How To Build A Focusable Parabolic Reflector

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Focusable parabolic reflectors may not be your first lighting modifier as they are big and require a lot (A LOT) of power, but once you start using them it is pretty hard to go back. To top that, they are also pretty expensive. The medium branded ones are around $800 while a top brand like Broncolor will set you back about $2,400.

If you still want to drive test one of those and at the stage where you have more time than money, Dennis Christian put a tutorial together on building one from scratch (or almost scratch….).

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Eliminating Fill Flash Hard Shadows – A Controlled Test

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Defining the problem: While shooting a portrait outdoors, I usually add a fill flash to eliminate any “racoon eyes” and dark shadows on the face. The fill flash is set set at 1.7 stops under exposed for a light touch. My setup is a Nikon D600 with Nikon SB700 flash (mounted on the camera’s hotshoe) using TTL metering at -1.7 EV. In the example the lighting on the face is good (soft & directional) but you can see a hard shadow on the right side of the subject.

We have options…

There are a few options available, and in this test case I wanted to compare them

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Portrait Lighting Tips: Fine Tune Your Look By Adjusting Light Positioning

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When it comes to portrait lighting, Joel Grimes abides by some basic principles to achieve just the look he is going for. But, while those principles are basic, they may not necessarily be obvious. Fortunately, Grimes is a great educator and has made this quick video tutorial to share some of his pro advice and deliver us with a very simple way to get several different lighting looks using just one strobe, a reflector, and an octobox. [Read more…]

A Trio – DIY Multi-Flash Strobe Mount

A trio - DIY multi Flash Strobe MountMulti flash mounts are cool. I have discussed them before when we did a DIY on a dual flash mount. Just a quick recap: Using multiple flashed allows you to either drive more light or to remain on the same light level, while recycling faster. You can read it all here.

Using some objects that my wife will call junk elements smartly scattered around the house, photographer Brent Pennington made a three-way flash mount. Ha! Three is better than two. It will drive a stop and a half more.

As a bonus, Brent’s device relives you of the need to use a stud on your swivel. That’s a major bonus if you are like me and keep losing them. Kudos.

Of course, you could always sin and get the one made by Lastolite, but then where would all the fun (and your 70 greens) would be?

Read the entire tutorial and deep thoughts on Brent’s Blog. [Read more…]

Light Tents

tent light standPhotographer Peter Karlsson has it all worked out when it comes to travel light. Peter is a Strobist at heart and as such he is using small flashes quite a bit. The coolness comes in when you see how he places his flashes in space.

Instead of your orthodox light stand solution Peter uses a home brewed light stand made of tent poles. Those are great for travel for several reasons: There are super light-weight, they fold small and they will definitely make your subject go WOW! Luckily for photographers wold wide there are two vids available that shows how those light stands were made. [Read more…]

Light Tent And Paper Binders – Refolded

Light Tent And Paper Binder - RefoldedToday @AM time I discussed a light tent made from virtually nothing but coroplast and binders. (Not the previous supermarket-box-light-tent took more products to make).

Then I saw a variation on that theme by Nathan Moroney that used nothing but paper binders to create a very similar light same tent.

Now, if you think that coroplast tent was frugal, this one is on the fringe of being made from pure nothing. (Link and musing after the jump).

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Two Flashes Are Better Than One + Simple DIY Multi-Flash Bracket Tutorial

Two Flashes Are Better Than One + Simple DIY Multi-Flash Bracket TutorialI guess this should go without saying, but I am going to say it anyhow: two flashes are better than one. Now you must be wondering why?

For starters, two flashes will get you a higher score on the GAS scale. (G.A.S. stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome). This alone is a good reason to get two. But there are lighting oriented reasons as well. For some tech talk and a multi flash bracket tutorial, hit the jump. [Read more…]