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As you all know, we are physically located in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA and as such, we are in our peak fall foliage season right now!  The colors are splendid, the fall air is getting it's chill, and we all know that winter is coming up fast.

In preparation for the long dark cold winter, we are banking new video content as fast as we can create it!  We are creating the content we will need to release the new Outdoor Lighting course!  

So while you wait for that course to go live (Winter, 2019-2020), may we suggest you use this time NOW to get up to speed on your indoor studio lighting work?  Remember: the real key to understanding lighting outdoors is to understand lighting indoors first!


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How to avoid burning down your photo studio!

Did you know that each and every time you use a studio light there is one thing you must do each and every time without fail?

This action is so important that if you fail to do it you could cause a fire?

Today, we are going to talk about shipping covers.

 A shipping cover is a protective cap that goes over the front of your studio light. The cap protects the strobe tube and modeling lamp. The cap itself is usually plastic.

For those with lots of studio experience, you know exactly what I am about to say:

Never plug in a studio light without first removing the shipping cover. Ever.

A melting shipping cover on an Alien Bee B800 studio light at SOPHA

Let’s talk about why.

If you plug in the studio light with the cover still attached, the light might be turned on and start to heat up. And that heat will be trapped by the shipping cover, causing it to melt.

On an Alien Bee with its exposed lamp design, the melting cover will destroy the strobe...

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How to fix lens flare in the studio

A common question we get here at our studio is how to fix lens flare created by studio lights.

Our first response, a reflexive one, is to use a lens hood. Often the photographer is stepping a bit too far forward on their set and their lens is catching the side of their main light. The light streaks across the front of the lens, causing lens flare.

But today's example is far worse, and pretty common here at our rental studio. Let's take a peek.

The photographer came into the office and showed me this image of his son:


 Yup, that is lens flare. I would call this is a level seven lens flare emergency.

Step One: Clean your lens.

In this case, the photographer's front lens element was... dirty. "Filthy" is another word, as would be "well handled". It had more finger prints and smears than the arts and crafts table at the Children's Museum.

I took a moment to clean it thoroughly with a bit of Eclipse cleaning fluid and a PEC pad.

In this next image you can see that we have...

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