The word ‘photography’ pretty much translates from the ancient Greek words of ‘photos’ (light)and ‘graphe’ (drawing) to mean ‘drawing with light’; so without light, there would be no photography. In the early days, that light was the sun and, as technology advanced, new methods of providing light when there was no sun or the sun was obscured came about. But because of the nature of film in those days, even with emerging incandescent lighting, it required subjects to remain very still for the entire, long, exposure. This drove photography to other methods of lighting such as flash powder, which provided quite a bit of light, but also presented its own problems because of the medium’s volatility.
Now that the beauty dish is complete (Part 1), it’s time to do some testing to see how the dish compares with just a standard strobe and various strobe attachments. My plan was to photograph a subject with the strobe on-camera and compare results by lighting the subject with a:
– bare flash,
– Sto-Fen attached to the flash,
– Demb Flip-It reflector attached to the flash,
– beauty dish and Sto-Fen attached to the flash (as shown in Part 1),
– beauty dish, Sto-Fen and reflector cup attached to the flash, and
– beauty dish and reflector cup attached to the flash (as shown in Part 1).
Photographers who genuinely want to get the best out of their photography, will have within their arsenal at least one set of supplementary lighting (not to forget light modifiers, reflectors etc) to add to natural lighting, or to provide lighting that is fully under the photographer’s control. In this day and age, however, some DSLRs, it’s said, can photograph black cats in coal mines and this has led to a new group of photographers that completely eschew any form of artificial lighting. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this, the more prevalent it becomes, the greater the possibility that the art of lighting may be forgotten and with it a fundamental aspect of photography. Well, I doubt that will ever happen, as I guess Photoshop or the like will be able to provide for what the photographer didn’t or couldn’t.