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Available for local and destination weddings and portrait sessions.  Each project is different, so contact me for an exact quote.  Portrait sessions start at $300 and wedding coverage begins at $3,000.  Typical wedding fees are about $5,000 - Send an email to me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shooting Weddings with Lightsphere

This week, I received a great email/photo of a wedding group, so I though I'd take some time to talk about shooting weddings with a Gary Fong Lightsphere.

The Lightsphere, currently, comes in two models -- the Lightsphere-2 and the Lightsphere-Universal. Both also come in Clear and Cloud versions. Previously, I've done videos showing the differences and giving my recommendations.

The differences between the Lightsphere-2 Cloud and Clear:

The Lightsphere-Universal:

First, I should say that the above videos reflect my opinion and are just guidelines -- your goals and shooting style may lead you to other opinions.

I'd like to share two group photos.

This image appears on Gary Fong's website and was shot by Anne Ruthmann. Here is a post that Anne made, in answer to how she captured the image.


Anne Ruthmann , Aug 07, 2006; 11:36 a.m.

I'm pretty sure my settings were manual mode, ISO 800, Shutter 1/60, f2.8 on a 5D with at 24mm.. handheld. The flash was pointed straight up with no dome on the Lightsphere and the flash on E-TTL. However, because I was leaning downward toward the guests, the flash was actually pointed at a spot on the ceiling over the guests (think: angle of trajectory). It really was fairly dim lighting and I believe I was slightly underexposed without the flash.

Why f2.8? Because of the lens angle of the subject distance, this was really all I needed... plus I wanted to allow the maximum breadth of light in order to reduce vignetting. ISO 800 with flash doesn't show any noise to speak of, and the shutter speed was for hand holding. Getting everyone into the aisle and taking the shots took about 5 minutes. :-)


The second photo comes from a really talented landscape shooter, making his first foray into wedding photography -- Tom Vadnais.

Hi, Paul –

I had never shot a wedding before, and was more nervous than the bride and groom. To make matters worse, I was faced with a large wedding party in dark church with can lights in a black ceiling on a rainy day. I used my Lightsphere II for every flash shot over two days. The attached image was made with the Clear Lightsphere II on my SB-900 on my D3 at ISO 2500. The only things I have done to the Raw file are a slight increase in contrast in the shadows and a little bit of sharpening. I have done no lightning or darkening of any portion of the image. I am blown away with the uncomplicated even lighting.

The D3 camera settings were: 1/40 sec at f/5 at ISO 2500. I used the
Clear Lightsphere II with the white dome, pointed straight up on a
hotshoe-mounted SB-900.

Tom Vadnais Photography

Finally, I'd like to share an album -- it was shot with a Lightsphere-Universal-Clear, on a Nikon SB-800 (some shots may have been with a SB-600), and a Chromedome -- the Chromedome was generally used when the light was about 10 fee, or more, from the subject -- on the indoor shots.

OK - you can buy Lightspheres directly from -- of course, I'd appreciate it if you bought from Adorama -- links are in the right margin :-)


  1. I watched your video on the Lightsphere Universal. I had been wondering which one would be better and you seem to think that the Universal clear is the best bet - being somewhere in between the Lightsphere II cloud and clear in regards to the luminosity of the sphere's consistency. I am looking to just use one for all situations, indoor - outdoor, low light, low ceiling... ect. would agree that the Lightsphere Univ. clear would be the best overall for all situations?

    Also I didn't see the Univ. clear on - is it only available through Adorama? Because I did see it on there.

    Thanks for your help and the great posts!

  2. Tyler -- My understanding is that they are reformulating the LSU-Clear to be more clear. While the product is not listed on the Gary Fong web site, you can still get one by calling them at 1-800-906-6447 x2, while supplies last -- or from some resellers.

    I still LOVE it.