Gary Fong Lightsphere


Vee12

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Aug 13, 2010
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#1
Hi,

Has any one tried shooting with "Gary Fong Lightsphere" for outdoor portraits?

Thanks.
:cool:
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#2
Gary Fong Lightsphere wastes battery when used outdoors. The purpose of a Gary Fong Lightsphere is to spread light all over the place so it can bounce off walls and ceilings to produce a softer light. When used outdoors, spreading light all over the place where it can't bounce back just wastes your flash power, and it doesn't soften shadows if the light doesn't bounce back from anything.
 

daredevil123

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Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#3
If your portraits are posed, get a couple of light stands with umbrellas and a couple of speedlights.
 

Vee12

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Aug 13, 2010
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#4
Thanks for the info -:)
 

surrephoto

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Jan 14, 2009
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#6
Contrary to popular believe, i used gary fong lightsphere for about a year or so (before going more or less full natural light for outdoor portraiture)... and I think it's very good for that purpose.

Nothing is really like a nice soft morning light bouncing-off/emerging from multiple angles (eg clouds, wall, ground etc). Gary Fong Lightsphere gets quite close and at comfortable range about 50 mm to 85 mm it works extremely well. Unless you shoot with long lenses, it's really not a problem.

Try positioning the GFLS 45 degrees down facing the ground to get nice chin fill. This is something that bounce cards will never achieve well.
 

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brapodam

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#7
Contrary to popular believe, i used gary fong lightsphere for about a year or so (before going more or less full natural light for outdoor portraiture)... and I think it's very good for that purpose.

Nothing is really like a nice soft morning light bouncing-off/emerging from multiple angles (eg clouds, wall, ground etc). Gary Fong Lightsphere gets quite close and at comfortable range about 50 mm to 85 mm it works extremely well. Unless you shoot with long lenses, it's really not a problem.

Try positioning the GFLS 45 degrees down facing the ground to get nice chin fill. This is something that bounce cards will never achieve well.
But the bounced light will be the colour of the ground, and if it's grass or something it won't look very nice. You also have to play around with the angles of (bounced) light depending on where you place your flash. You could just as well point the flash head without any modifier at the ground and it would work the same way, except you don't waste a huge amount of light.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#8
Contrary to popular believe, i used gary fong lightsphere for about a year or so (before going more or less full natural light for outdoor portraiture)... and I think it's very good for that purpose.

Nothing is really like a nice soft morning light bouncing-off/emerging from multiple angles (eg clouds, wall, ground etc). Gary Fong Lightsphere gets quite close and at comfortable range about 50 mm to 85 mm it works extremely well. Unless you shoot with long lenses, it's really not a problem.

Try positioning the GFLS 45 degrees down facing the ground to get nice chin fill. This is something that bounce cards will never achieve well.
But the bounced light will be the colour of the ground, and if it's grass or something it won't look very nice. You also have to play around with the angles of (bounced) light depending on where you place your flash. You could just as well point the flash head without any modifier at the ground and it would work the same way, except you don't waste a huge amount of light.
I believe surrephoto is referring to tilting the flash head at 45° with the GF LS attached, not pointing 45° downward unless the flash head is broken.
considering the amount of flash light that subject receive from bounce off other surface areas compare to the intensity of the flash hitting subject directly, the bounce light will be insignificant.
 

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nextis

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Apr 24, 2009
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#9
A lot of people are using the gary fong lightsphere under open shade and it serves them pretty well. You may use an umbrella or big softbox or u may use other things that wont make u lose flash power as much, but with a gfls u will travel light and if it serves the purpose why not. Do not be restricted by common and logical understanding. Experiment and u may have the photo that you wanted that is unique in nature. use a torchlight if u have to, use a car headlamp or any other light source. modify it with tissue or anything else u may come up with. thats the fun of photography. Give it a try bro... u may like it or may not. :)
 

brapodam

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#11
In open shade I guess it will work fine, but when you have sun coming in on your model, your flash will have a hard time trying to make a difference in your photo, unless your flash is very close to the subject.
 

surrephoto

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#12
But the bounced light will be the colour of the ground, and if it's grass or something it won't look very nice. You also have to play around with the angles of (bounced) light depending on where you place your flash. You could just as well point the flash head without any modifier at the ground and it would work the same way, except you don't waste a huge amount of light.
Unfortunately a bare flash will only fill shadows from the floor bounce and not light that comes directly from the lightsphere. The effect is completely different. Common sense tells us to avoid floors and walls that have an overly unfavourable tint. How you treat colours in post will help loads too.

I believe surrephoto is referring to tilting the flash head at 45° with the GF LS attached, not pointing 45° downward unless the flash head is broken.
considering the amount of flash light that subject receive from bounce off other surface areas compare to the intensity of the flash hitting subject directly, the bounce light will be insignificant.
Apologies for being unclear, but what I really meant was really 45 degree downwards, but obviously only workable in portrait orientation if you have your flash attached to the hotshoe.

As insignificant/useless as the lightsphere seems to be in broad daylight, it provides more light than one would expect especially at moderately close range.
 

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brapodam

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#13
Unfortunately a bare flash will only fill shadows from the floor bounce and not light that comes directly from the lightsphere. The effect is completely different. Common sense tells us to avoid floors and walls that have an overly unfavourable tint. How you treat colours in post will help loads too.



Apologies for being unclear, but what I really meant was really 45 degree downwards, but obviously only workable in portrait orientation if you have your flash attached to the hotshoes.

As insignificant/useless as the lightsphere seems to be in broad daylight, it provides more light than one would expect especially at moderately close range.
Yup, it all depends on how you shoot. I doubt people who use a 70-200 for their portraiture can use your technique.
 

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