Magazine Article


Illuminate Your Images
Studio Photography's guide to lighting equipment

Karen Katsinis

Take Great Photos
Direct flash is harsh, so photographers use umbrellas to soften studio lights. The Softlight Reflector softens the harshness of direct flash for a more natural-looking light. The reflector is great indoors as the main light for softer light on the subject (and to add light to the background area). It's also great outdoors for natural-looking fill light to help correct bad lighting situations and fill in unwanted shadows. The reflector attaches and detaches with one hand using Velcro or the included strap. You can adjust the Softlight's shape straight up to allow bounce light off the ceiling with fill light from the reflector.

"The Softlight Reflector softens my on-camera flash for weddings and portraits, producing a natural-looking main light indoors and soft fill light outdoors. Direct flash creates harsh shadows and hot spots on peoples' faces, which takes time to correct after the shoot. For this senior portrait, you can see a catch light in her eyes, but no glare on the forehead and cheeks. The Softlight is flexible, easy to use, and creates great light."
-Karen Katsinis, Grants Pass, OR

Brian Marcus

A relatively new entry to the wireless strobe sync market is Tamrac's high-tech MicroSync Digital. This diminutive system is a fraction of the size of most wireless radio systems. With the MicroSync's sophisticated power management system, you never have to worry about turning the unit on or off. Because it's so efficient with battery power, the transmitter will last about three years on a single, replaceable coin-cell battery. The MicroSync has four channels and is radio frequency, so you don't need to have line of sight to your strobe. It also has the ability to remotely fire most Canon, Nikon, and Pentax SLRs with camera-firing cords from Tamrac.

"At a wedding, I'm moving constantly and have to be nimble. I love the MicroSync because it's so small and I never have to turn it on or off. It's always ready. This photograph was captured by attaching a MicroSync receiver to an external light source and aiming at the bride. The photograph is a reflection of a bride in a vintage Taittinger poster. By using the MicroSync, the image was taken effortlessly without having any wires in the shot. The ability to move and work freely is what I love about the MicroSync technology. When you see a photograph that just appear like this, you want to capture it quickly. The MicroSync allows me to capture images like this every day."
-Brian Marcus, New York, NY

Tokina's Digital Studio Kit is a complete shooting setup. It incorporates 5000K daylight illumination for capturing color, ensuring output always reflects the product's true colors. The lighting solution provided by the Digital Studio Kit can significantly reduce the time needed to be spent in the "digital darkroom."

Tim Farris

Lastolite's HiLite illuminated background provides photographers with a versatile and evenly lit surface. The unique design allows the HiLite to be backlit, allowing the subject to stand as close as 6 inches to the background without casting a shadow. The fully collapsible background is self-supporting and sets up in minutes, making it easy to use and transport. An optional Super White Washable Vinyl train can be attached to either the long or short side of the HiLite for perfect head-to toe-shots.

"The least amount of equipment I have to carry, the better. With Lastolite's HiLite background, I don't have to carry a ton of backdrops, and I can set it up in 5 minutes and break it down just as fast. I don't have to wonder if my background is evenly lit because I know it will be with the HiLite. Lightweight, easy to use-what more can I say?"
-Tim Farris, San Francisco, CA