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In this course, Rich Harrington and Abba Shapiro give beginning photographers a brisk look at using strobe lights in a studio setting—lessons that easily translate to the field and locations, inside and out. Learn why shooting with strobes and continuous lighting makes such a big impact on your photographs, and how to buy a good, affordable starter kit. Rich and Abba also show how to set your gear up, trigger your lights, and make modifications with accessories like reflectors, umbrellas, and soft boxes. Finally, learn how to make the most of what you have in a series of lighting challenges.
Abba, power, right? We need power for lights. We talked about with the speed lights, little double A batteries. Not nearly as powerful as this, right? >> No, that, that, there's some pretty powerful juice coming out of these two items here. This one. Has it self contained. As a matter of fact, both of these have a little bit of self-contained power and so we're really looking at three different types of power sources for your strobes. >> Let's start with the actual sort of monolights themselves.
Many of them, on the back, if they have a power chord, are designed to just the power right in and plug into the wall. And they will run. And, and that's useful, right? If you've got access to, plugging into the wall power, fine. You can run off of alternating current, AC power. >> Yeah. >> Great extension cords, use it, right? I see people using batteries all the time when they're right next to electrical outlets. >> Yeah, I'm a big fan of a self-contained unit. Because it's small, I can pick it up, I can move it, I'm not worrying that I have to be tethered to a power pack.
So, generally, in a studio, or even if I'm out in the field, I like a self-contained unit. It's one of the things you'll, you'll notice is that because there is power in here, you also have to have a fan. >> Right. >> because you have to cool it, because it's self-contained. But it's nice if this light goes down. Because of the power. I have other lights that will still work. Where, in some cases, if you have a power pack, and the power pack goes down, you're out of business. But there are definite benefits to the power pack versus the self contained units, which we have here.
>> Well, this particular power pack that I have right here is designed to drive four lights. And this is the Roadmax series, which is specifically designed to go on the road. It's not that heavy. I'm not a great guess but I'm going to say this is about maybe 12 pounds. I mean it's actually designed to be, able to be taken on an airplane. And you've got lots of controls with the ability to actually control everything from one central place. So, if I want to make a lot of changes to my lighting I can go to the central area, adjust everything without having to run to each light.
So, there are pros and cons, and it's really a matter of personal preference. Abba likes to have everything on the light. I'm sort of split. I see benefits of that, I don't mind having a central pack to go to. >> I do have a love-hate relationship with this. And, and you. There is. >> Yeah. >> And I want to tell you the love part about this. And that is, these come in different sizes. So, depending on how many lights you're running, how quick you want it to recharge, how long you going to be out in the field you could get bigger units. one of the things about this power pack that I like and don't like is, you don't necessarily have the fine control, that you might with an individual light.
Usually, it's a ratio. So, I can have a primary light. >> Yeah. >> Being at full power. And I can have the other two lights being at half power. >> Yeah. This one does full, quarter and half, which is very typical. Remember, a lot of times when we're dealing with lighting, we're thinking about stops of light. And that's essentially a ratio of cutting in half or doubling it. And so, in this case, you know, we can go from full, knock it down a stop, go to half, knock it down another stop, go to quarter. That's what's happening there and those are really typical. But sometimes, those numbers don't work and you need to go in between, right? >> Right.
>> Of course, we can do the old fashioned thing of physically moving the light closer or further away. A lot of people forget about their feet. >> They forget, they forget that. You can move the light or you can put diffusion on the light. And that will compensate for the fact that these are kind of fixed. So, that's why I said, don't hate them. >> Yeah. Just know that it's a little bit different. Now, I love having a battery pack. This is a, a very affordable one here. And it's nice. I just plug this in, it charges it up. And there are going to be times when you want that run and go ability.
Maybe you are shooting portraits at an event and the last thing you want to do is take an extension cord, figure out where to plug it in and not have the 300 people at the event trip over it, unplugging your power. Both the safety and insurance risk. But, battery power, unlike wall power, is more prone to run out. Of course, there's the flip side of that is, this is great when the power goes out or you blow a fuse having a battery back-up. Not a bad idea. >> Yeah. And I really like this. You shoot a lot of stuff in the desert. And you always need to bring light.
>> Yeah. >> Into the desert. Because it's so strong. And these are great for that. Because they're portable. Because I'll tell you, that extension cord you used to use when you went out into the desert, way too long. >> Alright. Well, you get the idea. There's all sorts of options here from having the power in the light to having a power pack to a battery pack, just make sure you explore different brands, use different approaches. And some are flexible. For example, this particular light allows me to plug in and go off of AC power, and I could flip that over and run from the wall. Or I could flip it down and go off of DC power from the battery.
I like having that flexibility. Just make sure, when you're looking at putting together your kit, you consider what are your choices. >> You made a really good point. Some of these lights are designed as two trick ponies, and if they're designed as a one trick pony where they're really working off of AC, yeah, you can probably get a battery pack that's going to put out alternating current. But if you know you're going to be taking something into the field and you want to get a battery pack light, you should make sure of the light, can handle AC and DC current. Because DC actually a lot more efficient for charging a light to make it pop.
So, think about that before. It's not an after the fact fix. >> Alright, and when we come back, we'll talk about the last parameter. Which is mixing and matching brands.
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