New Lighting Gear!

If any of you have been following me on my blog or Instagram, you may have heard me rant about lighting. It was not an easy decision as I was holding out for Hensel to come out with their Foris light, which would be both AC and battery powered. My situation just couldn’t wait any longer, and renting was not an option that I wanted to keep doing. I did a lot of research, stalked forums, looked at articles and the comments, ratings, etc. Checked out videos, did a lot of Elinchrom vs Hensel, Hensel vs Dynalite, Proto vs Broncolor, Profoto vs Godox Pro 600, etc., I mean I was going a little crazy over here.

The main issue I had going against the Good system was their customer service. Good never returns their phone calls, emails, Facebook or Instagram Messages. It’s ridiculous, if I ran my business like that I wouldn’t have a business. Someone suggested I check out Adorama’s Flashpoint which is the Godox but re-named for them. They offered an additional 3 year warranty and Adorama services and repairs the units. So with credit card in hand, I purchased four Flashpoint Xplor 600 Pro TTL R2 strobe heads. I also had to add quite a few other things because since I’m switching to a Bowens mount from a Dynalite mount, my speedings need to change. I also picked up a Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 Speedlight for Canon.

Since my husband loves to get in front of the camera, he immediately signed up to help me test the lights. He works in tv as an Editor, so I thought it was be cool to mimic him being on location on set. Now, these are just test shots, nothing fancy, far from perfect, with a quick edit in Capture Pro One. Looking back I can see where I should’ve used my flags. But overall, it was fun just seeing how to set them up, figuring out the R2 Trigger, it was actually more fun that I thought it would be.


We went down the street from where we live, because of the weight of these lights, we took the car. I rearranged my Think Tank Photo Logistics Manager 30 Rolling Case to fit everything in it. I grabbed 4 light stands, my Westcott 7′ Parabolic Soft White Umbrella and a Glow 40″ Folding Beauty Dish. Now, I did get extra batteries for these heads, and this does add to the weight in my gear case. Once we put them on the stands, it was clear to me, that you cannot use these on cheap, flimsy light stands. Each one is around 6 pounds, without a modifier to tip them over. Compared to my Dynalites, this will be a bit of getting used to, because those heads were super lightweight, but with a cable connecting each one to a power box.

If you’re interested in seeing my long videos about the Lighting Gear, CLICK HERE.

Right before starting I spotted a turtle, and I at first thought that it was a Snapping Turtle. But it was just a cute little Box Turtle, we left him alone, and he didn’t seem all that into us anyway. 


And there you go, my behind the scenes view from yesterday. I’m just happy to be able to work without having to worry about the lights like I used to before.

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3, DIY LED Lights

So I’m always looking to expand and find new and different ways to photograph my clients other than the standard headshot on a white or grey background with a strobe set up. I’ve been wanting a Kino Flo set up a few years, but, hey. Those things are uber expensive, but I understand why. They’ve been used by the tv and film industry for a long time, I know because my husband is an editor, and also he’s uber handy. Did I use the word uber again?

Okay, so Kino Flo is actually a company based in Burbank, CA, which is close to where we used to live and they started around 1987. They’re main lighting are fluorescent tube lighting that don’t flicker because of a high-frequency ballast tubes, and which contained a number of special phosphors designed to eliminate tints in the magenta-green spectrum which are present in most domestic fluorescent lights. So basically they are daylight balanced lights that are lightweight, and easy to carry around that are perfectly suited for filming. If you go on a tv set, you’ll see them hanging.

Now, LED lighting is all over the place, they last longer, and aren’t made of glass. So, David, the handy guy I married, made one panel of LED “Kino Flo” lights that have a high-frequency ballast type of system. I don’t know too much of all the work he did with it, or the technical details,  but he and I are pretty happy with the results we got. We still need to tweak the system a little, but here are some test shots:

DIYLEDHeadshotTest-DeirdreRyanPhotography DIYLEDHeadshotTest-DeirdreRyanPhotography DIYLEDHeadshotTest-DeirdreRyanPhotography DIYLEDHeadshotTest-DeirdreRyanPhotography

Portraits At Dusk

The other day I had my nine year old daughter help me test some new lights in our backyard. It was dusk and the temperature was dropping. I had her sit down in front of 2 of my speedlights, each with a softbox and I wirelessly triggered them. She wasn’t feeling that well, but at the same time wanted to have a little fun.

There were a couple of little birds playing the in pine tree above us and she was watching them.

PortraitOfDaughter_DeirdreRyanEditorialandCommercialPhotography_2 OutdoorPortrait_DeirdreRyanCommercialandEditoralPhotography_1

After this was taken she was ready to go back inside. I’m really happy with how this one turned out,  and I love the others too for different reasons. When she’s feeling better I’ll take her out again.

Photographers are always testing new ways of photographing, before we go out and use them with our clients, we do this first. And if we have children and significant others, they are most often our test models. Aren’t they lucky? 😉