaching photo workshops in the shifting sands of the Gobi Desert.

I spend much of my year traveling the globe creating images, from shooting editorial assignments in remote Honduran jungles to teaching photo workshops in the shifting sands of the Gobi Desert. One of the joys of travel photography is creating portraits of people you meet, whether it’s in your hometown or on an island in the middle of the Pacific... Read more

How To Build A Camera System

When you buy a D-SLR, you’re choosing more than just a camera—you’re selecting a system of lenses and accessories, as well.

When you buy a D-SLR, you’re choosing more than just a camera-you’re selecting a system of lenses and accessories, as well. Camera features like sensor size and resolution, metering and autofocus technology, exposure modes and so on are all important considerations; but you’ll also want to look beyond the camera at the range of additional... Read more

Lighten Up

Whether you’re shooting portraits, still lifes or even eBay product shots, the subtlest changes in lighting can have a profound impact on the final image, and studio lighting kits offer more than subtle changes—they offer complete control.

Whether you’re shooting portraits, still lifes or even eBay product shots, the subtlest changes in lighting can have a profound impact on the final image, and studio lighting kits offer more than subtle changes—they offer complete control. A typical studio lighting setup often has a key (or main) light and a fill light. While this setup... Read more
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