What is a strobe and/or strobist?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, May 28, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    I can't tell the difference between a strobe light, and the usual type of flash people use. Is a strobe a special type of studio light, or what? Is there any good websites to talk about artificial lighting on a basic level? Like what types of lighting kits are out there and whatnot?

    I'd like to know more about it. Also, do any of you professional photographers have to worry about using strobes around epileptic models/subjects? This is a serious question, as someone I take photos of has epilepsy, and I don't want to give them a seizure. I think its the type of strobe that is constant, not just one flash every now and then, though.
     
  2. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    The term 'strobe' and 'flash' are interchangeable.

    The term 'strobist' specifically refers to the cult (and I use that term lovingly!) of people devoted to lower-cost, extremely portable flash solutions using speedlight/speedlite/etc types of flash units. There's a website: Strobist which, even if you don't want to go down that particular route, has ample information that applies regardless of how you decide to ultimately do lighting.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    In common non-technical use there is no difference in "strobe" and "electronic flash". Even just "flash" rarely refers to anything other than an electronic flash these days.

    The man who invented the modern electronic flash Harold "Doc" Edgerton, AKA "Papa Flash", did so in an effort to make revolving dynamo's visible as still objects. His original designs were for a repeating flash and he called it a "stroboscope". They found many uses. Later he worked on short duration single flash devices. These are the forerunners of today's electronic flash. Dr. Egerton was involved in every major developement in electronic flash from its inception untill his death.

    "Strobe" is a contraction of "Stroboscope" and in certain technical communication refers to the repeating devices rather than the single flash devices. Something that "strobes" is something that flashes repeatedly at a regular interval.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Hot shoe mounted flash units (strobes) are also known a Speedlights.

    So strobe, flash, speedlight can all mean the same thing.

    Speedlights aren't studio strobes though. Studio strobes have more power and typically have to be plugged into a wall outlet and require a light stand. There are portable power modules for sudio strobes that allow them to be used on location sans a generator.
     

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