Studio Lightingby Kayla Meyer, Ariana Brotherson, & Reigh Franz Biacolo
A monolight is a self-contained studio flash, typically but not always powered by an AC power source, which allows the fitting of light modification attachments such as umbrellas. It consists of a power source and a light head, all contained within a single compact housing.
The benefits of monolights over flash systems consisting of separate heads and power supplies include compactness and the ability to place monolights further apart than heads tethered to power supplies. Also, since each monolight has its own power supply, if one power supply fails, the remaining heads remain fully functional.
The disadvantage of monolights is that, unlike lighting systems with separate heads and power supplies with which you can control the light output of each head from a central control, each monolight has to be adjusted separately, which when shooting under the gun can eat up valuable time.
A reflector is usually a reflective fabric, stretched over a bendy ring, allowing it to fold, and easy to carry. It reflects the light.
A reflector doesn’t create light like a flash does, it simply redirects the existing light, or sometimes redirects the light from a flash or studio strobe.
Reflectors come in different types and colours, and the colour of the reflective surface may change the light that’s bounced back.
A traditional white reflector simply bounces the light, and the light is nice and soft.
A silver reflector doesn’t change the color of the light much, but it is a bit brighter than light reflected off a white one.
Gold reflectors are designed to change the color of the light by warming it up a bit with an orange tone.
Pocket Wizard radio systems enable untethered triggering between all components of your photographic system, no matter how simple or complex your remote triggering needs.
It requires a transmitter electrically connected to the camera, usually mounted on the camera's hot shoe to trigger a remote receiver connected to a remote flash unit via a PC Cord.
A hotshoe is a metal bracket on top of your camera with electrical contacts where an external device (such as a speedlight) can be connected.
It is designed to receive the bottom part (foot) of an off-camera flash unit.
The hot shoe may be used for other accessories. These may include radio trigger transmitter to fire a remote flash, microphones for video recording, spirit level, other types of lights (like LEDs), gps units, range-finders as well as light-weight reflectors or diffusers for the pop-up flash.
A sync cord connects a flash gun to a camera, so that when you press the shutter release, the camera's shutter opens at the same time the flash fires.
Basic sync cords are used when working with your flash in manual mode, as they do not transmit any information aside from firing the flash. These cords are available in a wide selection of different connection types, and need to be chosen according to the type of camera and flash you are using.
Diffusers help eliminate harsh light and shadows and can help leave your photos looking more natural.
Diffusers come in all shapes and sizes depending upon the type of flash you’re using.
Diffused light can be created in two main ways. The optical method uses a filter or glass element. Alternatively, diffused light can be created by using some form of cloth or other translucent material that allows light through. The use of a diffuser is intended to break up a hard beam of light.
Barn doors are light modifiers that shape and direct light. They are flexible to use and can create focused light. They also make a variety of shapes.
The use of barn doors is very much dependent on the situation. To completely match a scene with the light you have to think of all the ways the light will affect the scene and also what you want to achieve.
Gobos or Flags
Flags are similar in function to Barn Doors, however with a notable exception. They tend not to be attached directly to the light. They come in a range of sizes from a sheet of paper to around four by eight feet.
Their purpose is to keep light from a fixture away from areas that you don't want it to light. Areas of your set aren't the only things to benefit from use of a flag.
Flagging isn't limited to controlling the light that is directed at your subject. Much like using your hand to shade your eyes, a small flag is often used to keep a light from flaring the lens (French flag) or interfering with the camera operator's vision (Courtesy flag).
Sandbags is attached to weight the stand and better stabilize your lights.
The tripod provides a portable, steady stand for fixing the camera upon. The three legs provide a consistent, all-round, contact with the ground. The use of three legs ensures that the weight of the mounted equipment is evenly spread.
The tripod is usually used to mount a camera in a steady position.