Photography Resources 2: Lighting Equipment

Flash Lighting

I currently own 2 Alien Bees studio strobes. They are the of the AB400 variety. I also have a Vagabond Mini Lithium portable power pack for the flashes, and I love this device. These flashes are overkill for food photography but I’m going to figure out a way to use them since I already own them.

I also have a Canon 420EX* flash unit with a Gary Fong* diffuser, which is a very expensive piece of plastic. This comes in handy for run-and-gun applications and I do keep it on my 420ex all the time. I’m not sure if I want to go this route in food photography.

The main advantage of flash lighting is that they produce a huge amount of output power. They can easily light a whole room and then some. I call my Alien Bees, my portable sun-lights. The main disadvantage is that they are relatively large and not as easy to setup. But the quality of the light is great.

Continuous Lighting

This type of lighting refers to lighting that is always on, such as your normal table lamps or ceiling light fixtures. There are advantages and disadvantages of continuous lighting vs flash lighting. The one best advantage is that you can see exactly what the camera will see before you take a photo.

Continuous lighting units are things such as the lights in your room, or a Lowel Ego. This unit is a table top light that sheds soft light on subjects. Several people that I know use this light. I’m sure you can find something very similar to it at Ikea for a lower price.

The main advantage to using continuous lighting is that you can see how the light affects the subject before you take the photo. This allows you to adjust the lights just right, then take the photo.

Photography Resources

Part 1 – Camera Equipment Part 2 – Lighting Equipment Part 3 – Software
Part 4 – Why shoot raw? Part 5 – Where to buy?

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