Back in the Studio Again

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

After a stretch of shooting with LED and Fluorescent continuous lighting, it felt good to get back to working with studio lighting that had enough power to shoot photographs at f/11 and ISO 200—without pushing either the lights or the camera.

pam.inred In this case it was with an affordable ($139) Godox DS200 that’s built to a standard commensurate with its price point but that’s not to say it’s poorly made. The monolight is made from rugged metal and composite materials and should take a lot of abuse when used on location shoots and seems a nice fit for wedding photographers because at a little over three pounds, it lightweight enough for location work. The DS200 has a memory feature that remembers the power setting you set so the next time you turn on the light, the LCD display shows the same power as before, which is goof for consistency as well as fast set-up the next time.

I photographed Pamela Simpson against a Savage Translum background, which is made from frosty Mylar. I placed a DS200 monolight behind the backdrop with a Godox QT600 ($399) with Westcott Apollo Strip softbox mounted as the main light with a 32-inch circular reflector serving as fill. Camera was a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Lumix G VYario 14-45/F3.5-5.6 lens (at 45mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.

The Godox DS200 is so powerful that, in this application, I had to set it on its lowest power setting so as not to blow out the highlights in the subject’s platinum blonde hair. All of these lights work well in low-key environments too and their output is so powerful that even when shooting at f/8 the monolights were set at one-half power or less producing near instantaneous recycle, which is useful for shooting when a subject’s all-important expression or pose may be fleeting.

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If you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from with new copies selling $17.50, just a few bucks more than used ($15.34.)