Profoto Tag

I love photo lights. From the simplest wind-up pocket flashlight to the most expensive studio power pack and heads, I think they are just great. Because I have a simple philosophy when it comes to images - things look better if you can actually see what they are. Those of you who deal in mystery, darkness, underexposure, and lack of focus are welcome to it - I want light on the subject. So I use monolight strobes in the studio and speedlights in the field. Elinchrom and Fujifilm respectively. The former are perfect as they are fed from the mains power and recycle almost instantly. They have massive power and any number of light modifier reflectors and softboxes. They are fully adjustable by simple means - slider controls in the back of the heads and simply moving them back and forth on their studio stands. There are modelling lights to suggest what the actual flash is going to do. ( Though like all suggestions they are open to suspicion...

You must never let me alone with photographic equipment that I haven't seen before. The temptation to paw over it, twist every control, open every flap is overwhelming. I suspect it is the same for other people who are enthusiastic about photography - like kids in a toy store we must just touch and feel everything. We're lucky we don't set fire to more things than we do...

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...

I got older early in life. One of the benefits of this was I discovered that I did not know it all. And that I could get into a rut. And then I figured out that you could listen around the edges and read the next page and pick up ideas. They might not have been good ideas, but at least they put you in a new rut instead of the old one. Thus my new studio routine was born. I instituted it after reading Steve Sint's book on product photography. Sint is a commercial shooter in New York who does weddings and products. He publishes through the Pixiq company at present thought some of his work is by other publishers. He writes well, and amusingly, and had never put me wrong. I can't do all the things he does, but whenever I do something he recommends, it works. He does, as I say, tabletop shoots. That is what product illustration and some concept shooting amounts to. Also what catalogue shooting really is but no-one ever admits it. The difference between what Mr. Sint...

Pardon my humour at the expense of the company slogan. It is just lightheartedness at viewing the new display racks at the side and ends of the Stirling Street store. The sight of new shelving systems or storage racks has a tendency to do that to old shop employees. Note: retail sales assistants on holiday go to shops in other cities and either envy them their layout or secretly sneer at them. We cannot help it - it is like a bus driver on holiday taking the bus. The only exception is the Leica boutiques and they are remarkably similar wherever you see them - here's one in the QVB building in Sydney. Magnificant setting but still very Leica Boutique inside. By the way, if you want Leica, save yourself a trip. Buy it here. You have two walls of red 'n black at Stirling or Murray. But onto the back wall - it has lost the old ex-library wooden hutches and is a flash new white metal surface with dedicated attachments and a bright clean finish. As you can see, Saul, complete...

What is the appeal of the hot light? What? How can anybody love a lighting system that makes a studio hotter in January? That needs specially-ventilated light shapers to work. That makes the metal snoots so hot they smell like the grille at Alfred's Kitchen? What is the deal with hot lights?Well it is June and the weather is getting colder, and if you are in a studio right now the constant light can be a bit of comfort. It is not as good as a reverse-cycle Fujitsu set to 27º but it goes a little way to heating the place. And the metal snoot? Well, you can heat that to welding temperature with the modelling light of at the average mono block anyway - learn to direct the head of the light by using the handle at the back instead of grabbing the light modifier at the front.The real deal with the hot/constant light is that you can see what you get. If you are training students to see what their lighting is actually doing, or if you yourself...

I called into the shop yesterday to place mousetraps on the toilet seats and as I was waiting for the ladies loo to be vacated, I got to chatting with one of the professional photographers who was standing at the rental counter. I noticed he was taking out a set of studio mono lights - a very good quality item.The odd thing for me was I remember him taking out these same mono lights with various light modifiers all last year, and, I think, the year before. Weekday rentals mostly and some weekend rentals. Lotsa rentals...