Lighting an F-16 with 400 Watt Strobes

In this video, photographer Jay P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens takes us behind the scences of a very interesting shoot he recently completed of a fighter pilot and his F16 on Luke’s Air Force Base in Phoenix using several strobes.

Shooting fighter jets is always fun – in the skies or on the ground (it even rhymes). More seriously though, an F16 is a large object. Lighting it correctly on a bright sunny day is not a simple task and finding an angle that works is another task (Morgan can’t move the airplane and the background is not ideal, plus its really hot, making the whole thing that much more complicated.

These problems are not unique to this shoot – in many cases you will find yourself trying to shoot against the sun and having to light a large object. Morgan used a brute force method – going for 4 different 400 Watt strobes (from Photoflex) to light the entire F16 – but as you can see from the video – they were quite necessary.

You can find lot more lighting tutorials on our photography lighting section here on LensVid, and you can find all of Jay P. Morgan’s videos here on LensVid on the following link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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