Quick Fill Solution for Empty Sandbags

The age-old struggle: you have modifiers; the wind has force. And that’s how you end up with an unintentional (and unwanted) sail when shooting outdoors. What can you do about it, you ask? Well, sandbags are a good start. While a sandbag won’t reverse the sail effect, it will help to prevent your light stand from falling over in the first puff of wind.

LP515 Empty Sandbag (15lb Cap)

Behold, a sandbag. Holder-down of wind-blown light stands.

Empty sandbags, like the LumoPro LP515, are simple to use, help to secure your setup and are pretty inexpensive. This kind of sandbag has zippers on either side that allow you to fill the sandbag with whatever you fancy.

Empty sandbag with zippers open

Check out that double zip action!

But once filled, those suckers are heavy (kind of the point, I know). So now you have a new problem – you have a way to stabilize your stands, but you’re hauling around extra weight equivalent to the average 2 year old.

Sandbag over the leg of a light stand

Just a sandbag hanging out.

One solution is simple, but brilliant at the same time – fill your sandbags with bottled water. Think about it. You already have water bottles on location anyway for your subject, crew or assistant (because YOU are a kind and thoughtful photographer). You can use those bottles for ballast in your sandbags and keep your shoot participants happy with refreshing beverages.

The best part? You don’t have to pack heavy sand bags back to the car! (Just don’t forget to gather up the empties. No one likes a litterbug!)

Plus, you get to avoid the hassle and mess of filling the sandbags with sand or gravel. Easy. Clean. Thoughtful. It’s a win-win-win.

Sandbag hanging on boom arm

Now obviously, this isn’t the perfect solution for every situation. If you’re working in a hot environment, your subject will probably appreciate water from a cooler more than one that’s been baking in the sun. In those cases, extra grip equipment, like clamps or gripheads, also work great.

So there you go. An easy tip to make your sandbag slinging easier. Do you have a creative solution for filling sandbags or dealing with flyaway light stands? Let us know in the comments, or post a shot to Instagram and give us a tag!

Now Playing at Pixel Connection!

We are so excited to announce our newest dealer: Pixel Connection!

Pixel Storefront

The Pixel Connection, located just outside of Cleveland in Avon, Ohio, and has an outstanding staff and diverse selection of photo and video gear. They are the newest authorized dealer of LumoPro products, so you can now find a range of LumoPro flashes, modifiers, grip gear, light stands and more in their store.

We made our way to Pixel Connection yesterday and had the opportunity to meet their team and talk to them about the in’s and out’s of LumoPro gear.

(And of course, bring doughnuts!)

pixel-visit-june-2016-5.jpg

If you’re in the market for some new lighting gear, head on in to Pixel Connection and speak with their knowledgeable sales staff, or check out their website!

Garrett Martin Shoots High-Flying Ballerinas

This is a guest blog by Garrett Martin. All images and media used with permission.

I remember a day… One when we had to carry a million pounds of lights and batteries to beat the sun on location. You’d get stuck shooting 1/200 at f16 with your 70-200mm just to keep that “narrow” DOF look, but still control the light no matter where you go. Oh, those were the… what am I saying?! I don’t miss that at all. I’m sure my assistants don’t miss lugging around all that gear either!

Early on I had made the switch to LumoPro when they introduced the LP180 flash. Let’s face it, sometimes I’m a little rough with my equipment [ed. note: sometimes, Garrett? Two words for you: ceiling fan… 🙂 ]. After a few repair bills from my old *BIG-BRAND* speedlights, it was an easy choice to invest in flashes that were a fraction of the cost and that packed in all the same functionality – even more in some cases. I rationalized it to be cheaper to just buy a new speedlight when I smash them to smithereens!

When LumoPro dropped the LP180R flash with the high speed sync, this was a game changer. Being able to shoot f1.8 in direct sunlight is a dream. I ditched pounds of equipment for speedlights that will beat the sun and keep my assistant from sweating all over my model when I want some beautiful clam shell lighting in the middle of a field on a cloudless day at noon… why not?! I can!

