Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools. (Previous articles can be found here.) This month we ask UK car photographer Nigel Harniman how and why he uses the StripLight.
Let us be clear about one thing: the StripLight is not a strip softbox. Strip softboxes are mounted onto flash heads. StripLights, on the other hand, are special application heads with built-in flash tubes, designed to provide a long and narrow light source with a subtle fall-off. Think of it as a precise and powerful fluorescent lamp, if you will.
StripLights are often used with BarnDoors to create perfectly even highlights with sharp outlines. It is for this reason that many car photographers wanting razor sharp reflections in the car body use them. This is also where Nigel Harniman and his shots of Demented (his beloved, custom-made Kawasaki VN1500) enter the picture.
To give Demented the respect it deserves, Nigel decided to shoot it in a dank, severe setting amid broken light and fractured metals and water, also known as the Lawrence Recycling plant in Kidderminster. He then used a medium-sized StripLight to make its shapes and details stand out from the murky environment.
“StripLights are very good at front lighting hard, shiny objects,” says Nigel. “You get these clean, white highlights that accentuates the form of the object you’re shooting. In the case of Demented, most of the highlights in its body were created using a single, medium-sized StripLight. The highlights in the chrome, the shape of the fuel tank, the details in the wheels, the texture in the seat, all these little streaky details were created using that single StripLight.” (more…)