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How Would You Light This

How Would You Light This

Dyna_JeremFIN_lightI am lucky to have an incredible working relationship with a slew of the people I get to photograph. One of my favorites is Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. We first met when she fronted The Agonist, where we did an editorial shoot for Outburn Magazine, and quickly became fast friends and fans of each others work. Every time The Agonist, or Kamelot (of whom she sometimes does guest vocals for) would tour in the area, we would do a photo shoot. Since then she has moved on from The Agonist and onto the legendary Arch Enemy. This shoot however, was during a Kamelot tour. We were able to use the main stage of the Palladium in Worcester, MA for this shoot, she had an incredible dress (as it went with the Kamelot song and video) she is featured in) and a mask as a prop. We shot a bunch of shots of her standing, around a drum riser, trying to avoid getting it in the photo. Then she had the idea of sitting or lying down on the drum riser. I had her lay down, make the dress hang a bit to give a floating illusion. I boomed the rimelite grandbox above her and put two dynalite uni400s with parabolic reflectors about 5 feet on either side behind her at 45 degrees in to give even more separation from the background and a halo of light around her.  We shot a bunch with the set up but this is by far my favorite shot of the bunch.  The drum riser was taken out in post, but aside from that an minor contrast/saturation tweaks, this is pretty much what it looked like out of camera. Its one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, and was well received by fans and friends alike. Alissa is multitalented in everything she does, so it goes with out saying, incredible singer, artist, writer, and model. She always brings something different to every shoot, always has incredible ideas, and always has us work on both of our ideas together to come up with an incredible final image. I know anytime I get Alissa in front of my lens, we are going to create something incredible and iconic together, and I know Dynalite will always be the lighting I use to capture it. ~ Jeremy Saffer

Rick Friedman

Rick Friedman

Rick Friedman

See More On Rick’s Website

Rick Friedman has been a photojournalist for over three decades. Based in Boston, he travels the world for numerous publications, corporations, advertising assignments and film and television productions. His published work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Nature, USA Today, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Stern, Discover and many other publications. He has produced over 75 book and magazine covers. Rick is a CreativeLive instructor, Chimera Visionary, and a Dynalite VIP Rick has been teaching his “Location Lighting Workshops™” for the past 8 years across the US and UK. Rick has taught thousands of people his style of practical lighting.

I have been using Dynalite strobes my entire career.  My first Dyanlite pack is over  30 years old and it still works perfectly.  On a major assignment I will use Dyanlites ranging in age from my oldest pack to my new Dynalite Baja.  The color is always perfect and the light output is always consistent.  One less thing to worry about on assignment.

Rick has photographed every presidential candidate from President Jimmy Carter to President Barack Obama. “Rick Friedman on the Campaign Stump” is a Photo District News article discussing Rick’s coverage of presidential campaigns. The books Hillary Clinton, Infra Structures, and The Gourmet Prescription are a few of his projects. Rick is the past President of the Boston Press Photographers Association. He has won awards from the American Society of Media Photographers, the National Press Photographers Association, and the Boston Press Photographers Association. He has work in the permanent collection of Harvard University and the Newseum in Washington, DC and has had solo shows at Boston City Hall and the Boston Public Library in addition to having his work displayed in numerous other shows.

“One of the greatest things about being a freelance photojournalist is the great variety of assignments I get to cover and the places I get to go. I could be covering the President one day, spending the following day with a noted scientist or professor (or both) and the following day over seas on a travel story. I truly have the best job in the world”.

You can follow Rick on the following social media outlets



Introducing the Baja B4

Introducing the Baja B4


bajab4dealerblackBaja B4

6 ƒ-stop Range • 1/10 ƒ-stop increments • Wireless Triggering • 400 Watt second Battery Powered
Digital Power Control • 550 – 800* Full Power Flashes • AC / DC Power



  Dynalite, America’s leading manufacturer of lightweight, portable flash equipment, just released their new totally wireless Baja B4 compact flash. The powerful 400 watt second Baja B4 is packed with unexpected features and performance in a battery powered wireless controlled strobe. Inspired by years of working side-by-side with on-location shooters demanding a better portable flash solution, the Baja B4 delivers more than expected.

  At first glance, the Baja B4’s well laid out control panel clearly gets your attention. From the big LED screen, logically placed buttons and dual function control knobs it’s easy to jump in and start shooting. Light output is easily increased or decreased in 1/10th stop increments with the micro-controller dual-function power dial. A power indicator display just below the main LCD screen gives up to the shot details on the rechargeable Li-ion battery’s status, so you never miss a shot. In addition, a similar power dial for the modeling light provides light level control of the LED modeling light.

  On-location or in the studio, the Baja B4 sports a impressive 550 full manual flashes on one fully charged battery. With a quick battery change (optional extra battery), you can be back in the action in seconds, while the other battery charges in less than 5 hours. Pumping out an impressive flash duration of 1/500 to 1/12,800th of a second, the Baja B4 can stop action meeting the demands of most fashion and sports shoots. With a 6 ƒ-stop aperture range in 1/10th step increments, the Baja B4 accommodates the sophistication of critical exposure control with repeatable light output and color temperature consistence.

