Cheap Photo: Portable Beauty Dishes on Sale

If you want to get out of the studio with your portraiture then having some easily portable lighting in your kit is essential. A great modifier for portraiture is a beauty dish thanks to the beautiful light it produces. These portable beauty dish options are perfect for location shooters because they break down and are easy to transport compared to traditional beauty dishes.

  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00SX7661E’ text=’Phottix Luna Folding Beauty Dish – Save $32′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’561333f2-333d-11e7-a797-9fdafa155116′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B014EGV6BC’ text=’Impact Folding Beauty Dish – Save $20′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7783fe54-333d-11e7-99e1-7396115d3eeb’]

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Review: Impact Powersync 16-80 Radio Flash Transceivers

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact Powersyncs 16-80 product images (1 of 9)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 1.4

Radio flash triggers like the Impact Powersync 16-80 have always fascinated me: if you get your bag run through an x-ray at the airport, they’ll give you trouble for your camera gear. They’ll rough house the camera–but put a radio flash trigger in there and they won’t bat an eye despite the fact that they’re capable of triggering something from a far distance and boosting their signals. Over the years, radio flash triggers have become even more powerful and even more capable; that’s the idea embraced by the Impact Powersync 16-80 flash triggers.

Impact, which claims to formerly be a B&H Photo house brand, has had a bunch of hit or miss products over the years though they’ve improved quite a bit. These triggers not only serve to set off flashes and studio strobes when connected, but also serve to trigger your camera as a remote shutter release when provided with the according cable. They do their job, and they do it quite well.

But for the more 4.0 (as opposed to 2.0) photographers amongst us, this product may have come too late.

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Four Items to Give You Better Macro Images

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f2.8 Touit product photos (6 of 7)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

We’re going to do you some justice: we’re not going to give you a list of lenses that will give you better macro images; that’s far too simple. The truth is that when combined with modern cameras, most any lens can do an incredible job. Instead, we’re going to tell you how to make your images even better without spending the equivalent of another lens.

The key to better macro images and better photos overall has to do with one thing: light. Yes, you can use natural light but it won’t always give you what you need to create an image that simply pops off the screen and grabs your viewers. Instead, you need to be in control of your light.

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Five Light Modifiers Every Portrait Photographer Needs

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer NYCC New York Comic Con 2013 exports (26 of 84)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 5.0

There are some lighting modifiers that we really like, and then there are others that often blow us away and that we never want to send back. These modifiers often combine versatility, a specific look that’s done perfectly, and ease of use. But of course, they also just need to work very well.

Here’s a round up of some of our favorites.

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The Phoblographer’s Introduction to Photographic Umbrellas

Final Umbrella Image of Grace by Chris Gampat (1 of 1)ISO 2001-30 sec at f - 5.6

In our lighting guides so far, we’ve given you folks an introduction to lighting modifiers and also introduced you to ring flash. But today, we’re talking about a personal favorite: umbrellas. These lighting modifiers are one of the most versatile modifiers that can fill in the space of a softbox or a beauty dish, and they can embrace their own unique tendencies to spread light out in a large area. But because of their large size, it is sometimes very tough to get any sort of hard lighting out of them. As a quick refresher, hard light means that the shadows are very dark–where the converse is soft light, where the shadows are very light or almost non-existent.

In this guide, we’ll give you the skinny on all you need to know to get started with them.


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Impact Lighting Features New Series of Affordable Mini Slave Flashes; Look Like Out of a 60’s Sci-Fi Production

Impact Dome Slave Flash

If you want to take your flash photography one step further, the next thing to get is a secondary slave unit that fires off simultaneously with your main flash. Why? Because a single flash unit often won’t suffice to illuminate a whole scene. However, since a good speedlight easily sets you back $100 plus, you may not want to shell out that money right away. That’s okay, though, because Impact lighting is now featuring a new series of slave flashes that come in at less than $30 each.

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Review: Impact 60 Inch Convertible Umbrella

Impact is a brand that is relatively new to the photo industry, but has created some very interesting products since its inception. One of which, the Impact LiteTrek, is used by many photographers such as Kevin Kabuto. In fact, I did an entire shoot with one as well. When the company offered me a chance to test out its 60 inch convertible umbrella, I was a bit intrigued. Convertible Umbrellas are unique in that they offer all the functionality of a normal umbrella with reflective properties, but they can be converted into a shoot through umbrella with direct diffusion properties similar to a softbox as well. As with all light sources, larger units give off softer light in relation to the size of the subject.

