Lightweight Location Lighting Tools

This is my current list of favorite lightweight location lighting tools for photography. I use these things in my workshops to show how you can create beautiful, professional, dramatic images with minimal gear and some training. The beauty of this kit is that it is very compact and portable, and can be used in any location, or in your studio, regardless of plug-in power availability. Cut the cords! 

This would be a great starter kit for someone looking for easy to carry and affordable lighting tools for portrait and editorial lighting projects.

If you're interested in the cameras, lenses, and other gadgets in my camera bag, take a look at this page

I"ll be teaching a course on portrait lighting at the Santa Fe Workshops in April 2018 if you'd like to learn how to use this gear to create dramatic portraits anywhere. 

Below the graphic, each item is linked to the product page on B&H Photo or the manufacturers website, where applicable. 

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Flash Systems

  • Nikon Speedlights - I use Nikon camera systems
  • Yongnuo speedlights for Nikon and Canon. If you are on a budget, they have nearly the same power and features as top of the line Nikon and Canon speedlights. (I haven't yet tested these, but will update as soon as I do)

Light Modifiers

  • LunaGrip speedlight kit - This is the product I invented and is my favorite light modifier!
  • Westcott Scrim Jim kit - scrims are incredibly useful and versatile for creating big window light
  • RogueGrid - a grid modifier for your speedlights to create a nice beam of light in various sizes
  • Sticky Filter colored gels - the fastest and easiest way to gel your flash to match other color temperatures or create moods

Stands and holders

  • GorillaPod - a handy device to hold your flash off-camera and stand or mount it almost anywhere
  • Cullman CB 2.7 mini ball head with flash shoe (for use with Gorilla Pod or other holders)
  • Lastolite extension pole - I prefer a pole to a light stand when on location as it gives me more flexibility and mobility, assuming I have an assistant to hold it.
  • Light Stands - always useful when working solo or in the studio. These are sturdy and affordable.
  • Impact Swivel Bracket - to mount a flash or LunaGrip to a light stand or the extension handle and allow flexible positioning.

Flash triggering systems

  • Yongnuo Flash Transceiver kits. These are feature packed, reliable, and affordable. Buy the kit for your camera system. If you get or have the Yongnuo flash mentioned above, it has a built-in receiver already, so you only need the master transceiver for your camera

Misc Accessories & Gadgets

  • Singh Ray Vari-ND thin mount neutral density filter. I use this for some advanced lighting tricks. Once you learn how to use it, you'll probably find it essential. The variable model adjusts from 2-2/3 to 8 f/stops of darkening. The thin mount is better for use with wide-angle lenses to prevent edge vignetting. This is 77m. Buy the ring size to fit your largest lens, then you can buy step-down rings to adapt it to your other lenses.