Hi-Light Disc, Controlling your light!


This was made using a Ranger pack with a standard reflector, with one of our new Highlight Discs (designed by Dr.Dan) and a 40 degree grid.  They come in three sizes and act just like an aperture  on your strobe head. We are showing here just one disc in a standard reflector can change the way you think about using a “standard” reflector. Generally, a standard reflector is designed to throw light out there with a specific coverage. With these discs and grids you can come up with amazing changes in how you control your highlight edges.

Gray Card


So important to be consistent in your work. All of the above are manufacturers versions of “neutral” gray. Which one is correct? They were all shot exactly the same! The point I am making is that they are all correct. You have to be the one to decide what is going to be “YOUR” gray and stick with it. Be consistent in how you work with your chosen gray. Naturally these will all be different they were made by different manufacturers. As far as I know there is no manufacturing standard set by any governing body, as to what the “gray” value should be. Pick one for your work, your camera, your lighting, your monitor and your workflow. Be consistent. Just know that Gray is not always Gray.

All shots were taken with the following settings  D800, 24-70 mm f/2.8 @70 mm,  ISO 100,  1/125 s,  f/8


Reflector Plate


I spent a little time in the shop this week and built myself a mirrored/reflector board. I decided that it needed to be the size of pre made filter kits like the ones from Lee or Rosco. The size I decided on was the Lee, as the pre cut filters are 12″ x 12″ and Rosco are 10″ x 12″. The default on the larger size.

I used a product called Sintra which is like a plastic foam core material. The thickness is 5mm and it light enough and stiff enough to work for what I wanted. I also used some scrap 1″x 2″ board for the side mounting.

I cut the Sintra to 12″ x 13″ on my table saw, making sure it was nice and square. I then cut my 1″ x 2″ board down to 13″ in length and trimmed the width to be exactly 1″.  I then went to the drill press and drilled a 1/4″ hole through the center of the wood strip so I could attach a Mini Mount from LightwareDirect to use on a LightwareDirect TF plate assembly. Now that I had a 1/4″ hole through the board, I wanted to fix in position a 1/4″ nut that was recessed and would be flush with the wood. I found a drill bit that was just a bit bigger than the nut and drilled out the hole just deep enough to hold the nut. Next, I just used a dab of glue around the outside of the nut to hold it in place in the wood. Then I painted the whole thing black. After the paint was dry, I used the all sticky and amazing gorilla glue to mount the strip of wood to the 13″ running length of Sintra. I used wood clamps to make sure they were in the correct position and clamped them together until they were dry. So this left me with a perfect square area of 12″ x 12″ to mount my mirror mylar with double sided removeable scotch tape. I like using the removable scotch tape because you can change to a variety of reflective surfaces that Lee and Rosco offer. You can even use aluminum foil if you want.

Using the Lee or Rosco gels on this board requires you to remember that whatever gel you put on it, you are actually doubling it. The light passes through the gel hits the mirror and then bounces back through the gel onto your subject, effectively doubling the “out put” of the gel.

This is perfect for using in the studio or on location to bounce a kicker hair light or edge light on to your subject. The  next one is a 20″x 24″ .

My heart felt thanks go out to Dean Collins who came up with this years ago and I have just now added it to my kit and it is extremely useful. He will always be missed.


New Lumedyne Mounting Solution


I sometimes like working with my Lumedyne in concert with speed lights. In fact all my location work is now Speed Lights, Lumedyne, and a first release of the Elinchrom Ranger. This mounting idea came about when I was wanting a specular highlight right in the center of a FourSquare box that was a point source, with no diffusion on the box

After some tinkering, this is what I came up with. I am showing you that either of the two styles of Lumedyne heads can be mounted the same way, just a little different on how I drilled out the bar. A single head in a FourSquare is a great light when you need more than what a speed light can deliver. Let me know if this helps you out and we could make some up for you.

STC Workshop

STC Workshop


If you are in LA and want to learn some lighting tips and tricks try the Shoot the Centerfold seminar. Jarmo a photographer for Playboy along with Stephen Wayda will be teaching the lighting part. Lots of good information for a days time well spent. Even if you are not into the professional model look, there are lots of great tips that will apply to any corporate or advertising shoot. You just have to look beyond the beautiful subjects.


A New Product


We have never before shown a product in development, but here is a first. This is the mold for a new product that has been in the works for quite awhile.

It is a total of six gallons of silicon mixed and poured, mixed and poured, mixed and poured for a full eight hours straight except for bathroom breaks.

We went this way because we can make thousands of casts of this, so says the maker of the silicon product. Next week starts the final finishing so we can

start putting goo into the mold. (Goo = Secret stuff) The Goo has to be done before we do anything else as this will be the spine of the new product. Ahhhh… the

stuff I never learned in photo school.