  Sophisticated features such as the fast flash duration mode (T-Mode), provides a quick and repeatable way to select the correct flash duration for high speed flash photography. In stroboscopic mode (C-Mode), it’s possible to select 5, 10 or 15 flashes per second to capture multiple movements of a subject with the flash output power of the Baja B4. Other features such as built-in optical slave, audible flash indicators, Pyrex glass dome and metal light stand swivel mount round out the features.

  In addition, the Baja B4 includes a 2.4Ghz power control wireless triggering system. The receiver with status indicators, mini-channel display plugs directly into the control panel of the Baja B4, while the hot shoe transmitter with full power control buttons and dials mounts directly on the camera. Up to six separate groups of flash units can be controlled with 16 selectable channels per group. Selecting which flash unit fires and at what power level is fully controlled at the camera position up to 590 feet away at 1/250th of a second shutter synch.

  The Baja B4 accepts the standard Bowens lighting accessories mount, offering the convenience of a wide variety of light shaping tools including the full line of Dynalite soft boxes, reflectors and umbrellas.

*800 flashes possible when connecting to AC Battery Charger 



“How Would You Light This?” With Kevin Ames

“How Would You Light This?” With Kevin Ames


Click here to see more of Kevin’s Work

The goal for the shoot was to have the model completely backlit with enough light wrapping around her to fill in her features. The super white background paper is lit with two Dynalite MP800 power packs each with an MH2065v location head aimed into a V-Flat. Each V-Flat is at a 45º angle to the paper, one on each side.

Each MP800 delivered 400 watt seconds of light. The light from each V-Flat is measured separately with a Sekonic L-758DR incident meter placed in the center of the background with the dome pointed at the camera. The V-Flat on the dark side was moved in until it matched the reading from the brighter side. Once each individual reading is the same, the light is even.

White sheer curtains are hung from another background stand in front of the V-Flats.

A reflected reading of the background (f/22) placed directly on the camera will make it middle gray. Add three stops of light to the exposure by opening up to f/8.0 and the background becomes white.

Vanessa wearing a white tutu is kneeling less than arm’s length from the sheers. The light from the curtains envelops her. The camera is set on Tungsten (Canon) or Incandescent (Nikon) white balance to create “Blue Vanessa.” – Kevin Ames


Vincent Ricardel XP800

Vincent Ricardel XP800

Dynalite XP800: Cutting Through The Mix

By Vincent Ricardel

While on location, the Dynalite XP-800 has proved useful in the most critical of lighting conditions.  That means, cutting through shade, heavy backlight and all the while, utilizing studio quality lighting where access to AC power doesn’t exit.   The following images were made in mountainous and desert conditions that presented numerous lighting challenges.

This set of images were made during the production of an independent short film “AUGUST”  (Directed and Produced by Ian Roach.)  The conditions were challenging due to rain, heavy shade and shifting sunlight.

The following stills are from three scenes where the XP800 served as an effective tool to provide power in shaded and low ambient light conditions.


Scene 1

  Scene 1 was shot following a heavy rainstorm in the middle of a forest in the mountains of West Virginia.  The sun had just emerged with particles of light emerging through a heavy canopy of treetops.

The XP800 powered a 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.  This combination cut right through the open shade and clearly defined my subject against the background.

Scene2 Lighting

Scene 2

Scene 2 was shot in a very dark cabin.  The only existing ambient light was a result of sunlight transmitting through the windows and candlelight on the walls. The shadow areas were still heavy. To compensate, I placed the power supply on the same axis with the sun to supplement the window light giving me more dynamic range in the shadows and highlights. The XP800 powered a 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.


Scene 3

Scene 3 was made in the open shade on the porch of the same cabin.  The XP800 powered the 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.  It provided the right amount of fill light to define the tones and mood of this image.

Shooting in the desert also has its challenges, dust, heat, glaring sunlight and the indigenous wildlife that makeup a rich topical landscape. While my time in Joshua Tree was limited, I set out to make a series of images of what ended up being a long and arduous day of shooting.

I ran my equipment hard.   I had to be mobile but have enough power to override the dominating sunlight.  Again, I chose to use one of my older Dynalite power supply packs, a 1000xr with the newer 2060 flash head and a 35’ Grand Softbox.   All powered by the XP800 power supply.     I started my journey about 8am and ended sometime around 6:30pm.  Most of my shots required a heavy output of power.  Shooting at ISO 100 my prime settings were between f11-f16 back-lit by the sun.    My 1000xr was almost at full capacity and the XP800 handled the heavy pace of shooting flawlessly.   I never had to change out the battery.  That says a lot.

Needless to say, by day’s end my equipment had taken it’s fair share of abuse in the elements and had also taken on a new hue of color from the build up dust and desert debris…  nothing a damp cloth and dust gun could not solve.

“For me. It’s all about cutting through the mix…..shade, overcast and back light. This is where the XP800 excels.  It provides the juice to solve these those challenges.   The saving grace is that the battery life is excellent.

Dynalite’s serve me well. They’re light, reliable and tough. It’s just good stuff.


Scene 3 a


Scene 2

Scene 2


Scene 1_final

Scene 1 final


Coming Soon Vincent’s account on shooting with the XP-800 on location in the Desert