Well, this is a bit of a surprise. The Cactus RQ250 strobe announced shortly before The Photography Show earlier in the year is being taken to Kickstarter. Originally scheduled to ship in September 2018, it looks like it’s seen some slight delays, with the campaign showing backers will now receive theirs in October 2018. Now that it’s on Kickstarter, though, we finally know the price. And it’s not cheap.
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If you shoot with artificial lighting, you can go with off camera flash or continuous LED lights. Of course, each approach has its good and bad sides. In this video, Francisco Joel Hernandez discusses pros and cons of using continuous LED lights for portraits. So if you’ve been thinking of getting them for portrait photography, this might help you make the final decision.
TTL seems to have become all the rage for big strobes the last few years. There are now TTL strobe options from Godox, Profoto and even Cactus, amongst others. Now Elinchrom up their game with the new ELB 500 TTL; A 500Ws pack & head system offering TTL, High Speed Sync all the way up to 1/8000sec, and 400 full power flashes on a single charge for use both on location and in the studio.
The Photography Show is the UK’s biggest annual show. Held each year at the Birmingham NEC, it attracts all of the well-known brands, and a few newer ones. And while the main focus of shows now for me are the people I get to see and hang out with, you can’t ignore the gear. Because, like most shows, it’s packed to the gills with it.
DIYP went to The Photography Show 2017 last month, and we picked up seven of the most interesting products for your enjoyment:
When Profoto added TTL, High Speed Sync, and studio-level power to the Profoto B1 battery-powered monolight, it was revolutionary. But the newest flash, which the company describes as the “World’s Fastest Monolight,” is built to take the Profoto AirTTL system to the next level with even faster and more powerful lights. The Profoto D2 500/1000 AirTTL monolight may set the new standard for power and speed in studio lighting from everyone’s favorite Light Shaping Company.
Shooting outside in bright sunlight scares many photographers. I always see people saying to not go out and shoot portraits when the sun’s high in the sky. To wait until golden hour and shoot in the sunset, or only go out on a cloudy day.
Well, I think that’s nonsense. There’s so much you can do with bright contrasty sunlight. In this video from Shutterbug Magazine, photographer James Patrick shows us five great tips for working with it.
As a self-taught photographer I am continuously seeking creative and technical inspiration, and when I find a technique that involves both technical know-how and demands creative juice I can’t wait to go try it myself.
When I first encountered the Bokehrama technique, sometimes referred to as the Brenizer method, I knew this is one of those instances. What finally got me out to try the technique was the arrival of the new Godox AD600 at the camera store where I work and get to test new gear. For those unfamiliar with the Godox AD600, it is a battery-contained, 600 watt, HSS (high speed sync) and TTL capable strobe with a built-in X-series radio receiver. Perfect for location shooting and ideal for this technique as I will soon explain.
So, what is the Brenizer method (coined after wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer)? Essentially, it is a way of achieving an optically impossible photo. We all know that the two fundamental elements affecting depth of field are aperture and focal length – the wider the former and the longer the latter the more shallow the depth of field will be, and “hello there, bokeh”. The tradeoff to this wonderful bokhe is a photo that incorporates very little of the location and shows narrow field of view. This can be seen as an advantage on an ugly location. But what if the location is indeed grand and beautiful, the light is perfect and a more panoramic field of view is appropriate, and you still want the subject isolating effect of a shallow depth of field? The Brenizer method allows us to achieve a wider field of view and a shallow depth of field, sometimes emulating the look of an unimaginable 14mm f/0.4 lens (as I said, optically “impossible”).
Our friends at MagMod are launching their 3rd Kickstarter campaign for a new lighting modifier and if you use speedlites, it’s something to get excited about! It’s called the MagBeam and it’s based on the refractive Fresnel lens used in Hollywood style constant lights, spotlights, and even lighthouses!
People often ask me about the flash equipment I currently use, and what I would do differently if I were to start over today.
I also often see “What should I buy?!?!” posts on photography groups on Facebook, and the simple truth is, we don’t know. We have no idea what you need. We only know what we need.
This two part series of posts is a way for me to provide some insight into how and why I buy new equipment, and hopefully it will help you to look at your gear choices more objectively, so that you buy new gear because you need to, and not because “so-and-so said I should get this”.
In this first part, I’m going to go over my current gear and explain some of the issues I feel I’m having, what walls I’m hitting, as well as the stuff that I’m absolutely not getting rid of (and why).
One of the greatest dilemmas for photographers using off-camera lighting on location is achieving the balance of light output and portability. For those of us not wanting to break the bank, cost is a giant factor as well.
The LiteTrek 4.0 from Impact is a DC-powered portable lighting kit aimed at achieving all of the above and does so quite effectively.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a Profoto setup, but, on the other hand, it’s not a cheap eBay kit that comes at $75 per strobe and breaks within 30 minutes. The LiteTrek can be purchased as a single – or double-strobe kit, the most expensive one currently coming in at just under $900 (regularly $1,149).