Product review: Westcott FJ400 Strobe and FJ-X2M Trigger

January 2020 issue Tech

When you work on location with strobes you need consistent color temperature, dependable batteries, and control of your light output. New from Westcott, the FJ400 Strobe (400Ws) and FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Flash Trigger is an impressive duo that dominates in all three areas.© Betsy Finn I noticed no color temperature variance across any of my images.The best part is the trigger’s compatibility with many cameras so you’re not locked into a brand or model. The FJ400 strobe and the... Continue Reading >

Get a natural look from off-camera flash

January 2020 issue Tech

I think a lot of photographers view flash as ugly and the opposite style of natural light. The truth is flash is just light you have total control over. You can make it look as natural as you’d like while having the added benefit of that control.© Vanessa JoyThis shoot was for the cover of my upcoming book, which is about how to use off-camera flash in 32 specific scenarios. I didn’t want the cover to be an obviously flash-based image. I wanted it to emulate natural light and be an... Continue Reading >

Lighting tutorial: A big-window feel in a small space

December 2019 issue Tech

There’s being prepared, and then there’s knowing how to adapt to the unexpected. To make quality images in any conditions, it’s important to learn and develop effective techniques to use and modify light.© Ian SpanierIn this case, I was on an assignment for The Wrap to photograph a number of producers and Hollywood bigwigs attending a conference. The shoot took place in the green room, a small conference room at Hollywood’s SLS Hotel where conference speakers could relax while... Continue Reading >

11 genius DIY lighting hacks

November 2019 issue Profiles

© Seth Miranda Seth Miranda will present a session on creative lighting at Imaging USA 2020.From the early days of his career as a teenager shooting for BMX magazines to his current work photographing beauty, makeup, and special effects imagery, Seth Miranda has sought to sculpt light with whatever materials he had at his disposal. That could mean using a full studio setup worth thousands of dollars or pulling items out of the trash on the streets of New York. To Miranda, there’s no real... Continue Reading >

Lighting tips: How to get the look in camera

October 2019 issue Tech

© James DevriesI believe the most important thing we can do in studio—after being creative—is to get it right in camera. I’ve tried all kinds of Photoshop tricks, but for me nothing beats a properly lit frame. So let’s work on putting light where you want it, blocking it from where you don’t, and bouncing it where you need it.BOUNCEEven with the softest modifier possible, a single light source is going to give you 100% black shadows. By bouncing light back from the other side... Continue Reading >

More power: Profoto B10 Plus

September 2019 issue Tech

© Courtesy ProfotoProfoto B10 Plus produces 10 times more light than a speedlight in a unit that’s about the same size as a large lens. Expect a high quality of light that’s natural with a soft falloff. The B10 Plus delivers twice the power of its slightly smaller sibling, the B10, but the price tag is only 25% higher.The B10 Plus is suitable for still photography as well as video. A dial on the unit lets you adjust brightness and color temperature to blend with ambient light. It uses... Continue Reading >

Highly focused LED Fresnel

June 2019 issue Tech

© Courtesy NanLiteThe NanLite LitoLite 8F Focusable LED Fresnel is compact and suited for use on-camera, on a light stand, or on a tripod. It’s easily portable at only 0.7 pounds and offers powerful, flicker-free light output in a range from a 10-degree spotlight to a 60-degree flood, dimmable from 0 to 100 percent.It uses high-efficiency LEDs that produce up to 560 lumens of illumination, comes with warming (3,200K) and cooling (6,500K) filters, barn doors, and a case, and also has an... Continue Reading >

Capture your subject’s true colors

2.13.2019 News

1. Understand your subjectMaking good portraits relies heavily on photographers' personal perceptions and judgements, neither of which is related to the technical aspects of photography. Good portraiture is a display of who the subject believes himself or herself to be as well as an interpretive expression of who the photographer believes the subject to be.Sometimes these perceptions can end up on the opposite side of the spectrum. This is why it's important to get to know a subject before... Continue Reading >

Cord free: Interfit Badger Unleashed wireless strobe

January 2019 issue Tech

I’m always on the lookout for products that offer an innovative solution to common problems. For instance, we all want studio quality light when we’re on location, but no one wants the hassle of cords and extra weight. I take a studio strobe and external battery pack with me on all location sessions, so when I heard about the Badger Unleashed TTL/HSS 250Ws wireless strobe, I was intrigued.© BETSY FINN Before my first trial run, I fully charged the batteries, which takes 90 minutes.... Continue Reading >