Using strobe lighting in photography

How do you use strobe lighting and what are the best strobe lights for photography?

Photography is an artform - and as such, there aUsing re always ways in which you can develop and grow your craft. One incredible way in which you can become more advanced in photography is by learning about different pieces of equipment used to create a diverse range of photographs.

In this article, we will look at strobe lights and how you can use them to create beautiful photographs, plus how they compare to speedlights. Read on to discover more.

What are strobe lights in photography?

Strobe lighting is used to create a short burst of light. The light created is much brighter and more powerful and the burst much shorter than the kind found when using traditional flash. You can adjust the output based on whether you need it lower for close-ups or higher for distance shooting.

Strobe lights are also very reliable, with a quick recycle time. They also boast full power output of between 100 and 1000 watts.

Strobe lighting in photography

How can you use strobe lights?

Strobe lighting is most commonly used in studio settings and the benefits of doing so on your own shoot cannot be overstated.

Great for distance shooting, the powerful lighting option allows you to place your subject further away while still letting them be beautifully lit. This is especially useful for group shots, or shots where the surroundings are as important as the main subject of the composition.

You can also use strobe lights to create effects without losing any image quality - use strobes to create a soft or feathered look to the lighting by sending light through a diffuser.

Strobe lights also allow you to adjust the colour temperature, giving your images more accuracy of colour, which is an essential attribute for those working in product photography.

Strobe lights vs speedlights

Using a speedlight in photography

Speedlights allow you to experiment with a range of different techniques, such as freezing moments in time. 

So, should you choose strobe lights over commonly used speedlights? A speedlight is an add-on photography flash which will fit into your camera’s hot shoe slot. Speedlights also give off a short burst of light which you, as the photographer, can control the intensity of. Speedlights are often combined with photography umbrellas and softboxes to create the perfect level of light.

Compared to strobe lights, however, speedlights are a lot more portable and can be used more easily on remote shoots. They provide a cheaper option for shooting either in a studio or on location. Speedlights are also often quite a lot cheaper than strobe lights, making them more achievable for amateur photographers trying to improve their work and take on some professional jobs.

On the downside, speedlights do not allow for as much adjustment as strobe lighting - you cannot adapt the colour temperature to make a product more appealing, which makes the overall impact less desirable in some cases.

If portability and cost are no object, then strobe lights are an excellently powerful choice which can overpower the sun itself to create incredible photography moments.

Armed with this knowledge, we hope that you can go and create some gorgeous photographs with strobe lights for that added impact.