High flying in the sunshine

I cut my teeth in the wedding industry, but find myself doing much more commercial work lately. One of my main clients, Explore Licking County, definitely keeps me on my toes. We’re always cooking up something new and exciting to shoot. Recently, we’ve been pulling together ideas to better promote The Arts in Licking County. “Art Lives Here” was the brainchild of Dan and Carol from Explore Licking County, and it was my job to bring it to life, visually.

The idea grew from the need to fill ad space in a local theater flyer that would run this year. We wanted to take performing art off the stage and into the county. After a good round of brainstorming and a model search post on social media, we had our locations and ballerinas.

Advertisement for Explore Licking County

Advertisement for Explore Licking County Photo by Garrett Martin

As you can see in the video, my assistant never breaks a sweat! During the shoot we were in bright direct sunlight, in the shadows of the alley and in the light of sunset on a river bed. Logistically, a lighting nightmare, but with my LP180R’s it was a breeze. Add in the ability to control everything with my Phottix Odin transmitter – I never have to leave my camera, and I can completely change my lighting in 2 seconds.

To say I love my LP’s is an understatement. Mixed with the right modifier, I have a studio anywhere, and it doesn’t take carrying crates of equipment onto location to get the job done.

Garrett Martin is a wedding, commercial and portrait photographer based out of Central Ohio. As a self taught photographer, he’s had a camera in his hand as long as he can remember. Garrett has been the owner and lead photographer at Martin Digital since 2004. To see more of Garrett’s work, visit http://martindigital.co/.

Gina Manning’s Conceptual Fashion Shoot with LumoPro Modifiers

A big part of fashion photography is making your images stand out, and one major contributing element to a unique look is lighting. Fashion photographer Gina Manning recently used LumoPro modifiers to achieve the edgy, cinematic look she wanted. All photos by Gina Manning and used with permission.

Model with metal head piece

Photo by Gina Manning

Gina used a combination of the LumoPro beauty dish, octabox and stripboxes to create a variety of intriguing images for her conceptual “La Reine Des Dieux” shoot. The video below gives a behind the scenes look at how the shoot came together and shows the gear in action!

Gina will be hosting a release party for the full set of images in a few weeks. If you are in the Boston area, be sure to get out and see the collection in its entirety. Find more info and RSVP here!

Release party August 5th, 5-9 PM, 460B Harrison Ave, Boston

See the full set of images and hang out with Gina!

GinaManning_02

Photo by Gina Manning

About Gina Manning

Gina is a high-concept fashion photographer fascinated with telling intriguing stories. She brings a cinematic quality to every shoot she designs; from creating atmospheres that set a surreal tone to selecting models with character to tell the perfect story. For her, it’s about the collaboration of gorgeous clothes and gorgeous ideas.

Her subject matter is largely focused on the concept and power of a confident and beautiful woman. Always with an obsession of the subconscious and the control that the mind has over an individual, she’s constantly incorporating the things that keep her up at night in her photographs.

Over the years she has honed in on a style that captivates the eye with light, color and texture. Gina believes in creating new worlds for fashion to exist outside of the ordinary.

You can find more of Gina’s work at www.ginamanning.com.

Double Flash Bracket Review with Nick Kilford

This post originally appeared on Love to Light. All images by Nick Kilford. Used with permission.

It’s easy as a speedlight shooter to be frustrated by the lack of available modifiers. It is one of trade-offs when using small flashes – the modification options can be small, fiddly or ineffective. While there are some superb options out there, sometimes you just want to go BIGGER.

You could stick with an umbrella. It’s a tried and true option that offers quite a bit of versatility. But if you want more control over light spill, or if you already have softboxes you use with studio lights, you’re eventually going to want to mount those speedlights in a standard softbox.

LumoPro Double Flash Bracket

The LumoPro Double Flash Bracket, in all its glory. Photo by Nick Kilford

Enter the Double Flash Bracket. This unassuming little piece of engineering allows you to use small flashes with big modifiers. Photographer Nick Kilford recently shared his thoughts on the Double Flash Bracket on his blog, Love to Light.

“To sum it up, the LumoPro Double Flash Bracket is a nifty little tool at a reasonable price that will allow you to not only take full advantage of the softboxes you may already own, but also gives you more options when it comes to preparing for a shoot.”

