How to Properly Use a Gary Fong Lightsphere


Call it a useless tool all you want–the fact still is though that the Gary Fong Lightsphere is still an incredibly popular item with photographers. I’d still use one if my work required it! Giving what is essentially a bare bulb/ambient front lighting effect, it’s incredibly versatile. However, what most people don’t get is that you’re not always supposed to just point the thing forward towards your subject with the diffusion cap on. Instead, you’re supposed to position it different ways in different situations.

To help you out, Gary did a video a couple of years back on how to use it. That video is after the jump.

If you don’t want to use the Gary Fong Lightsphere in the conventional way, then consider using it with a beauty dish attached. Continue reading…

The 5 Most Effective Hot Shoe Flash Light Modifiers


Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Metz flash product photos (6 of 10)ISO 6401-50 sec at f - 4.0

While lots of the pro photographers teaching workshops may tell you to take the flash out of the hot shoe, it’s a necessity for many photographers who shoot weddings, photojournalism, and events. For these photographers, it’s pretty much the only option that is also the most convenient that allows them to focus on shooting. Bare flashes as they are aren’t the most effective, and the best thing to do is to modify the light output a bit to give you better images to deliver to your clients.

If you’re stuck leaving your flash in the hot shoe, then consider these flash modifiers.

Continue reading…

10 Simple Lighting Hacks You Can Do With a Hot Shoe Flash

This is how we lit the shot of almonds in this blog post.

This is how we lit the shot of almonds in this blog post.

There are lots of cool things that you can do with off-camera lighting that can give you better photos or help you get your creative vision across much better when natural light isn’t available. It can also be very fun to do if you’re willing to experiment. We’ve rounded up a number of hacks that you can do with a hot shoe flash and that can be done in the convenience of your own home with stuff you most likely own or can create in the span of a weekend.

Give these a try and let your creativity run this weekend.

Continue reading…

Gary Fong Releases Piece of Plastic That Warms Your Pop-Up Flash Output


If you’ve ever used Gary Fong’s products, you’ll know that his lightsphere actually works quite interestingly once you actually use it correctly. This past week, Gary introduced an update to his Puffer–which we previously reviewed and didn’t like so much. The new version is called the Puffer Plus, and it can come with a warming filter, i.e. a warm toned piece of plastic. The problem is that we’re not exactly sure how the Puffer Plus is different than the original Puffer except for some design differences on the side which wouldn’t really affect your flash.

The Puffer Plus will go for $26.95; while the warming filter will cost you an extra $10.75 when they ship on October 18th. If you don’t want to shell out the money, you can learn how to meter correctly in the first place.

Demo video is after the jump.

Continue reading…

The Phoblographer’s Introductory Guide To Light Modifiers

Lighting intimidates every person getting into photography. It is a whole other skill to be learned but once you get into it, it can become addicting because of all the creative possibilities you open yourself up to. Relying on natural light can be great if you can get the right light. But as artists, we can always create our own. And to shape the light to get exactly the look that we want, we need modifiers. It is best to imagine light as a stream coming out of a hose. If you change the shape of the head and the direction, the stream itself also changes accordingly.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a bunch of light modifiers we recommend. For more, we recommend that you check out the Lighting Section of our Reviews Index.


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Gary Fong Gamma Diffuser For Sony

It’s been a while that I (a landscape photographer) has heard the name Gary Fong, but that doesn’t mean that they’re sitting still. Gary Fong is known for their flash accessories and diffusers, like the very hackable Lightsphere. They have just recently announced the Gamma Diffuser for the Sony HVL-F43AM and HVL-F58AM flashes.

Continue reading…

Useful Photography Tip #24: Hacking the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible

One of the biggest complains about the Gary Fong Lightsphere is that it spreads the light out in way too many directions and also therefore demands more power from your flash and ultimately kills the batteries faster. Upon trying a hack, I one day found a method that allowed me to make the light more directional but still very efficient.

Admittedly though, mine stays in a beauty dish most of the time. But if you still use your religiously, try this little hack.

The music in this video is from a band called Mancie, and you should really check them out.

Want to know more about flash? Take a look at our resources:

Why Beginners Think About Flash All Wrong

An Intro to Canon’s Wireless Flash System

Wirelessly triggering your Canon Flash

Hanhel’s Radio Triggers for Flashes

Using a Belt and Shoot Through Umbrella With Your Flash

The Best Budget Off-Camera Flashes and Constant Lights

Using an Old Polaroid Camera with a Modern Speedlite