lighting

Profoto B1X Review: Tough, Powerful, and Worth Every Penny

When Profoto released the cordless, battery-powered B1X monolight in 2017, I was rather skeptical. Why should a company release a new light if it offers mild improvements over the old model? Faster recycling, better battery life, and more modeling lamp output aren’t exactly groundbreaking. Yet the build quality, the ability to freeze motion, and the number of flashes per charge make this light worth every penny.

Anything Can Be a Light Modifier for Portraits with a Little Creativity

Light shaping tools are very expensive. What if you could take any object and turn it into a modifier? That would save you a lot of money as well as give some unique results. In this article, I will share some everyday objects that you can turn into light modifiers to get different looks.

Profoto B2 Long-Term Review: A Small Flash That Punches Above Its Weight

The Profoto B2 is a small, seemingly-"underpowered" light that was released back in 2015 and that has been with me for the past two years. Having bought it used and taken it on trips, shot in-studio, and photographed on-location, there are a lot of good things to say about it.

Look Beyond the Softbox to Spice Up Your Portrait Lighting

What kind of lighting do you use as a portrait photographer? Softboxes are great and popular, but that also makes them potentially overused and boring. If you want to spice up your portrait lighting, you can look into expanding your toolbox beyond the softbox and into other kinds of lighting.

How to Make a DIY Softbox for Free

Almost anything can be used as a light modifier. As long as it interacts with light in one way or another, it can be considered a light modifier. In this article, I will show you how to build a do-it-yourself (DIY) softbox with things you likely already have around at home.

A Photographer’s Guide to Umbrellas

Umbrellas are perhaps the most under-appreciated light shaping tool around. Due to their low price and wide availability, they are considered by some to be only for those who are beginners. This couldn't be further from the truth.

How to Mix Flash with Ambient Light: A Step-by-Step Method

Can you think back to a time you were taking photos in a dinner scene and they just look "flash-y"? Why does flash never look natural? Well, in order to make flash look natural, you have to make flash part of the natural lighting scenario. Here’s how.

Using a Flash for Insect Photography

I've shot thousands of pics of insects without flash and tens of thousands with flash. When the lighting is bright and sunny, the results can be good without flash. But when I venture out in pursuit of photo ops, I often encounter poorly lighted situations which are better with flash. If you study the work of experienced insect photographers, you'll find that most of them use flash.

The Westcott FJ200 One-Light Backpack Kit is Seriously Great

Just about a year ago Westcott expanded on its new wireless flash lineup that started with the FJ400 by offering new sizes and power outputs. After listening to user feedback, it launched the FJ200 as a more compact and travel-friendly light system... and it's awesome.

Why the Inverse-Square Law Might be ‘Wrong’ for Your Photo Shoot

Think you know the inverse-square law? How much of a "law" is it actually in the practice of photography? We are taught that the inverse-square law is the holy grail of understanding the laws of light. Some condense all the wonderful knowledge about light concepts to the inverse square law only. In this article, I want to invite you to take a step back and see how the inverse square law is wrong. Sometimes.

Lighting White-on-White or Black-on-Black Photos with Just One Flash

The most complex scenarios one can get in lighting are black on black and white on white. These scare most photographers, regardless of the genre. If black absorbs light and white bounces, how can you achieve natural-looking results with just one light?

StellaPro Reflex S Review: One Light to Rule Them All?

There have been a lot of interesting light solutions for creatives released in the last few years, but they were either a slight improvement over a previous generation (like the Profoto A1 to A1X) or something to serve a niche corner like the Lumee from Spiffy Gear. Nothing has been really groundbreaking... except perhaps for the StellaPro Reflex from Light and Motion.