Westcott Spiderlite

portraits with continuous lighting – Westcott Spiderlites   (w/ model: Lauraine)

This striking portrait of Lauraine is a combination of that sparkling mischievousness … and on the techie side, the selective focus of a wider aperture lens, and the flexibility of continuous lighting. The f/1.4 deliciousness of an 85mm – the best lens to change your portrait photography – really brings her eyes to attention.

During this part of the photo session in the studio, I decided to use continuous lighting. Lauraine is new to modeling for the camera and working in the studio, and the lack of flashes popping, helped in keeping the atmosphere gentle. The shorter telephoto length of an 85mm lens, meant I could work close and give instruction on posing. Slight adjustments to her hand or the tilt of her head could be more easily relayed.

Lighting was with two Westcott Spiderlites:

I used the softbox in the background as a hair light and to spill a little bit of light on the background.

The background is this 4 panel room divider screen (purchased via Amazon). Spilling a bit of light on it, and angling it properly, it allowed a hint of color and texture in the background, making the final setting for the portrait series a little more nuanced.

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boudoir photo session w/ Westcott Spiderlite TD6 and TD5 (model – Morgan)

When Morgan contacted me, I knew I wanted her tattoos to feature. (Check her Model Mayhem portfolio.) We met up in my studio for the shoot to try several ideas.

First, I tried ring-flash, but as usual, disliked the look of ring-flash. I just can’t get into it.  A funny thing about style – I like soft light – so I went Westcott Spiderlites (continuous lights) and a large softbox on Morgan, and a Profoto flash head to light up the white paper backdrop. It looked pretty cool.

Then, for the final part of the photo session, I continued working with the Westcott Spiderlites, veering more towards a boudoir photo session. Moving the couch to the middle of the carpeted area of my studio, I set up the lights to give a nice flood of light on her. The pull-back shot shows how they were set up …

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continuous studio lighting – Westcott Spiderlite TD5

When I undertook to do the recent webinars for the Clickin Moms forums, I knew I had to pull a couple of things together to make the webinar presentation as slick as possible. So there were a number of hardware logistics I had to take care of before-hand. The one thing that I knew I would need, was continuous light on me during the webinar. I couldn’t rely on the existing light in whichever studio I was going to broadcast from.

I have previously owned a Westcott Spiderlite kit; one with with three lights. However, when I found it under-powered when using the daylight fluorescent tubes, I sold it again shortly after. Nothing beats the amount of light that a flash unit puts out. But, I needed continuous light now. Looking at my options, I checked out the latest Westcott Spiderlite kits again. They now sport larger and brighter daylight-balanced fluorescent bulbs. The Westcott Spiderlite TD5 (vendor), that I settled on this time, puts out a total of 220W.  Or as it is now described, 220 Total Fluorecent Watts. Quite bright!  This has been updated with the Westcott Spiderlite TD6 (vendor) since.


After the we had wound down broadcasting the latest webinar, we still had use of the studio … and my favorite model, Anelisa, agreed to linger a while so that I can play with the Spiderlite and see what we can come up with.

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