Close up of double flash bracket variable shoe

Variable shoes on the bracket’s adjustable arms fit any speedlight. Photo by Nick Kilford.

Check out the original post here for Nick’s take on the Double Flash Bracket and make sure to explore the rest of Love to Light’s posts for loads of lighting and photography tips! You can see more of Nick’s work here.

 

Shooting Jewelry with Daniel T. Jester

Setting Up to Shoot Jewelry with Daniel T. Jester

This is a guest blog by Daniel T. Jester. All images by Daniel T. Jester. Used with permission.

One of my favorite things to do is leverage my skillset as a product photographer and help small businesses with their photographic presence. A business’s image identity ties directly in to their brand, but the challenge of shooting product is only a small part of the mountain of things that need to be done day to day.

Recently I had the opportunity to meet up with Emily Kaniasty of Art & Soul Beads (artandsoulbeads.com) and Amanda Dougherty of The New Blak (thenewblak.com) at their storefront space in Louisville, Kentucky. They were looking for a little help in shooting their jewelry for their respective websites. I brought along some of my favorite LumoPro tools, and we set out to shoot some jewelry, as well as some editorial shots to be used in social media.

For their website images (what we call “catalog images” or primary selling shots), Emily and Amanda were looking for a clean, on-white presentation of some of their pieces. My set up of choice for this situation is a clear plexi or glass plate, separated from the white background. This allows us to light the background separately and control the output without too much worry of spill onto our necklace. We weren’t going to have a ton of space to set up in their retail location, so I needed a set up that was compact, but could get the job done.

LumoPro Spring Clamp and Umbrella Swivel Setup

Spring Clamp mounted on LP634 Umbrella Swivel holds the glass in place.

My background was a simple white collapsible reflector hung on a light stand. The glass plate where our necklaces would hang was held up with one of my new favorite grip tools, the LumoPro Spring Clamp. The Spring Clamp, in this case coupled with the LumoPro Umbrella Swivel, is a really great tool for holding stuff. It functions perfectly here – holding my plate glass in place and giving me a solid spot to put our product.

LumoPro Spring Clamp and Umbrella Swivel Setup

White reflector serves as the perfect compact background.

Clamped onto the stand holding the plate, was the LumoPro Studio Clamp with an LP180 aimed toward our backdrop. Rounding out the rest of my set up was my LumoPro compact stand, used here because I could use it on top of the existing work table without it putting my light too high. Up top was another LumoPro LP180 with the double flash bracket and 16″x24″ soft box.

LumoPro Compact Stand and softbox setup

7.5′ Compact Stand holds the Double Flash Bracket and small softbox as the key light.

Pullback view of the jewelry setup

Pullback view of the whole setup. Lots of light in a small space!

Last but certainly not least, we had PLENTY of fill cards on hand. The trick to shooting jewelry (or anything reflective) is that it doesn’t matter how much light you throw at the subject, if the light is reflecting off the piece and out into space, your subject is going to appear dark. You need to put a fill card in the reflection to capture that light.

In the end, using some of my favorite LumoPro gear, we were able to set up a robust jewelry photography set that didn’t take up a ton of space and could be packed into a fairly small bag.

Jewelry shot by Daniel T. Jester

The final product. (See what we did there…)

Technical Details:

Camera: Fujifilm X-T1
Lens: Nikon Micro-Nikkor 55mm Macro
Strobes: 2x LumoPro LP180
Modifiers: LumoPro 16×24” Softbox
Radio Triggers: Pocket Wizard Plus III

Connect with Daniel on Twitter or his blog. Or see more of his work at http://www.danieltjester.com/

Test Driving the LP180 and LumoPro Beauty Dish

This post originally appeared on Ben Faske Photography. All images by Ben Faske. Used with permission.

Recently, freelance photographer Ben Faske had a chance to shoot some portraits with the LumoPro LP180 Quad-Sync Manual Flash.

image 1

Photo by Ben Faske

He used one LP180 in the LumoPro 22″ Universal Beauty Dish for a super simple setup that created some beautiful images.

image 5

Photo by Ben Faske

For more information on the gear Ben used and to see the final images, check out the original post.