While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, beautiful light is in the beholder of the beauty dish. Beauty dishes have long been used by fashion and portrait photographers to wrap light around their subject's face and create softer shadows both on and behind them. Beauty dishes create stronger highlights than soft boxes (which, as their name suggests, create very soft light) that can help diminish skin imperfections while creating a more dynamic image. Another element added to images shot with the use of a beauty dish is the addition of a round catchlight to the eyes instead of the square light provided by most softboxes (with the exclusion of octagonal boxes).
Local portrait and agency photographer Kevin Camp (http://kevincampphoto.com/gallery/) is a big fan of the beauty dish, particularly the Phottix Luna Collapsible Beauty Dish. Kevin became a fast fan of the Phottix Luna Collapsible Beauty Dish because its ability to provide the results of a traditional metal beauty dish (soft, wrapped light and ease of post-processing) with the portability and quick setup/teardown of an umbrella. Additionaly the dish comes with a Bowens speed ring allowing it to be easily adapted to studio lights or speedlights on a bracket.
Phottix Luna Beauty Dish setup and image result courtsey of Kevin Camp
Have you ever suffered the loss of a lens cap? Many of us have and there is nothing more heartbreaking than putting a ‘naked’ lens back in your bag. Fret no longer because hüfa has developed an innovative solution to an age-old problem with their lens cap holder. Not only can it be attached to your camera strap, but also to camera bags, belts, watch straps, shirt collars, headbands, or any other place you can fasten it. The hüfa lens cap holder is easy to use, durable, lightweight, and above all, secure. Come by the shop today and check one out.
Save a lens cap, buy a hüfa!
As the plastic camera craze continues to sweep the nation and film begins to experience a long overdue comeback, many people are left to wonder what the driving force behind this movement is.
The story of Lomography begins back in 1982 when a Russian government official challenged a comrade of his (who happened to own LOMO Russian Arms and Optical factory) to replicate a Cosina CX-1 that was manufactured in Japan. Later that year, the LOMO factory rolled out the LC-A, an improved version of the Japanese compact camera, and mass production began two years later in 1984.
International interest in the LC-A was sparked in 1991 when the camera was discovered by two Viennese students who stumbled upon the communist gem in an old camera shop in Prague. After returning to Vienna, friends, family, and passersby of the students fell in love with the images that had been created with the camera and interest in importing the cameras began.
If 1982 was the spark of Lomography, then 1992 was the big bang. Since interest in the little commie camera had grown so quickly (resulting in backpack raids in Russia to acquire more cameras) the Vienna City council took note and aided the movement by donating an empty house for Lomographic operations. Later, this house served as the location of the first Lomography exhibition, where 700 LC-A’s were sold, and the very first LomoWall (a defining feature of Lomography Gallery Stores) was constructed.
In the years since the first exhibition, Lomography has seen an astronomical rise in popularity largely due to their community-like structure. Since 1992 Lomography has: launched a website, created a Lomo Embassy in Berlin, and held simultaneous exhibitions in New York City and Moscow (1994), convinced Russian manufacturers to continue producing the LC-A (1996), hosted a Lomographic World Congress in Madrid (1997), begun opening Lomography stores (2001), and launched a line of fashion items (2003). Additionally, Lomo has been introducing innovative toy cameras to the market since 1998 and they unveiled their first in-house camera in 2000.
Before the advent of Facebook and Twitter, there was Lomography – the original social network.
Lomography Names to Know (click on names to view more information and sample images)
Lomo LC-A/+: Faithful reproduction of the original
Lomo LC-Wide: Ultra-wide angle camera
Diana+/F+: Reproduction of the 1960’s Diana, uses 120 film and fun retro flash, many colors
La Sardina: Wide angle lens camera with a sardine can-like body, flash and cool patterns
Spinner 360: Pull the string and create a 360° photo
Sprocket Rocket: Creates wide images over the entire piece of film, sprockets and all
Fisheye One/No. 2: Circular fisheye lens camera (round image), underwater housing available
Actionsampler: Snaps a quad of 4 sequential images on one 35mm frame
SuperSampler: 4 sequential vertical images on a single 35mm frame
Pop 9: Produces 9 identical images on a single film frame
Oktomat: Shoots 8 sequential images onto a single frame in 2.5 seconds
Lubitel 166+: Soviet-era reproduction medium format, twin lens camera
Holga: Medium format (also available in 35mm) plastic camera, images have soft corners
*New* LomoKino: Shoots short, 144 frame films to 35mm film
Check out the new Toy Camera Meet-Up Group in town!
Umbrella soft boxes are the “universal”, portable, easy to use option for light diffusion. A drawstring closure on the back of the soft box allows easy use with electronic flash units (speedlights, studio strobes, or monolights) since no speed ring or adaptor ring is necessary. Opening and closing the unit is as easy as opening and closing an umbrella which adds to the product’s ease of use and allows for quick setup and tear down. Assembly does vary slightly depending on the application. Most strobes or monolights are already set up to accept an umbrella, so all that is required is sliding the umbrella tube through the appropriate hole on the head and tightening it into place (as you would a photo umbrella). For use with speedlights, a bracket and either a light stand or light stick are required. A bracket allows for the speed light to be attached, the umbrella softbox to be attached, and for the entire setup to be mounted on a light stand or light stick (also known as Voice Activated Lightstand – VAL).
One of the many advantages of an umbrella softbox over a standard square softbox is that the light is allowed to bleed slightly out of the sides of the umbrella whereas softboxes that are too small for a particular application tend to concentrate light to a specific area because of the black sides. Additionally, umbrella softboxes, when used with speedlights, create a beautiful quality of light similar to that of a studio light.
So if you are looking to upgrade your quality of light, create a portable studio, or just have the best speedlight modifier for your kit, an umbrella softbox might just be the perfect fit for you.