Lighting is really the magic trick up a photographer’s sleeve. We can manipulate light to create some truly stunning images, only if we know how to use it properly. Conquering light can be an expensive endeavor though and you can find yourself spending a pretty penny to amass a collection worthy of Hollywood film set, but it doesn’t have to be. A couple of speedlights can be more than enough to create some dramatic and wow-worthy images any time of the day and at any place.


Gary Fong, creator of one of the most recognizable flash accessory in the photography industry, the Lightsphere, shows us in the following video, how to acheive some pretty dramatic lighting on the middle of a trade show floor. If you’ve ever been to a trade show, you’ll know that the bright overhead fluorescent light is not flattering in the least, and there is very little room to maneuver due to the crowds of people. You need some magic in the form of lighting to make someone look good and not much space to do so. Gary shows that using only a set of speedlights and a few lighting accessories, you can go from this image:

Image via screencap

to this image:

Image via Screencap

Watch this quick demonstration,Achieve Lighting In Awful Places With Gary Fong”

Using high-speed flash, Gary was able to turn the background completely dark with a lovely red glow in the model’s hair. To achieve this, he placed one speedlight with a Snoot and a Power Grid in front of the model and one behind her with a Snoot and a Red Gel to create the look.

I love this video by Gary, and I love how he transformed the terrible background of a trade show floor to something so pretty and dramatic. Personally, Gary’s Lightsphere really helped me better understand how to use my flash and how to use light to my advantage when I was a new photographer. Now that I have a much better grasp of light, I still love the simplicity and the portability of his products.

You can see more of Gary’s tutorials and the original article on his website here.

If you are new to lighting, make sure you have a solid foundation of understanding. If you haven’t done so already, check out our SLR Lounge Lighting 101 workshop and these articles to help you get started.