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…

Creating the Photograph: Stéphane Pironon’s “Weightlessness”

En apesanteur - Sept 2012 - 8843 HD

Editor’s Note: Creating the Photograph is a new series that we’re starting where we interview photographers all about the photo that they shot and talk to them about how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed onto you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com

We’re doing this series twice this week because we missed last week. Sorry folks! Anyway, there are some photos that are a heck of a lot more clever than we ever thought. Then when we find out how they were done, we say to ourselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Upon searching for the word, “Strobist” on 500px, I came across Stéphane Pironon’s “Weightlessness.” The image looked so simple but I couldn’t totally figure out how it was done. He did this photo when he was a member of the Strobi team, Stéphane is quite a photographer himself and has some excellent fashion work along with other photographs.

Here’s his story. And if you’re interested check out more in our Creating the Photograph series.

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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

Which Light Modifier Do I Choose?

Silver Bounce Umbrella
Silver Bounce Umbrella

Silver Bounce Umbrella

How many of you out there are afraid of, or intimidated by off-camera lighting? Don’t be afraid to admit it; I was in that same boat when I first began too. A favorite quote that I have accepted lately, “If you’re too afraid to try for fear of failure, you’ve failed already” – Anonymous. If anyone knows where this quote came from, let me know in the comments. Okay, back to the subject. You can read an infinite amount of material on off-camera lighting. The problem is that there is almost too much information. You might fall into the trap of info overload without actually learning for yourself with experimentation and practice. My advice would be to read enough information to learn how to get your flash off the camera and then get out there and shoot.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog posting by Travis Lawton, the Lawtographer

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Review: Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible

The Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsibleis a product that has been used on and off again in The Phoblographer’s postings, but one that has never received a full, proper field review. Called by many to be nothing more than a Chinese soupbowl, my tests have proven that if it is, it is one hell of a versatile one. It has been tested at events, part of a wedding and a concert. Let’s dive right in, here is the full field review.

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Quick Field Test: Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible

Recently the the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible was sent to me to try out. As a photographer that loves and often uses the standard Lightsphere, personal experience has rated it as a very good and useful product. However, I couldn’t have predict how versatile it would be as a diffuser. I stopped by the F-Stopper‘s meetup in NYC two weeks ago and gave this a quick test.

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