Phottix Releases Solas Series Softboxes

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Softboxes are a staple light modifier for many photographers, both in the studio and on location. The Phottix Solas Series of softboxes are developed with new materials that are both lightweight and durable.

Constructed from a new material – SL-Tech – the Solas series are both lightweight and strong. With the standard fire and heat-resistant properties, SL-Tech fabric is both highly reflective to minimize light loss and durable enough to stand up to years of assembly and disassembly without warping or changing shape.

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How to Make the Most of Your Flash With No Light Modifiers for Portraits

Approximately the same side due to how soft the lighting is

When you’re getting into portraiture and you’re a photographer on a budget, sometimes you don’t have the money to buy umbrellas, softboxes, etc. So the best things for you to generally do is learn how to photograph someone with a flash firing directly at them. This is what lots of shooters do, and sometimes it delivers awesome results but other times it really doesn’t.

After shooting for years on sometimes a shoestrong budget, I’ve learned how to do less with more. Here’s how.

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How to Choose the Right Studio Lighting Modifier For You

Model: Justin Kirck

Studio lighting is part of an element that can set you apart from many other photographers out there. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being a “Natural Light Photographer” as long as you really genuinely are one that’s experimented with and understands lighting–including shaping it. The amount of stuff that you can do with a photo when you start to take control of elements like adding your own lighting and creating your own scenes opens yourself to more potential with what’s possible.

We’re sure that you understand that though; so here’s how to figure out what light modifiers are right for you.

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How to Figure Out What Light Modifier To Use

Chris Gampat Bec Fordyce january 2015 portraits others (1 of 1)ISO 4001-250 sec at f - 2.5

Many photographers just getting into working with light specifically are often very confused about what light modifiers to use. But they’re also never quite sure what they should use for the type of work that they’re doing. The true answer is that everyone is making good stuff these days and that very few people will be able to look at an image and immediately tell what light modifiers you’re using in the same way that they won’t be able to tell your camera, lens, etc for the most part.

Instead, it’s all about the type of photo that you’re trying to create.

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Creating Better Portraits With A Single Flash

Model: Asta Peredes

Model: Asta Peredes

The idea of using one light to create better photos isn’t a new one. It’s one that famed photographer Zack Arias tends to preach, and that every photographer can make work for them very simply. It’s also the starting point for many photographers who learn to use one light and later on to use multiple sources to create the scene that they want.

But for most setups, what most folks need and want can be done with one light and blending with natural/ambient light.

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Useful Photography Tip #145: Creating Wrap Around Light With One Light Source

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer New York Comic Con 2012 Photos (6 of 33)ISO 200

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Wrap around light: what this means is light that literally wraps around a subject and gives the illusion of two lights. Traditionally, photographers needed two or more lights to do it, but the effect can be created in camera with one light.

There are two components to this: One massive light modifier in relation to the subject and and one light.

First off, face your subject and place the light (inside the light modifier) in front of your subject and slightly above the camera. Angle the light modifier to be flat against the subject though you can also place it a bit higher and angled downward a bit.

How big of a modifier are we talking? Generally it should be larger than your subject. If you’re photographing a mango as a still life, then a 24 inch softbox or some sort should be more than enough. If you’re photographing a person, then you’ll need something like a six or seven foot umbrella or softbox.

Then what you’ll need to do is meter the subject for the flash/strobe output and then meter accordingly on your camera to the ambient light. When you’ve metered for the ambient, underexpose by around 2/3rds of a stop.

If the shutter speed is too slow for you to handhold, use a tripod or crank up the ISO and re-meter for the flash output.

If you don’t want to raise the ISO any higher, then what you’re going to need to do is use a tripod to avoid any camera shake.

When a flash and strobe are involved in the creation of an exposure, the flash output exposure is dictated by the aperture while the ambient light is dictated by the shutter speed. ISO controls the overall sensitivity of the scene.

As long as your positioning of the light covers and wraps around the subject and the ambient light is accordingly exposed for you’ll be able to create a beautiful wrap around light effect.

The other alternative: Place the light on one side of a subject and then place the subject by a wall and have the light bounce off the wall and fill in the other side of the person. The wall will act like a natural reflector.

How to Use Lighting to Make Eyes More Gripping

Model: Erica Lourde

Model: Erica Lourde

Almost every portrait photographer will tell you to always focus on the eyes no matter what. Though we situationally disagree, they generally have a point about focusing on a portrait subject’s eyes and that they can be the most gripping and personable part of the image. With a couple of tweaks that you can do even before you start the editing stage, you can make the eyes even more enthralling.

So how do you do this? It’s all about your light modifier, light positioning, composition, and aperture choice.

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The Best Flash Modifiers For Your Speedlite

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While some photographers will tell you to take the flash out of your camera’s hot shoe, others love using it in that position. No matter what you’re doing, the only thing that matters is making sure that the light looks beautiful. This can be done with the flash on the camera or off ot it and the way to do it is usually with a flash modifier of some sort. But there are also a couple of tips and tricks that you can use to make it look even better.

Here are some of the best flash modifiers for your speedlights (speedlites) along with some tips on how to use them.


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