How A Flashpoint DG600 Monolight Saved The Day

Adorama House Product Real World Field Test

When called upon to photograph one of Canada's top TV News Anchors, photographer Sam Javanrouh's primary portrait light was a budget-priced Flashpoint DG600 Monolight.


Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National. Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. Exposure: 1/160 second at f/5.6 and ISO 100. Photo © Sam Javanrouh.

What's it like to photograph a well-known public person? I've been asked about my lighting setup for the above photo of Peter Mansbridge, a well-known anchorman of a Canadian news broadcast. Here's a brief breakdown:

I had about half an hour to set up and 20 minutes to shoot Mr. Mansbridge. He is a very important figure in Canada and I was quite nervous! I didn't have an assistant, which meant I needed to carry minimum gear and I needed to shoot very fast. I decided to shoot with my favorite portrait lens, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, on the Canon EOS-5D Mark II.

Here's what my lighting setup looked like:




For my key light I wanted to try the new Adorama Flashpoint DG600 Monolight, available exclusively from Adorama, which I was sent a while back to test. I didn't have a softbox for it so I used my handy Lastolite Trigrip as a diffuser instead. It's a 300 w/s unit which I set to 80 percent output. For fill I used a Nikon SB-900 flash unit (current model available at Adorama: Nikon SB-910) set to 1/32 power through a Lastolite Ezybox softbox. Finally, I used the Canon 550EX flash (current model available at Adorama: Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT) with a snoot set to 1/16 power to create a small and focused light on the backdrop.

Related AdoramaTV Video: How to mix wireless speedlights with studio strobes in the same photo using PocketWizard Radio Triggers.




Here's the backdrop light and key light:


And backdrop and fill light, without the key light:



This setup allowed me to shoot at f5.6 so I could keep Mr. Mansbridge sharp but throwing the background out of focus. Shutter speed was at 1/160 second, which was the maximum sync speed for the DG600.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Adorama Flashpoint DG600's performance, considering it costs less than half of each of the other two flash units. The recycle time was very fast which allowed me to shoot many frames in sequence without having to wait. And the LED modelling light which can be adjusted indepently is a nice touch. I wish the sync speed would be higher, but for the price and for shoots like this 1/160 second is more than enough.


And here are two more of the selected pictures from the shoot.



The above article originally appeared in the blog A Daily Dose of Imagery, and was used with the author's permission.

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