“This portrait of my wife, Mary, was made using a Flashpoint II 1220, placed camera right and fired though a 45-inch F.J. Westcott Halo Mono lightbank near its lowest setting. On the left, a DigiPopper 200 fitted with the standard reflector was aimed at the top of her head to act as a hairlight. The image was captured with a Canon EOS 20D at ISO 100; exposure was 1/60 second at f/18 in Manual mode with an EF 85mm f/1.8 lens. A rear-mounted handgrip makes for quick positioning of the monolight and makes it easy to schlep the Flashpoint IIs around. Umbrellas and lightbanks can be mounted via a non-lockable slot that’s built into the monolight’s shell. Each metal-shelled Flashpoint II includes a sturdy reflector that is a good match with the 45-inch F.J. Westcott umbrellas I use. The fan isn’t noisy and does a great job cooling the unit; it never got hot during any of my sessions. The Flashpoint IIs were wonderful to work with and deliver great value for the watt/second.” — Joe Farace
© Joe Farace
“I took this photo of Richard Gere on a dock for an ad campaign I shot in Orlando earlier this year. Richard was not in direct light; he was sitting in open shade. I used the California Sunbounce Sun-Swatter with a single-stop diffusion to light his hair. I used the Sunbounce Pro and Mini, with silver matte material, one as key, one as fill. What’s great about the Sunbounce reflectors is that they’re sturdier, especially in the wind, they’re easy to transport and set up, and they create a beautiful complement to natural light, which lets me mold and sculpt my subject.” — Greg Gorman
© Greg Gorman
“Minimalism was the primary force behind this image—the shot was really about the eyes, the framing, and the subtle translucence of the latex material, revealing just enough to tease the viewer back into the eyes. My approach was to use the Hensel Integra 500 W/S Pro Plus mono
light. With its totally controllable remote transmitter/receiver technology built in, I could change the setting on the power head without leaving the camera—the flash sync is also wireless.
The Hensel beauty dish with a 20-degree grid mounted in the dish was the perfect modifier. The overall soft falloff of the beauty dish was enhanced by a harder, more defined light striking the middle of the face. It was the perfect reflector for creating definition on the edges of the delicate rubber strips and the model’s awesome stare, the harder light from the center pushing through the material to her lips and skin beneath.”
— Robert Sanders
© Robert Sanders
“This photograph, ‘Leah,’ was recognized as the Best in Portrait and People’s Choice Award for the Professional Photographers of California. To create this look, reminiscent of the ’30s and the ’40s, requires a strong, directional light source that produces a beautiful and unique skin quality. My choice of lighting for the key light in this portrait is the Norman 16-inch reflector (5WW-RP) with the glass diffusion dome, the Norman (# G16) 15-degree honeycomb grid, and Norman’s ML600R monolight. The key light was used in the classic paramount position, with an additional light on the background and hair.” —Tim Meyer
© Tim Meyer
“Four LiteShapers, designed for use with the 24x32 softbox, were attached to cover the front of the box to fully block all light. The two bottom LiteShapers were then bent open to control the light falloff, allowing it to only hit the subject’s face and parts of the hair where light was directed.”
—Xavier and Patrice DeLa Paz
© Xavier and Patrice DeLa Paz
Budget-friendly StudioMax III Lights are designed for digital photographers, featuring the latest constant-color temperature technology, a 100-watt modeling lamp, and a UV-corrected flash tube. The lights come in 320 watt/second and 160 watt/second models, and have continuously variable power levels over a six f/stop range. The StudioMax III lights accept all new StudioMax III accessories and softboxes and the complete line of Photogenic PowerLight accessories.
Quantum Instruments www.qtm.com
Quantum’s new QTTL system links Qflash 5d series flashes to digital and film cameras—wirelessly. QTTL Adapters with a FreeXWire FW9T transmitter will send commands to one or more remote FreeXWire receivers connected to Qflashes Compact receiver FW7Q. The receiver plugs directly into Qflash 5d or 4d series flashes (no sync cords or batteries re-quired), while the FreeXWire receiver FW8R connects to a Qflash for wireless TTL. It can also receive wireless flash sync for any type shoe, handle-mount, or studio flash. Quantum’s QTTL system works with all popular TTL systems, including aTTL, eTTL, eTTL-2, and i-TTL.
S mith-Victor’s continuous-light softboxes have been designed to withstand the high temperatures of hot lights. Using special heat-resistant materials, the line can handle up to 1,000 watts of continuous quartz light. Five sizes are available, including a 12x36 stripbox and a 36x48 rectangular box.
An upgraded version of the Sunpak PZ40X is now available from Sunpak, a division of ToCAD America . This compact, lightweight, shoe-mount electronic flash unit, for digital and film cameras, is now also available in Nikon- and Canon-dedicated configurations. The unit can still work manually with nondedicated cameras with a single-contact hot shoe. The Sunpak PZ40X offers TTL auto flash, a backlit full-info LCD, and power-saving circuitry that sets the unit to Standby mode after five minutes.
Visatec/HASSELBLAD USA www.visatec.com
The SOLO series welcomes a new addition to its monolight family: The SOLO 400B provides 130 watt/seconds of power, while the maximum output of f/32-2/3 with a standard reflector at 1m (ISO 100) can be reduced continuously over a three-stop range. No need to fire down—the unit discharges internally when power is reduced. The 150-watt halogen modeling light can be switched to three operating modes, and the built-in infrared-sensitive photocell allows multiple units to be triggered simultaneously, either by the light of other flash units or from the camera using the wireless Visatec trigger.
XP Innovations www.liteshaper.com
Create a strip, barn doors, small box, snoot, or triflector on your softbox in seconds with the LiteShaper, compatible with most standard-sized softboxes from F.J.Westcott, Chimera, JTL, Photogenic, Photoflex, Profoto, Wafer, Larson, and other major manufacturers. LiteShapers can fold, collapse, and bend to create any light-forming shape, and they’re flexible enough to manipulate without using excessive force. Softbox attachment is easy thanks to the LiteShaper’s VELCRO-lined edges.