Photography how-to

Photography Lighting equipment

My big ten inch...

My favorite food photography light source and my favorite photography lighting equipment.

In the world of food photography lighting equipment, or any type of commercial photography for that matter, individual photographers tend to gravitate toward favorite tools of the trade. In this case, I’m going to tell you about my big 10 inch. By far, my favorite photographic lighting source is my Norman 10” fresnel spot light.

Here’s the copy from Norman’s Lighting equipment web site: 

My favorite item of photography lighting equipment - FS10 Spotlight

Based on the Bardwell & McAllister spotlights used in the motion picture industry, the FS10 Fresnel Spotlight provides distinctively dramatic effects for portraiture, fashion and commercial photography. Compatible with all Norman Series 900 power supplies, the FS10 has a 2,400 watt-second flashtube and a 10" Fresnel lens. It produces a brilliant, even light with a long throw and controllable beam that goes from flood to spot in a 1/4 turn of the focus handle.

Each FS10 includes a flashtube, 250 watt modeling lamp, 20' cable and stand mount yoke that mates with a 1-1/8" cine stand. An optional #58014 

Here’s the URL:

So why did I choose Norman for my photography lighting equipment?  Was if because of the quality or price?  Not really either…  It was because, when I started in the business, my friend Bill Suttle had that type of strobe and if I bought the same type that he had, I would always be able to borrow his stuff if mine wasn’t working.  That’s why.  Am I sorry?  No, not really.  Norman has proven to be a pretty good company and I blundered onto my big 10”, and now I’m happy as can be.  There may be other substitutes out there that are equivalent, but I’m happy with what I have now. Even if I weren’t, it would be cost prohibitive to chance over now

Photographic Lighting Equipment Qualities

The thing I like most about this light is the type of shadow that it casts, not too sharp and not too soft.  It’s just right…  Sort of like baby bear’s bed.

The quality of light allows you to get the needed texture from a subject without going too far.  It’s sort of hard to describe, you have to experiment with it to see what I’m talking about.

Another reason that the like this light is because the quality, is it’s crisp enough to be able to use mirrors to bounce light accurately.  If the light is too soft, you really have a hard time using mirrors as “controllable” bounce source.

BTW - They cost about a grand and I really don't use any accessories with it. The barn doors really aren't very useful to me.

P o r t f o l i o: These images are from Michael's portfolio. Click on any one of them to take you to see his on-line food photographer's portfolio.

food photograph sample #1
food photograph sample #2
food photograph sample #3
food photograph sample #4
food photograph sample #5
food photograph sample #6
food photograph sample #7
food photograph sample #8
food photograph sample #9
food photograph sample #10


© Michael Ray 2008