And the 60 Inch Convertible Umbrella from Impact did not disappoint and has perhaps become my favorite light modifier to date.

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Review: Impact Quikbox Softbox for Hot Shoe Flashes (24 x 24)

The Impact Quikbox was designed for speedlight (or speedlite) flashes and has an emphasis on being quick and versatile. Simple to set up, the Quikbox also comes with a bracket for your flash and if you wish, a stand. I’ve been testing the 24 x 24 version for a while now, and I believe the softbox has its strengths and weaknesses. When I began the review, the Photogenic 2432 softbox was my favorite when used with the Chimera speedring for speedlights.

Has the Quikbox dethroned it?

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Using the Olympus OMD EM5 on a Cosplay Photoshoot

Last weekend, a friend asked me to photograph her cosplaying as Link from the Legend of Zelda. The theme was to have a dark and a bit foreboding scene/atmosphere to them. At the last minute while shooting though, she said to me, “Oh but I want them to be really nice too though.” That essentially means that I needed to try to find a way to mix both beauty (which is what I usually do) with my darker side. I usually keep the two separate when it comes to shoots, but in this case that needed to be put aside.

So if you were in the same position and shooting in Prospect Park, Brookyln (in NYC), how would you try to pull this off with multiple looks in a couple of hours?

For starters, I threw in a strange challenge: I put my 5D Mk II away for this one and used the Olympus OMD EM5 still on loan to me from Olympus.

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Review: Impact One Light Umbrella Kit

Impact is a brand that has been known for creating gear that is extremely capable but at a very affordable price. When the Impact One-Light Umbrella Kit was sent to me for review, I initially thought that it was one heck of a weird kit. I mean you get one lamp, a reflector for said lamp, a stand and a large shoot through umbrella plus a light bulb for a super affordable price.

But is it really worth it?

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Field Review: Impact LiteTrek Portable Strobe Kit (Day 2)

Sexy squatter in abandoned factory 1/250s f/11 ISO 200
Sexy squatter in abandoned factory 1/250s f/11 ISO 200

Sexy squatter in abandoned factory 1/250s f/11 ISO 200

For my first shoot with the Impact LiteTrek Kit, I wanted to see just how small of a kit I could bring while still having the power of the studio with me. I decided to do the shoot in an abandoned factory and bike there with my model. I packed the Kit along with my Nikon D300 with my Tamron lens and Sekonic lightmeter, the Impact PowerSync Wireless, a set of 7″ grids and my most portable stand.

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Field Review: Impact LiteTrek Portable Strobe Kit (Day 1)

Impact LiteTrek Kit (with optional stand)
Impact LiteTrek Kit (with optional stand)

Impact LiteTrek Kit (with optional stand)

I love light. Without it, we can’t create photographs. The more light we have available to us and the better we can control it the greater the possibilities to express ourselves through our photos. Because of this I became a studio photographer. However, studios become boring unless you can build complex sets or have the budgets to hire people to. Sometimes I mix it up with location shoots, but the problem there is that I lose a lot of the control of light that I enjoy in the studio. Can I have both?

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Review: Impact Strobros Beauty Dish

The Impact Strobros Beauty Dish is a bit of a weird item, but it’s still very useful for what it does. Primarily used in portraiture, beauty dishes mimic the look of a softbox. What’s special about them though is that it is easier to change the color temperature of the light: which is easily done by switching out the disk in the middle of the dish. With that said, it isn’t an item for everyone and this review was actually a very big learning experience.
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Review: Impact Cool Light IX & Impact One Monolight Kit

Some reviews require studio time. This is one of them. We are talking a look at Impact Cool Light IX Nine Lamp Fluorescent Flood Light and the lights of Impact EX100 Ultimate Creative Portrait Kit (120VAC). Euan Henry,  my photography mentor, hosted me and my friend John Perez at his place Red Cedar Studio in Philadelphia, Pa. Red Cedar Studio is a 4500 square foot studio, 4000 sq ft of shooting area split into two halves, the proper space needed to set up these lights and their light stands. Continue reading…