First Steps

SaberStrip recently made its debut with some talented commercial photographers and a number of curious patrons at Photokina. Emails praising its unique functionality poured in, indicating to us these strip lights may be the next hot item in lighting modifiers.

We are encouraged by the SaberStrip’s first few steps into the photography world.  Venturing far and clearing its own unique path, this light modifier generated hype and interest throughout Europe and the United States. Be there wind, tight spaces, unplanned adventures, or urgent time constraints, the SaberStrip has proven its ability to stand tall and remain steadfast shoot after shoot.

Here are the reviews…

Erik Valind (, a commercial and portrait photographer, took his prototype SaberStrips to Photoshop World in Orlando last year and saw first hand the excitement that was generated. Here is what he has to say:

I’m really excited to be on board with SaberStrip. They were gracious enough to bring me in early and I’ve been shaping light with a couple of the first prototypes for a while now and have been blown away. I shoot primarily on location and rely heavily on my speedlights to allow me mobility and control while in the field. The Saberstrip delivers on both counts and is now a permanent part of my kit. I look forward to sharing photos and videos of me in action with the Saberstrip soon!”

Here is a sample image and a behind the scenes shot from Erik’s last shoot using SaberStrips:

SaberStrips also trekked to Cologne, Germany to become a part the world’s biggest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries, Photokina 2010.

Michael from LightenupandShoot ( sent us a shot from his adventures. We are receiving great feed back from many the Lightenupandshoot attendees. Here is what one of Dublin’s Strobists, Brian McNamara (Brian’s flickr Photostream) had to say:

“I had the opportunity to use a single SaberStrip over the course a three day trip around some of the remotest areas of Irelands countryside.

I’d just like to say, I LOVE the SaberStrip! The quality of light is so different to anything else in my lighting modifier arsenal, it has this beautiful fall off that makes for a very striking portrait. Put it up high, parallel to the ground and pointed towards your subjects eyes and you’ve got the makings of a beautiful image (even better if you’re underexposing your background by a couple of stops).

We were also able to get some nice dramatic results by moving the strip to a vertical position and rotating it around the subject at various angles. Getting it a little closer than 45 degrees with the subject in profile looked particularly awesome. And let’s not forget its potential as a great rim light.

Although the SaberStrip is pretty lightweight (we were assisting each other, hand holding it attached to a light stand with no problems), it also appears to be quite durable. The strip rattled around in the trunk of the car as we drove on some of Irelands worst roads and survived without a scratch. I’m pretty sure it was dropped from about waist height a couple of times as well (by accident of course), which
didn’t seem to do any damage.

On a light stand (the regular kind, not the human kind), the SaberStrip seemed to hold its own in quite breezy conditions. We’re not talking gale force winds here, but it definitely would’ve been enough to topple a medium softbox.”

Jim Sykes ( shared his experience with the SaberStrip, including a few photographs:

“I use my Saberstrip as a super-portable softbox. It illuminates my subjects with a quality of light similar to a softbox but it is much more compact and easier to use on location.  It’s size and shape make it very easy to stow and carry. It is much less susceptible to wind than a traditional softbox or umbrella during an outdoor shoot. I keep one behind the seat in my truck all the time so that wherever I’m at I have easy access to a great soft light source that can be setup in just a few seconds.”

Self-proclaimed lone wolf and accomplished photographer Bryan Leighty ( is as enthusiastic as we are about SaberStrip’s debut:

“First a little background on myself and my shooting style.  I am a die-hard “strobist” shooter.  I work fast and I often love to arrive at a location with a model or client and improvise.  Anything that helps me keep moving and allow for a lot of improvisation gets my stamp of approval.  Working alone allows you a certain freedom, but can come at a cost in regards to lighting setups.

I am constantly in awe of the quality of light from the strips.  The light has direction as well as a predictable gradient fall off.  For portrait work, it shines.

The nature of the shape of the SaberStrip allows me to easily mold and direct the light as I see fit.  Few speedlight modifiers give you this precise of control.
I work alone more often than not, so I have to pack light.  The SaberStrip is perfect for the solo shooter.  They are lightweight, compact, and tough.  I can pack a pair of them in a small bag with a couple stands and hit the road running.  Their small footprint allow me to place light where an umbrella and/or softbox could never go.  Just a bit wider than an sb-900, the Saberstrip can turn the smallest space into a photography studio.

And lastly, Saberstrips are extraordinarily wind-friendly. I have literally lost hundreds of dollars worth of umbrellas and softboxes to the Florida winds. It is the constant battle an off-camera flash photographer has. More times than I would like to admit I have had to settle on lighting setups due to winds and not having an assistant. That has completely changed. I have shot photos in 20 mph winds with my Saberstrips on medium stands with no sandbags and without the slightest wobble. Simply fantastic!

Added together, I have yet to find a modifier that is as versatile and functional as the Saberstrip. They are one of those “must-have’ items as far as I am concerned.”

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