Whether you're shedding light on new products, controlling the sun's rays on an outdoor fashion shoot, or illuminating a bride on her big day, the lighting gear you choose will help you capture your subjects in their best light. Studio Photography's lighting guide showcases the newest, hottest-we're not just talking wattage-products in the marketplace for achieving optimum contrast, eliminating harsh shadows, and creating one-of-a-kind looks. .
© Avinash Gowariker
Bowens has launched the Esprit Gemini 200, a powerful entry-level lighting kit that is a sequel to the company's original "Studio in a Box." The Gemini 200 is constructed from tough, durable metal; features a new monolight that is smaller and lighter than any previous model the company has made; and is fully compatible with the Bowens Travelpak battery.
"This picture is from a fashion shoot I did for a top designer in India. I mounted a Bowens grid diffuser on a 1000 Digital DX light and placed it at an extreme angle to the model for high contrast. The grid diffuser not only gave me my desired contrast, it also has a nice softness to it that lends a superb feel to the face, and a nice falloff to the light on the lower body."
-Avinash Gowariker, Mumbai, India
The broncolor Verso series (the Verso A4 and A2) are ideal for both location and studio shooting, thanks to the packs' ability to utilize an AC or battery power source in combination with Power Dock. The broncolor Verso A4 features 2400Ws of flash energy and has a power control range of eight f-stops (from 2400Ws to 18Ws) for ultimate lighting precision. Both power packs combine high-intensity output and short recharge time.
|© Michael Grecco|
The Pro Sun-Swatter is the ideal mobile overhead, weighing just 2.2 pounds for easy portability. Kits come with the frame, screen, and shoulder sling bag.
"Sunbounce gives me the opportunity to control the sunlight and use it they way I want it wherever and whatever time of day it is. The image at left shows a mixture of Sunbounce and strobe. The Pro Sun-Swatter was used to reduce the overhead light, while the Pro Sun-Bounce was used to bring edge lighting from the side. The strobe gives the entire scene my signature lighting."
-Michael Grecco, Santa Monica, CA
The Calumet Travel-Pak + has twice the capacity of the original Travel-Pak, with up to 800 shots on a single charge. The battery weighs only 12 pounds, yet powers up two current-generation Travelite monolights or Bowens Esprit Gemini monolights. Recycle time is 4.5 seconds at 500Ws. The kit includes the battery, connecting cable, charger, and carrying bag.
"My mission was to get some portrait shots of a surfer at sunset. I got my f-stop reading off the strobe and a reflective light reading off the sky to find the correct shutter speed to match the f-stop. For the image above, I shot at f/10 at 1/200 second, and used my Calumet Travel-Pak+ on a C-stand with a little softbox. This battery pack is light, powerful, and indestructible. It gives me the confidence to get the shots I need wherever I want to go."
-Leslie Townes, Los Osos, CA
The popular Speedlite 580EX flash was replaced earlier this year by the Speedlite 580EX II flash, which features a host of enhancements, including a metal hot shoe with an improved locking mechanism for added durability; an external metering sensor for non-TTL automatic flash exposure control; and a PC socket for use with non-dedicated slave triggers. Fully compatible with all EOS SLRs, the Speedlite 580EX II is gasketed for dust and moisture resistance, making it possible for users of EOS-1 class digital SLRs and many L-series EF lenses to use flash safely when shooting in dusty or wet environments.