A strobe light is a flashing lamp that produces a light effect that creates a sense of movement. The effect is similar to an old film projector running at a very high frame rate. Strobe lights are distinct from other lighting instruments in that they produce an almost instantaneous burst of light.
The term ‘strobe’ is derived from the Greek word Strobos, meaning “to flash.” Harold Eugene Edgerton invented the first stroboscope in the 1920s. In 1928 he produced a series of photographs depicting the motion of objects around a racetrack. The images were then published in the book “Moving Pictures.” Today, many organizations use these lights for their products’ photography.
So, in this article, we’ll shine on your knowledge about the best strobe lights for product photography and how to use strobe lights for perfect product photography.
Let’s dive in!
- Strobe lights and product photography
- What you should know about strobe lights?
- Do you need a strobe for product photography?
- Pros- What are the benefits of using strobe lights for product photography
- Cons- What are some limitations of using strobe lights for product photography
- How to choose the best strobe lights for product photography?
- Best portable strobe lights for photography
- How to control the light: Flash duration and power output!
Strobe lights and product photography
Strobe lights are one of the best ways to take product photos. There is a myth that you need a high-end camera and expensive lighting equipment to have great product photos. But, that is not true.
There are two different ways to use strobe lighting for your product photography.
1. You can either use it with a flash diffuser or go for the classic “shoot through umbrella” approach.
2. In the second way, you can use a cloth to filter the flash.
The cloth is generally white in color to prevent any unwanted tint to the light. Further, it ensures that the flash is even and not too harsh.
Thus, strobe lights are a great way to get a smooth, professional look in your products or food photography. They are often used for TV commercials and also in the fashion world.
What you should know about strobe lights?
People have been using strobe lights for many years now. But, like most other tools in our household, we don’t put that much thought into them, and we use them and move on.
Unfortunately, there is not enough knowledge regarding the use of strobe lights. Some people think it can cause seizures or other health problems, which is not always true.
However, it can trigger seizures in about 3% of people with epilepsy. It can also trigger vertigo in some people.
Do you need a strobe for product photography?
The simple answer is that it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Do you want your product to stand out above the crowd? If so, then yes, you need a strobe for product photography. However, if you want to show what the product looks like accurately, then no, you don’t need a strobe.
That said, the use of Product photography is a key component of an effective e-commerce store. It allows your customers to get a clear idea of what they’re buying, and it helps the product differentiate itself from other products.
So, whenever possible, it is a good idea to stand out from the crowd. This will help people notice your product and they will take action after seeing them.
Pros- What are the benefits of using strobe lights for product photography
The strobe light is the most commonly used in professional photography. It produces high-quality light. The strobe is used for both the lighting of product photography and portrait and commercial photography.
1) Bring out the highlights on the product’s surface and add contrast to the shadows
Strobe lights are used in photography to add flash to the scene photographed. For product photography, bring out the highlights on the product’s surface and add contrast to the shadows.
This helps to make your product look more appealing when you take photos.
2) Set the scene for great product photography
Strobe lights set the scene for great product photography, and it doesn’t matter whether you are doing it for yourself or your clients.
Businesses just starting will find that getting the right lighting for their products is an excellent way to boost their brand.
3) Gives a clear and crisp image without producing any undesired effects
Another reason this light is useful for product photography is that it gives a clear and crisp image without producing any undesired effects. However, you need to use them correctly to achieve this.
With electronic or digital cameras, the shutter speed is usually slower than a camera with a film inside of it. This slow shutter speed can cause several problems in capturing an image using strobe lighting.
So, strobe lights capture the reflection of light on shiny objects like glass or metal, which makes the image look sharper and more vibrant.
Cons- What are some limitations of using strobe lights for product photography
The strobe lights are a great way to take pictures of products and objects, but they have limitations. Here are some drawbacks of using strobe lights
1) The flash is tricky to work with if you try to capture motion unless you use a fast shutter speed. It can be difficult with the smaller strobe lights.
2) Strobes need a lot of light to function properly. If your room or scene is not well lit, your photos will come out grainy.
3) The strobes have a short burst of illumination, and then it goes off for quite some time before bursting again.
4) The biggest drawback is that not all strobe light kits are exactly portable. They can be very large, especially if they include backdrops, diffusers, and other accessories that reach a full size of 20 feet.
A good warning to anyone who doesn’t often travel: they will soon find out how challenging it can be bringing their lights with them when they go on vacation! Strobe lights also come with cumbersome power requirements, and most light kits require a special generator or heavy-duty battery system to work.
How to choose the best strobe lights for product photography?
The strobe light is not a single feature, but it is a combination of features that play an important role in product photography. Every strobe light has more than one feature that makes it a perfect choice for photography.
Battery or Plug
One of the most important features of this lighting device is its power source, which can be either AC power or a battery.
The simple question is if would you like to always have the access to wall power or would you prefer the ability to shoot in remote locations? That said, Plug-ins are more affordable.
Maximum Power and Recycle Time
Maximum power is the first thing that should be considered when buying a strobe. It will determine the intensity and quality of your light.
On the other hand, the recycle time is the time which you would have to wait before your flash can produce light after it has turned off.
TTL and HSS (The Bells and Whistles)
These are the advanced features available on many Strobes. TTL is actually an automatic mode for your strobe and it stands for “through the lens” whereas HSS stands for “high-speed sync”.
Best portable strobe lights for photography
One of the most exciting things about studio strobes is that they are relatively simple and easy to use, given their user-friendly nature and compatibility with different photography models. Unfortunately, it isn’t a simple job to pick up the right model that satisfies all your needs and tastes.
In case you’re searching for strobe light photography, you are most welcome to look through this catalog of lighting gear selected on such factors as burst duration, color temperature, compatibility with accessories, type of mount, and so on.
|Godox AD600 Pro||1. Wireless|
3. 600W power
4. It can control the colors and hence the temperature. It means that you can have a constant temperature in your image.
|Neewer 250W Photo Studio Strobe||1. It is light in weight thus making it easy to carry everywhere.|
2. Has wireless synchronization
3. You can rotate it up to an angle of 180 degrees.
|Profoto B10||1. It uses LCD to give you a good display |
2. 400W power
3. Charging it to full once would give you 400 flashes.
How to control the light: Flash duration and power output!
Strobe lighting is a unique and powerful tool. It gives the photographer a lot of control over the final shot, but it can be tricky to use. To get great results, you need to understand the flash duration and power output in strobe lighting.
Strobe lights are very common in the market, and they produce a very bright light and make the product look 3D and shiny. But, these strobe lights need to be well controlled for a good picture to be taken.
Capturing fast action with a flash is easier than it may seem, but to create fluid photos of subjects moving through the air, you will need to work within specific parameters.
How your subjects are positioned, the camera, and the light source affect how well you can freeze motion in action shots.
For example, photographing someone (or something) mid-jump means that your subject’s body moves significantly faster than their feet. This can be compensated for by illuminating portions of their body using a flash placed above or below the lens; this creates back and side lighting effects, respectively.
There are many things to consider when buying a strobe light for product photography. You should choose the one that meets your needs based on its features. Additionally, you should practice using strobe lights to get the best picture.
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.