Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Technique Tuesday: Z-Ray Lighting! ZAP, BAM, POP!

Good Morning Everybody,
We got back in town late last night. We were with our friends, Kent and Sarah Smith, in Columbus, Ohio over the weekend and saw a great concert last night by the incredible and ever-inspiring Celine Dion. Sure, we're dragging a little this morning, but not enough to stop a ZAP, BAM, POP Z-Ray Lighting tutorial for this week's Technique Tuesday.

Last week during my Master Class, I pulled out dual barreled, Krytonite powered, "Z-Ray" gun and produced some very cool portraits for the class. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit about the Krytonite part, but my Z-Ray gun does say Dual Xenon on the side and that sounds pretty cool to me too.

Anyway, all joking aside, a least for the rest of this post, let me tell you what I'm up to. I picked up the idea of using a super powered flash light at one of the conventions earlier this year, bought myself the same model, and have been having a real kick with it ever since.

In this video, I'll show how to use a continuous light source - a high intensity flash light - to produce some gorgeous portraits. The technique is easy, but you do need to know the "secret handshake" to make the images come out just right. Hit PLAY below and check out some examples and what I believe to be very cool images. I even throw a little twist in at the end that I think you will enjoy. -David

Light to Brinkman Dual Xenon Z-Ray ray gun right here.


  1. very interesting video.could you
    tell us what apreture & shutter ,
    iso was used in this kind.
    thank you
    Studio One Photography

  2. Thanx as always ...

    Have you tried to gel or diffuse the flashlight ?

    If so...what worked and what didn't


  3. Great video David.
    Have you thought about putting your videos in QuickTime format so we can download them for future reference?



  4. Great video. A good reminder of the capability of lightroom to correct selective colors.

  5. hey anon there are ways of saving flash videos just google it, the author choose this format because most browsers have flash already (no need for video pluggins) and also flash videos are the standard for streaming.


  6. I simply wanted to tell you what a gift you are. A friend on myspace directed me to you because you were so kind to share lighting techniques.. but I see not only your kindness but your talent. I am so very excited to get to know you and read and view your work and teachings. Thank you so much for blessing us with your amazing gifts! :) love, Shannon

  7. Nice tutorial and great photos. The ideas you have are amazing.
    I have one thing to put my finger on, and thats the flowers. Flowers are not supposed to hang upside down, especialy roses ;)

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Thanks for the tutorial David !. I cant wait to try this one on the field!.

    I was wondering what program you use to manage all your images. Do you exclusively use lightroom ? or another software such as aperture?

  10. Thank you for the Z-light tip, I went out and got one of these and it makes for some great photos. I was pretty impressed with the amount of light it puts out.

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  17. David,

    It looks like you've been spammed (the 6 posts above).

    My "Z-Ray" was delivered today, and there was something that immediately caused me concern. The packaging and the documentation both contain the warning:

    To prevent damage to eyesight, never look into spotlight when light is on. Do not shine light into the face of someone else.

    Now, obviously, there's a distance at which this warning is not necessary, but it concerns me anyway.