The Pros and Cons of using Cheap China Brand Lights

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My first ever off-camera flash was a Nikon sb-24 speedlight (1988), which I got. After a while I bought my first ever Nikon speedlight an sb-600 (it was around $250 back then). I was very happy with it until I wanted to get a studio strobe. There weren’t many choices to pick from here in the Philippines; its either you get one that cost around $300 per strobe or you can buy a “kit” with 3 off brand studio lights, light stands and softboxes for around $220. I got the latter.

(As a reference, a 400WS Broncolor Siros 400 which is one fine branded strobe – yet one of the cheaper branded strobes – will set you back $1000. A Cowboystudio 400WS strobe will only cost $150. A Square Perfect 400W/S strobe will only set you back a $100 or so. Those 3 are obviously not comparable strobe)

CHEAP doesn’t always mean bad, I have used these lights for more than 6 years now, and I want to share with you the pros and cons of using cheap off brand lights.

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How To Add Steam To Food Photography (Using Photoshop)

Coffee Part 2 final (1)

Last week I did an article on how to capture steam in food photography right in camera. You can’t always have hot boiling water in every shoot or have really hot food (or frankly, sometimes it is just easier to do in post), yet there are times when you need to have steam. This is when you’ll add the steam in post production. Here is a step by step tutorial on how to add steam in photoshop.

Below, you will find two photoshop techniques for adding steam in photoshop.

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How to Perfectly Capture Steam in Food Photography


feature image steam

I normally hangout at a local coffee shop editing photos because it’s easier for me to concentrate (plus free electricity and air condition… not always easy to find those in the Philippines). On my last visit I saw a person holding a cup of steaming hot coffee and thought of this article. This will be a 2 part article on getting good steam shots for coffee shots or food photography.

We will be using ‘real hot water’ rather than photoshopping the smoke…

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