5 Innovative Lighting Ideas

The newest tools to change the way photos look.

5-Innovative-Lighting-Ideas

5-Innovative-Lighting-Ideas

5 Innovative Lighting Ideas

1. LITESHAPER ARM KIT
Portraitists flying solo (that is, sans assistant) often forego reflectors, since these can be clumsy when rigidly mounted to a traditional lightstand. Not so with the LiteShaper Arm Kit ($200, street). Its gooseneck-mounted reflector is quickly and easily adjusted to put light where you need it. Even better: The kit's four reflectors ("LiteShapers") were originally designed as softbox baffles and can quickly turn a square box into a narrow strip light, among other capabilities. (www.liteshaper.com)

2. CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE FLASH-BRACKET
For photographers who do have the luxury of an assistant, some of the best handheld reflectors come from California SunBounce. Now its Micro MINI (shown below) and MINI reflectors can bounce more than just sunlight thanks to a new 24-inch extendable, shoe-mount flash bracket ($95, estimated street). With it, studio and location shooters can take full advantage of the wireless capabilities built into DSLRs today by bouncing TTL-controlled flash off a super-large panel reflector. (www.sunbounce-usa.com)

3. LITEPANEL MICRO
The 4-ounce shoe-mount Litepanel Micro ($300, street) is an LED source for still or video capture. Its continuously variable output is powered by four AA cells for about 90 minutes of bright, daylight-balanced light that's cool to the touch and flicker-free. The panel doubles as a focus-assist beam and makes a superb "eye light" for placing centrally positioned catchlights or for brightening deep-set eye sockets. (www.litepanels.com)

4. LIGHTSCOOP
If you're shooting with a built-in flash, how can you bounce its output off a ceiling for better portrait lighting? Photojournalist Ken Kobré found a way: a mirror-based tool he calls a Lightscoop ($30, direct). It slides into a hot-shoe and surrounds a built-in flash to deflect its pop out toward a wall or ceiling for true bounced lighting. The Lightscoop also eliminates redeye, as well as shadows cast by overly long lenses. (www.lightscoop.com)

5. JTL MOBILIGHT 301
A strobe light that runs on AC or DC power, JTL's Mobilight 301 is one of the least expensive full-featured studio/location lighting options. A mere $330, street, gets you both the 300 Watt-second monolight and a NiHD rechargeable battery. It's also available with a light 3-pound lithium battery (shown here) for $770, street. The Mobilight is fully compatible with JTL's strobe accessories, including a wireless radio remote and extra-large top-mounted digital display panels. (www.jtlcorp.com)

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