Magazine Article


Bright Ideas
Studio Photography’s Guide to Lighting Equipment

“The Novatron M600 monolight is not only a completely self-contained light source, but it is also the perfect mate to a full Novatron pack and flash head system, like the immensely powerful D1500 pack. In this image, I created a look of daylight on a very overcast day with pack and bare tube head outdoors. Dragging the shutter speed to an eighth of a second on my Nikon D2x, I was able to burn in the ambient room light, as well, without disturbing the color correct environment that was created with the two Novatron instruments.”
-Brian Stoppee

Want the look of natural light, without having to go outside on a hot summer day? Novoflex’s Auto Flash-Art will replicate light rays to embody the same characteristics of sunlight. Most applicable in studio shoots, Auto Flash Art allows images to retain their natural outdoor appearance. Flash Art can be used for macro-photography from an image ratio of 1:5 with aperture 16 at 100 ISO. This new technology creates native looking light easily without having to depend on the unpredictable and often fickle personality of the outdoors.

There is power in youth, just ask the Norman D12 and D24, the youngest additions to the Series 900 line from Photo Control. These digital power 1200 and 2400 watt-second systems include four lamphead outlets with individual on/off switching, two channel adjustable power levels, and a built-in PocketWizard receiver. Featured are screen displays designed to replicate the control panel of the power supply. To control the D12 and D24 from your PC, incorporate the Norman Software Communication Kit—the two coordinate with one another to affect outstanding functionality.

“When working in a large studio, the use of larger light sources can become a necessity. As the photograph of the Audi TT illustrates, we needed broadly lit areas to reflect into the side, top, and rear of the vehicle. The Series 900 Norman strobe system allowed us to use a variety of reflectors to shape and spread the light. Norman Tri-Lites enable us to pinpoint even shadowed areas with light.”
-Terry Anderson

If you are tired of adjusting antennas at the expense of your gear, worry no more. Photogenic engineers rescue your sanity and all future lighting systems with their new “DR” PowerLights and Solair constant color temperature monolights. PocketWizard antennas can be mounted inside the monolight without infringing on the receiver’s sensitivity or range. Available with a built-in 32 channel PocketWizard receiver and antenna, the “DR” PowerLights and Solair monolights help kiss the world of antenna sagas and ruined receivers goodbye.

This image was made using three Photogenic PL500DRC Solair Constant Color Lights and accessories. Main light was 16” diffuser and barn doors, fill light with 36” softbox, and background light with PL3R background reflector. “We have used Photo-genic Lights for 30 years, and can honestly say that Photogenic makes the most photographer-friendly lights available. Once we have set the lights, the result is sheer perfection.”
-Joseph and Lousie Simone

PocketWizard makes life easier with its new Plus II transceiver. The wireless radio technology connects to your camera and/or flash and you’re set up is done. No hieroglyphic instructions to follow, no primitive wires, or annoying CDs are needed to become wireless-ready. Not only is the PLUS II quick and easy to put together, but it is also self-regulating and independent. The first of its kind to offer Auto-Sensing Transceiver Technology, it analyzes the status of its miniphone jacks and sets its own mode; either receiver or transmitter, depending on the trigger pulse from the camera’s hot shoe. PLUS II is fully compatible with all PocketWizard radios, new and old.

Make a smart, hands-free, connection with Quantum’s new “QTTL” system. The adapters wirelessly link Qflash 5d series flashes to digital and film cameras including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Hasselblad, Mamiya, and Contax. Using the QTTL with a FreeXWire FW9T Transmitter allows you to send commands to one or more remote FreeXWire receivers connected to Qflashes, as well as controls the ratios of the remote Qflashes wirelessly from the panel of the on-camera Qflash. Tracking the f/stop of the camera as you change it, the Qflashes doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to improved innovation. The system is not exclusive, working well with most TTL systems, including; aTTL, eTTL, eTTL-2 and i-TTL.

The Rololight Softbox is “ready to roll” wherever it may be taken. The flexible unit, which uses T5 type tubes, is easily rolled up or folded for efficient transport from one set to another. The light source adapts to any environment, by manipulating the lighting modules to fit the demands of the shoot. The Rololight Softbox can be assimilated into any situation, from the harshest of conditions to the less complex. Using surprisingly little electricity, only 15 amps, the Softbox requires very little attention in set up and in execution.

“I was passing by the Rololight booth at the Photo Expo Plus in New York City one time, and was dazzled by the quality and intensity of the lights. I had to stop and look further into this beautiful lighting system. After using the Rololight system, I’ve discovered myriad possibilities for use in the studio and on location. Several features of this lighting system impressed me: (1) light quality, bright crisp daylight temperature bulbs; (2) solid construction; (3) extremely portable and compact—I love that the lights can be rolled up in a compact case and be carried or shipped to any location; (4) Rololight panels are lightweight and ideal for tight spaces—they can be taped on the wall in such spaces and used as window light; (5) they are easily expandable or contractible; (6) these lights produce light quality unlike any strobe or continuous lights. These lights are a must for every photographer regardless of specialty, whether it is fashion, portrait, architectural, etc….” -Parish Kohanim

The Smith-Victor Economy Softbox Lights are flexible when it comes to light bulbs. Each bulb, whether fluorescent, photoflood or quartz lamp, is well suited to the Softbox. Equipped with a standard screw-in socket for all Edison base lamps, the Softbox frees photographers from the headache of specified bulb sizes and preferences. Known for creating soft, smooth light through its diffusion panel, Softbox maintains its original appeal, with a new metallic lining to heighten brightness. The “all-in-one” Softbox Lights feature a softbox, speedring, lamp and cord, all put together in one simple package.

Take Great Photos
Reflect light softly and carry a big photo; Theodore Roosevelt would be proud of Take Great Photos’ creation; ironically named the Soft Light Reflector. The perfect tool for weddings and outdoor portraits, the light reflector softens shadows for a more natural look and feel. Removing harsh direct flash remnants, the reflector balances light and evens quality through its adjustable power feature, which can increase up to 1.25 f-stops. The dashing innovation attaches to the flash with two small squares of Velcro, and is easily rolled for efficient storage and retrieval.

“The Soft Light reflector’s soft, rounded reflective surface softens the harsh glare on people’ faces that I normally get using direct flash, especially when shooting digital. It produces a more even light and saves time in the post-processing of jobs. It is quick to attach and detach from the flash, and it quickly rolls up to fit in my pocket. For my wedding and portrait assignments, it is great indoors as a main light, and creates natural looking fill light outdoors. I have tried other devices, but this very versatile, adjustable reflector is the best. The Soft Light reflector is great lighting tool that should be in every photographer’s bag.”
-Dave Hendricks