Red-Head lightning for portrait photography

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Redheads have their uses

Duncan C wrote:

Baz (Barrie Davis), a retired pro who frequents these forums, swears by continuous fresnel spots for some applications. He loves the ability to adjust the beam. He says that fresnel flashes don't cut it because the modelling light is in a slightly different position than the flash tube, and it's enough to make the modelling light beam a different size and shape than the flash beam. I haven't used fresnel spots for photography myself, but he makes a convincing argument.

Hello Duncan... I'm "frequenting" again!

Redheads have their uses....

It happens I have a set of 3 redheads that I keep for location interiors, where their high power in a compact space is very helpful. I use them to compliment my set of three Fresnel spots, to which you refered...

.... together they make a flexible 3200K tungsten kit, that blends well with domestic lighting.

Redheads are powerful enough to act as excellent bounce sources, for softness, or when used with a (heatproof) shoot-through umbrella... I also have one heatproof softbox, and a couple of large stand-up diffuser screens...(6x4'), all of which are used with Redheads.

Also, because of their ability to focus down a good deal, and the barndoors attachment that lives on them, Redheads make a pretty good stand-in for a genuine Fresne spotl, when the need arises.

But it is sheer GRUNT in a small space that makes them good location lights.

However, as already made clear, I do not use them for people shots... their concentrated brightness and heat is too uncomfortable to ask people to endure. Even if I was unkind enough to subject subjects to the torture of illumination by Redhead (!)...

... the squints and the sweats don't look great in pictures!

Here is shot done with the Redhead/Fresnel kit. As you point out, being able to preview the set-up with 100% accurate "pre-modelling" of the lighting is crucial to getting this kind of thing right.

This picture used a combination of Redheads, Fresnel spots, and ambient light.

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"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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