What Type Of Light? - Tungsten Vs. Flash
Traditionally, continuous lighting was always used in studio situations. However, in more recent years and in the vast majority of studios, electronic ﬂash is now the norm.Tungsten (continuous) light has the advantage of being a little less expensive than ﬂash, but unfortunately the many drawbacks out-weigh this.The main problem with tungsten light is that it generates more heat than light, the colour of thelight it produces is very yellow and it gets worse as the bulb ages. This means that you have touse either a tungsten balanced ﬁlm or a ﬁlter on your camera to compensate. There is also a very limited range of accessories. Anyone who has spent any time either side of the camera with tungsten light will know all about the heat it produces. Thiscan make your subject very uncomfort-able and due to the brightness, causesthe iris of the eye to close right down. It isoften the case that eyes look more attrac-tive with a larger pupil.The disadvantage of using a standard on-camera type ﬂashgun is that you can’t see the lightinguntil you get your photos back! Studio ﬂash overcomes this problem by using a modelling lamp which should mimic the light pro-duced by the ﬂash tube. This enables you to set up your lighting with the conﬁdence of being ableto see what you are going to get! - WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get! However, various makes of studio ﬂash have modelling lamps which are not always equal. I havealways used the Prolinca/Elinchrom system because of the advantages they give me. Firstly themodelling lamp bulb is exactly in the centre of the ﬂash tube and almost the same size. This meansthat the modelling light is virtually identical to the ﬂash - WYSIWYG! Another big plus of this system is the huge range of accessories, the secure accessory ﬁtting and the performance of the ﬂash. The ﬂash duration is very fast, typically over 1/2000th sec. This meansthat not only will it freeze action, but there are no problems mixing the ﬂash with daylight, and using a fast shutter speed. Recycling times are also very fast, generally less than a second! So I never miss a shot! Big problems can occur if your shutter is faster than the ﬂash!
With bright tungsten light the iris closes right down.With ﬂash the iris does not react fast enough to be a problem.