Product Review: Lightscoop
Who makes it: Professor Kobré’s Lightscoop
What it is: Accessory for in-camera flash
What we think of it: ♥♥♥ We like it
Tight indoor spaces, little light, dark coated animals. Nightmarish scenario for a photograph right? Right. Though there are plenty of ways to make a scenario like this work using strobes, headlights and flash (all great options by the way); sometimes, it is nice to have a quick and easy solution that doesn’t weigh your camera bag down by 50 pounds and won’t break the bank. Enter this nifty little tool called Lightscoop.
Lightscoop is a small and very simple accessory for your camera that will allow you to use your in-camera flash to bounce light or diffuse it and angle it. Forget direct flash lighting, which is often responsible for washed out faces and dark backgrounds, red or ghost eyes and unflattering light. Lightscoop attaches to your in-camera flash and will mirror the light to bounce off the ceiling or wall depending on the angle you place it at.
When Bill and I were still in photo school, we were taught to light anything and everything in whatever way we could think of. Using household items or simple tools. It is a skill we have never lost, and have often had to use to get out of a tight corner, especially when we don’t have our pro gear around, but would still like a lovely iPhone photo per say. We have been known to use mirrors from my makeup bag, paper napkins or plates, even a plain sheet of paper. The point is, Lightscoop works very similar to these little tricks.
If you are just getting started with your photography and don’t feel ready to try pro-level off-camera auxiliary light, or if you photograph shelter animals, where space is often a luxury and beautiful light even more so; if you are caught without your flash and need to get some quick photos of an event or if you just want better lighting tricks for your small digital camera, we recommend you give Lightscoop a shot. There are three versions available, just pick the one that would match your camera body.
The photo above, though still in need of a bit more fill light (or a closer wall to bounce Lightscoop off of) to bring in more detail in the nose and mouth, notice the eyes; a lovely and natural yellow, versus a glowing neon green or red. When photographing animals, especially those with dark coats, eyes are very important. Because of the indirect lighting created by Lightscoop, RT’s pupils look neutral and not slit-like dilated.
We tested Lightscoop in a more challenging way to put it through the ringer, indoors, with mixed lighting, as natural light was fading outside and photographing four black-coated animals. We used different angles, and we definitely have a preference for the side, wall-bounce light (see top photo), since it is softer and more directional. It will, by no means do the work of a professional off-camera flash, but we do find it to be a very smart tool for photo enthusiasts that want to start to take their photography to the next level with a quick, affordable and easy tool.
The photograph above was taken with the Lightscoop bouncing off the left wall, close to Corbin. This looks more natural and directional, creating lovely catchlights in the eyes and soft highlights to define the features of the face.
In the case above, the Lightscoop was bouncing off the farthest wall on the right side. The wall in this case is further away, so the effect is more diffused and not as strong or interesting as the first one. The closer the wall or ceiling you are bouncing your light off of, the stronger the light source will be.
In this last photo above, the Lightscoop was bouncing light off the ceiling. We have higher ceilings at home, and though the light is nice and soft, it is not strong or close enough to bring light into the eyes.
Want to give Lightscoop a try? They have been very kind to offer our readers 15% off any Lightscoop purchase using the code Pets15 (offer valid through December 15th, 2015). Give it a go and get a taste for better light. Make sure you visit their website for handy tutorials and demos on any Lightscoop product too.