Thursday, March 6, 2008

Get the Goods: Gary Fong's Lightsphere

Yesterday, my new Gary Fong Lightsphere flash diffuser showed up at work. Just being able to get this piece of equipment was worth forcing my flu-ravaged butt out of bed and back into the office. While some of my colleagues have complained that the Lightsphere (and most of Gary Fong's other inventions) look ridiculous and are hard to store in a camera bag, I think they are just bitter because they don't have one yet.

So far I think I'm in love with this diffuser for the almost studio quality softlight it produces. I have yet to use it on a human subject, but my cat Nikita was willing to model for me, well sorta. I had to capture her attention with a straw, but whatever works when it comes to getting a cat to pose for you.

Without the Lightsphere

With the Lightsphere

My 580 EX II was able to light up my darkened bedroom, but clearly, using the Lightsphere lends more detail, depth and texture to Nikita's fur. It also was worth my time to watch the DVD tutorial that came with the equipment. It includes interviews with Gary Fong demonstrating the best ways and appropriate situations to use the Lightsphere and its companion pieces, the chrome and amber domes and the inverted dome for an extra power boost. Smugmug customers get a great discount, so I think this equipment was a steal for less than $150. I can't wait to practice with it on a human subject for portraiture.

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