This category is dedicated to aspiring photographers

In the commercial world, the demands in photography differ greatly from those of a hobby. One doesn't have the luxury of time or god forbid, a re-shoot. A professional photographer is paid to create a photo that either enhances a client's public image or sells a particular product. To do this, studio strobes are often used.

To the uninitiated, strobes are frightfully intimidating. Unlike lenses, where the effects of a wide angle compared to those of a telephoto are clearly obvious, strobe is invisible. When a strobe is fired, the light emitted is simply too fast for the human eye to see.

Over many years shooting professionally, I've mastered the use of strobes. I hope that in sharing some of my techniques, it will encourage young photographers to adopt strobes as an integral part of photography.

Technical information on photo (circa 1982)

Strobe Bowens Quad Power Pack / single Quad head plus softbox
Camera Toyo-View 45G
Lens Schneider 150mm f/5.6 Symmar
Film Kodak Ektachrome Professional 64 transparency (EPR64)
Exposure f/16 at 1/125 sec

Strobe Lighting

The key to strobe lighting is visualization. Before shooting, one must be able to see the image mentally. To be more specific, an image that is lit with strobes.

Another aspect with strobes that is often overlooked is that the images should look natural. A good shot done with strobes is one that's impossible to tell it's made with strobes.

Here are some examples of how in the commercial world, I used strobes to create images that would otherwise have been impossible.

 Mixed Lighting
 Speedlights to the rescue
 Strobes and Speedlights
 One Speedlight Solution
 High Key Portrait

Modifying Strobes

Over here, I shall deal with the technical aspects of strobes.

A word of caution. All strobes and speedlights operate at high voltages. Therefore, extreme care must be exercised for one's own safety.

 Reviving Vintage Strobes