Amazon Patents Studio Photography on Seamless White Background

Amazon Patent Seamless White Background copy

Amazon has had some pretty revolutionary ideas over the years. The Kindle is awesome. Prime is a great service. And drone delivery may be on the horizon. However, Amazon has gone a bit too far with one of its latest “inventions.”

Amazon Technologies, Inc. (a subsidiary of, Inc.) has legitimately patented studio the common studio photography method of photographing subjects on a seamless white background using a cyclorama and the USPTO actually granted the patent. [Read more...]

Westcott Strobelite Holiday Gear Set

Westcott has yet another solid holiday promotion with its 3-strobe set.  For just a smidgen under $300, you get quite a big kit:

  • (3) 300Ws Strobelites
  • (2) 45″ Umbrellas
  • (1) Barn Door Set w/ 4 Gels
  • (1) 60-degree Honeycomb Grid

Heck, a pretty basic 200Ws strobe from Westcott will set you back over $200.  And they’re selling three 300Ws strobes for $300?  That’s what I call a deal.

You can find the Strobelite Holiday Gear Set at B&H Photo, Amazon and Adorama.

Note that the B&H product page currently says a “150Ws” strobe in the description, but it has the correct model number to the Holiday Gear Set (653H).  I’m shooting them an email for clarification, but they’ve also got it price $20 less than Amazon and Adorama.

UPDATE:  I just confirmed with B&H that the description was incorrect on their site and they are updating it to show that it does include (3) 300Ws strobes.

Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini Lithium

The Vagabond Mini Lithium looks downright tasty for those who use AC monolights on a regular basis.  This new AC converter uses a lithium battery to power your monolights for several hundred shots in the field.

While the Vagabond Mini Lithium was designed with Alienbees monolights in mind, it is also compatible with third party monolights.  There are plenty of other tech specs to read up on, but the best news of all is the price.

The Vagabond Mini Lithium is set to ship with a battery, charger, shoulder strap and light stand mounting clamp for $239.95.  Additional batteries will cost $89.95.

More details at

Zack Arias Light Modifier Run Down

If you happened to catch the Zack Arias session on creativeLIVE last weekend, you saw that one of the things he did was shoot a live comparison of a number of light modifiers, ranging from a 7′ Octabank down to 10-degree grid.

Zack has posted all of those images over on his blog at for everyone to check out.  He’s even put them all together in a .zip file for you to download if you want to look at them on your own screen and compare different modifiers side-by-side.

If you want to learn off-camera lighting, Zack’s creativeLIVE session is a great way to jump in to it.  It’s three days packed full of lighting knowledge with Zack’s practical approach.  While it was free to watch the 3-day session live, you can download all three days for $129 and put them on your PC, iPhone, iPad, or whatever.  I didn’t have the ability to sit through all three days of the sessions non-stop, so I stole it for $79 before the session ended (Lord knows I could use some help with my off-camera lighting).  At $129, this is still an absurd bargain.

You can order Zack’s creativeLIVE session here.

And, again, the light modifier images are on Zack’s blog here.

And just so you know, I’m not pimping this class because I get anything out of it.  I get nothing, and neither Zack, nor anyone else from creativeLIVE asked me to say anything about it. I just want to make sure that anyone who reads Photography Bay and struggles with off-camera lighting is aware of this.

Impact EX100A Monolight Kit Review

Impact EX100A Monolight

The Impact EX100A is a basic 100 watt monolight that’s available from B&H Photo.  The EX100A is also available in a 2 monolight kit with 24″ softboxes, an umbrella, light stands and a carry case.

The EX100A 2-light kit was my first experience with using monolights, and for the $200 I spent on it, I have been pretty pleased.  Sure, it’s not AlienBees, Elinchrom or anything fancy, but not everyone needs (or can afford) those brands. [Read more...]