Lastolite Tag

Come to think of it, that catchy title would make an equally catchy product name. Thanks, Lastolite - send me one when you make it. But today's Lastolite product is the answer for both the run-and-gun people shooter who has to keep their speedlight on their camera and the more ambitious portraitist who can get the gun off  and onto a light stand. It's an adaptation of a classic idea but with a couple of new convenient twists. To start with, and this is common in all the Lastolite range of goods, it is well packaged. They build for people who are going to haul their gear thither and yon repeatedly - the working pro and enthusiastic amateur who do not baby the goods. Hence they tend to bag everything in sturdy nylon cases with big zippers. This case contains a folding softbox - one that sticks to the front of your speedlight. The construction is such that the sides fold flat and the thing collapses on itself, with no complex rigging of struts required. The interior is silvered and has arrangements for...

Look at the heading image - it is a neat nylon bag from the English firm, Lastolite. It contains a solution to a problem that you may not know you have. First, let me show you my problem: There it is - the steel-framed elephant in the room. Proof, if any were needed by now, that I should never be trusted with a yellow pad and a pencil - and certainly never turned loose in Bunnings with money. It is my adaptation of a Steve Sint design for a product table as routed through Bunnings Myaree. It has steel frames, perspex sheet, pine stringers, Manfrotto 035 Super Clamps, and IKEA extension cord holders. There are Elinchrom monoblocks and an orphan SLS strobe bolted on. It's only the strict firearms laws in this state that stopped me from adding a Oerlikon mount...

No, We're not talking about another footballer's romance or a North Korean threat - it's the Lastolite Ezybox Micro - possibly the lightest of the large diffusers for speed lights. Certainly one of the easiest to put on and off. Speed light diffusers have a long history - all the way from those rigid plastic panels that you clipped above the Metz 45-series hammerhead flashes in the 1970's through to the strobist craze five years ago. There were innumerable things that attached to your speed light with rubber bands and velcro straps. Nearly all of them worked and nearly all of them were a pain. The ones that went on easily, came off easily - usually when you moved your camera from horizontal to vertical. The ones that stuck tight needed a welder's degree to attach and an oxy torch to take off. And the matter of needing a diffuser in the middle of an event shoot meant that both of these possibilities could occur at the same time. The heavy ones strained the joints of the speedlights - you would have...

Here's one for current professionals, budding professionals, and professionals who have long since gone to seed. A wonderful product that will stop you from killing someone. You're doing an event - a school ball, a corporate dinner, a ceremony...

This week has been sturm and drang with the temptations of new Fujifilm gear, so I thought it might be nice to feature something today that I can afford to buy. And that will be genuinely useful in event shooting. We all know the benefits of diffusers for flash lighting - whether they are the little square boxes that clamp over the head of your speedlight, or a bigger assembly that you attach via magnets or strap...

If you've been following the series this week on reflectors in the studio, you'll probably wonder what we have that second head in the two-head Profoto or Elinchrom set. Well this when - when you need to throw fill light in from a distance and you can't get a reflector to do it. Or when you need to flood a subject with light entirely. I won't go into lighting rations for several reasons: a. I don't understand them. After 1:2 the only rule of thumb I know is buckle my shoe...

There are very few occasions when you see light coming up from under a subject in real life; some discotheques in the 80's had light panel floors, you can see it in the classical footlights at the burlesque theatre, and when you open the hatch of hell there is a sort of a lurid glow that comes up. The effect can be quite unsettling.It is stock in trade for Disney artists and illustrators of fantasy and science fiction when they want to make a subject look evil.But it is also a very valid technique when you are trying to illustrate products for advertisements. In many cases the art director wants the viewer to see all parts of the subject evenly lit for either sales appeal or technical illustration. In some instances this is difficult to achieve with the classic hard/soft light or even with a light tent. No matter where you place the lights, the thing always has a shadow around the bottom bits.Enter the light table. A support for the subject that is sturdy enough to bear the weight,...

Those of us who use cameras to take pictures in the bright noon sunlight get what we deserve - brilliant colours in the main subjects, overexposed skies, and deep shadows under overhanging objects. These overhangs can be eyebrows, noses, lips, chins, and bosoms. And that's just on cars - people are worse...