Light Sources That Inspire & Simplify Indoors and Out TEXT AND IMAGES BY FRANCESCO BENSON
Of all the innovative lighting products introduced at Photokina 2002, the Broncolor Para 220 and 330 Umbrella Reflectors and Litestick have really caught the attention of the industry.
Umbrella Reflectors: Simply Portable
The Broncolor Para 220 and 330 Umbrella Reflectors are striking, with an impressive size7'4" and 11' diameters, respectivelyand a mesmerizing pattern of light reflections glowing from their 24 silver-lined partitions. But their real beauty is ease of use and portability. Unlike other large umbrella reflectors, they can be set up and broken down single-handedly within minutes.
An adjustable central post lets you focus your light source. Draw it toward the center of the reflector for harder, center-weighted light. Extend it outward for a softer, even light that renders every texture and detail magnificently.Model magdalena Sciupider was aptured using a Sinarback 23 HR digital camera back, Broncolor Ringflash, and a Para 220 reflector behind.
The light source can also be pivoted within the Para, to asymmetrically distribute light within the reflector. I was able to create a "main" and a "fill" light source from within a single reflector! I also found the Para a great replacement to carrying around and setting up large light banks. Three diffusers are available in varying degrees of thickness, which fit right over the front of the Para, creating a huge softbox that mimics a large open studio window with soft daylight pouring in on a cloudy day.
Litestick: Versatile and Inspirational
The Broncolor Litestick is one of the most versatile and inspiring lighting tools I've ever worked with. At 28-inches long with a 12-inch flashtube capable of delivering 3200 WS, it weighs only 2.67 pounds and stays perfectly cool throughout a shoot. Its size makes it perfect for lighting small interior spaces within a set, and creates perfectly even, slender highlights ideal for product photography.
I experimented with the Litestick at Photo Plus East in New York City. Its long flashtube meant I had a much more linear shaped light to work with. I placed the Litestick in my model's hand and voila! Gorgeous, dramatic, directable light that defines the finest details flawlessly. I found it also works as an accent, fill, rim, or back light.
Try using this magic wand to achieve the effect of a ringflash by arranging multiple units in a square or triangle. This configuration is superior to using a ringflash alone because multiple light sources means more control over the output from each one. You can accent or increase shadow definition on your subject from below by increasing or decreasing power to the lower Litestick in your square or triangle formation. You'll no doubt discover the possibilities are endless
Francesco Benson, a freelance photographer specializing in fashion and portraiture, is an assistant product manager at Sinar Bron Imaging.
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