Lights, Wisdom, and Human Rights


This one is a juicy one! So last time I promised to tell you about how I made my decision on what lighting I chose to go for. Here goes. BUT FIRST RULE #1!!!! This is my explanation, my reasoning…not it for everybody. Rule #2 This is not to naysay any specific brand. Keep that in mind…and we’ll be fine. Savvy?

So my evaluations came down to 2 brands. Profoto…the ultra elite super high end lighting manufacturer….and in the right corner (wearing the yellow trousers) Alien Bee’s; the versatile, uber cost effective lighting guru’s. Both puts out great quality. I have alway rented Profoto’s…Always. They are super tough, way easy to use and it doesn’t suck dropping the name of Profoto on a shoot. That being said a good friend of mine Michael Hawkins invested in Alien Bee’s and has thrown out some amazing work as well.

So what the deuce? Why would anybody pay close to 4 times as much for another brand?? If you mention a newer/cheaper brand like Alien Bee’s to a old shooter veteran you will more than likely get some “grow the hell up little boy” look and speech. But you have have to remember the number 1 rule of taking criticism, where is this coming from? Old Schoolers that shot in purist days of film…yes film, had other things to consider! No photoshop, lightroom, aperture, color correction. Lights had serious differences…specifically color tint. Low end lights might give off a green or yellow hue. (Not saying AB’s at all) This was not too easy to fix back in the day of dark rooms. Now if something is a little too yellow…color correct one and then apply to the whole batch. Yay! takes about 45 seconds.

So am I talking trash about Profoto….no….HECK NO. I love them, would love to own them. But do you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE the best in the world or get your junk off the field kid? No. Some of best work I have seen has actually been done with Alien Bee’s. So that’s who I went with. 4 heads, a ring flash, and more stands, power packs, softboxes and umbrellas than you can shake a stick at…and haven’t regretted it one bit. I’m not gonna have to mortgage a kidney if a head drops. They are not some trash or garage sale quality…they are built smart, but cost effective. So perhaps you have some other logic or reasoning? Let us know. We are a community with a special camaraderie. Don’t be shy.

I’m a big strobist fan as well…make it if you can! Guy’s like Joe McNally and John Hobby make a good living with smaller strobes. It really all comes down to what you want to accomplish your goals with my friends. Hope this was helpful.

And NOW because I love you…a few cool video’s for your eye’s delight. Both are def worth the watch. First is Andrew Zuckerman’s “Wisdom Project” You can find it on Apple’s site HERE.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Seth Brau recently completed the rather daunting task of bringing the words to life with motion graphics.

Keep the Faith

BRAUN….and Patton
Dallas Based Photographer

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