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Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-14-2008, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone have any strong thoughts about strobe lighting versus continuous lighting? Do both have a role in glamour photograghy? Is it worth while to have a set of both?
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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-14-2008, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a set of strobes and a set of halogen lights. They both have there pluses depending on what the use is.

Here is one of each. Can you tell which one is which?





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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-14-2008, 07:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would guess that the first one is a strobe and the second the halogen. I base this guess on the warmer tone of the first and cooler tone of the second. Of course the tones could have been manipulated with PS. I like the first one considerably better. The second seems more flat and has less contrast. Is that characteristic of continous? Thanks for your reply.
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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-14-2008, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, both have a use in glamour photography. And yes, I have some very strong thoughts on the subject. While both can be used effectively for striking images, I feel that as of late strobes be it in flash or larger lighting setup, have become overused in recent. Of course, you can find some very excellent photographers here that do use strobes. I've always been a fan of continous lighting. Just my thoughts on the topic. Oh, and in response to Artforms question. I think that the first are halogens and the second are strobes. Why? The first have a very warm tone and a gradual light drop off while the second has a netrual to coll tone with a quick light fall off.

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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-14-2008, 09:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaiahbrink View Post
I feel that as of late strobes be it in flash or larger lighting setup, have become overused in recent. Of course, you can find some very excellent photographers here that do use strobes.
I am fairly sure that I don't understand this statement. How can strobes be "overused" vs. continuous light? If the lighting is done properly, the use of strobes vs. continuous lighting should be irrelevant to the final result as far as appearance is concerned and the use of one or the other largely impossible to determine.

Also, just to prevent any confusion, I assume by continuous light we are all NOT talking about available light, but "hot lights".
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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-15-2008, 12:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobArtLyn View Post
I am fairly sure that I don't understand this statement. How can strobes be "overused" vs. continuous light? If the lighting is done properly, the use of strobes vs. continuous lighting should be irrelevant to the final result as far as appearance is concerned and the use of one or the other largely impossible to determine.

Also, just to prevent any confusion, I assume by continuous light we are all NOT talking about available light, but "hot lights".
Overused in this context means that the vast majority of photographers use strobes for their lighting to the point where to be creative, one would need to use continous light. At least IMO. Look up George Hurrell, not many strobes used at all. Well, continous does have the connotation of being an artifical light form as in needs to be plugged in to some sort of power source at one time, including ones that use a battery pack, which you need to plug in to charge. But availble light while continous in nature, usually is reffered to it as that, availble, not continous nor strobe light.
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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-15-2008, 01:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaiahbrink View Post
Overused in this context means that the vast majority of photographers use strobes for their lighting to the point where to be creative, one would need to use continous light. At least IMO.
Sorry, still not getting it. Except for certain technical situations, there is little, if anything about an image that would indicate whether the light was continuous or momentary.

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Originally Posted by isaiahbrink View Post
Look up George Hurrell, not many strobes used at all.
Hurrell's images look the way that they do primarily for three reasons. (1) Careful lighting. This is where the fact that he used hot lights comes in to play. What-you-see-is-what-you-get. This is entirely doable with strobes. if you want. It just takes a little longer of you are going to be picky about the minute details. (2) The type of modifiers on the lights. He didn't use softboxes like so many photographers do today. He used dishes and reflectors and produced a much harder style of lighting. There is absolutely nothing preventing anyone from using these types of light modifiers on strobes to get the same quality of light. (3) Heavy "photoshopping", which in his day meant shooting on 4x5 or 8x10 and hand retouching the negative with etching, pencil and powdered graphite to hide the inevitable flaws shown by his preferred lighting style, something that I believe does not fit your "get it right in the camera" philosophy from the "photographer vs. photoshoppers" thread.

However, at the end of the day, a photographer who understands light can create the same images with strobes or hot lights, with no visible difference in the final results. The difference will be in choosing one over the other for ease of use for the particular application, or working style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaiahbrink View Post
But availble light while continous in nature, usually is reffered to it as that, availble, not continous nor strobe light.
Yes, of course. But your comment about strobes being over used compared to continuous, when they really don't have much visual difference, made me stop to consider what other things you might have meant, as strobe/continuous and available certainly have different characteristics.
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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-15-2008, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There would be no way to tell if the white balance issues are dealt with properly. So one could take a model on a set, and shoot the shot once with flash and once with continuous lighting and if the white balance issues are dealt with, they should look identical. After all, light is light. If you use the same modifiers for both, then you should get the samr results if the WB issues are correct. This also assumes that the power can be made the same. This would usually mean dialing the strobes way down. If you don't get the power the same, then you'd have to move the continouos lights closer, which would make them a softer light source, so the photo would change.

So that makes me wonder what the Artforms examples were all about. Why is one so warm and the other not?

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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-15-2008, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I hate hot lights or continuous lights with a passion. It all stems from early frustration with slow shutter speeds and shallow depth of field.

One college assignment was to shoot with continuous light. So set up my three head strobe pack with three umbrellas and did my first image with just the modeling lights. Thereafter I turned the pack on, raised the shutter speed and knocked out the rest of the images. Teacher was thrilled with the work and couldn't tell the difference. It was black and white film by the way.

I have spent a lot of money to have strobe systems with modeling lights and flash tubes in the "same" position relative to the reflectors, grids, spots, boxes, umbrellas, etc. Now most of the time the difference is so small and to be non-existent due to the use of large diffusion systems. But, when I need it, it is still available.

I would suggest, a strobe set up with 250 watt modeling lights and 5 stop variability in the flash discharge with modeling light tracking. Then you can see the effects you are creating, but have stop motion both for the camera and the model, the depth of field you want and correct color out of the box.
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Re: Continuous -vs- Strobe
Old 04-15-2008, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To answer that question of which one is which. The first image is with the continuous halogen lighting and the second one is with strobes. The white balance was set at tungsten on the halogen lights and daylight on the second image. As for shutter speeds. With my 50mm 1.8 lens I was able to shoot the first image at 1/320th of a second at f/2.2 at 200 iso, and with the strobes my camera syncs at 1/200th of a second no matter what f/stop is used. I can see what the light and shadows are doing with the halogen lights before the shot is taken and with strobes I usually don't know for certain until after the shot is taken since modeling lights are not a true representation of the outcome. The halogen lights are always warmer when I use them as compared to the strobes but keep in mind that these are two different models here with different skin tones to begin with.


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