Products of 2011

I already gave you my products I love for the holidays but today some of the products that I found this year and fell in love with, the list is not that long but I think you will find some products that you will also love and can’t live without….

ExpoImaging Rogue Diffusion Panel (Large)

Not really a surprise when you read this blog regularly. We found the Expoimaging products by accident when a local dealer send me a test package, and to be honest when I tested them the only thing that hit me was…. “wow, if you would describe the perfect product, this would be it” At the moment we have several flash benders in different sizes and I love them all, the bigger ones are great for portrait work or lighting a small group, the smaller ones are wonderful when you need a big of diffusion but still want some edge to the light.

ExpoImaging Rogue 3-in-1 Grid and Color Correction Filters Kit

Softlight is of course wonderful, but sometimes you just want to pinpoint something with your light, well the grid set is amazing for this, add the gel package and you are in light heaven so the say, you can create a really nice “spot” light quality of light, and balance it to the ambient light with the gels, or use the gels as special effects, the possibilities are endless.


Nik¤Software Color Efex Pro 4 Complete Edition

Color Efex Pro 3 already rocked, but man did they improved a lot in Color Efex Pro 4, from the moment I got to play with the first beta I was very impressed by the addition off the vintage looks, but also the detail extractor, dark contrast and the improved Tonal contrast are worth the upgrade. Actually I strongly believe that you will get such an addition to your workflow that you will probably earn back the costs of the plug in within a week in saved time.


Nik¤Software HDR Efex Pro Software

I have to be honest, I never was a real HDR lover, but hanging out with guys like Matt Kloskowski and RC well…. you are infected in some weird way, so it was not long after Photoshop World 2011 that I started to test some HDR stuff myself, but I hate setting up the tripod in many occasions so I decided it was time to test NIK HDR Efex pro to see if it could handle shots that were done handheld on continued shooting… and oh my it does so well I was hooked on shooting HDR within a few days, just shoot 2 stops under, 0, and 2 stops over… load them into HDR Efex Pro and let the plugin do the alignment and choose something you like from the samples, tweak the image and you’re done….. oh it also works with one image (effects will vary).

Kelby¤Training DVD: Light It; Shoot It; Retouch It by Scott Kelby

I always say “learn as much as you can, but from people you can trust”. And with so many best selling books you really can’t go wrong with a book from my friend Scott Kelby. Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it is a really cool book in which you see the light setups in an awesome way, see all the settings, see the shoot and after that also see the retouch. I can really advise you to buy this combination of book and DVD, you will without a doubt get a lot of ideas and tips from this package.


Kelby¤Training DVD: Freeze Motion Photography with Frank Doorhof

Some shameless self promotion 🙂
Also from the Kelbymedia group a release with your truly, about freezing motion. See me work in the studio with a jumping model and some cool light setups, but also on a BMX track with some killer jumps and great freezing motion stuff, including spectacular shots with water and colored gels. And on the topic of self promotion (sorry) you can now also order the new “Live in Boston DVD” via our webshop.


Elinchrom 9.5″ Wide Angle Reflector for Elinchrom

Do you always struggle with white backgrounds ?
Well I’ve tried a lot of background reflectors and although some do work very well, I actually always use these little reflectors. Officially not meant for the background but for the varistar products, but I just love the way they make it very easy to light a white background very evenly, even with one it’s already possible to make a smaller background nice evenly white. I highly recommend these little reflectors.


Honeycomb grids
Love their products and service.
When I looked for a grid for my Elinchrom Maxi Spot Reflector (also a must buy by the way) a student pointed me towards these guys. They send me a black grid and a white grid for the Maxi spot and they work great, pricing is good and service is great. They can even build you a grid for reflectors etc. that don’t have one available yet. Check them out (and say Frank says hi :-))


Pocketwizards TT series
I’m a very practical shooter, when I need a lot of power I will take the Rangers, when I need less I will choose the Quadra and when I need portability I will choose the small flash solutions…. however one of the major drawbacks for me with small flash is the way to control the units, I often shoot manual so sky ports work like a charm, however sometimes E-TTL is just a faster solution and than you are pushed back to a “line of sight system” and trust me that’s not working in many situations. When I got the Pocketwizards TT series I loved them from the start, use a TT1 on the camera (Canon / Nikon) and TT5’s (Canon / Nikon) on your strobes and you can control the strobes with E-TTL, add extra strobes/cameras, and much more… for example hyper sync options which makes it possible to also shoot “big flash”/studio strobes with higher shutter speeds than you would normally be able to (1/125 will be up to 1/1500 and higher on some setups). You can even add the PocketWizard PowerST4 Receiver for Elinchrom RX and control your Elinchrom gear (including raising and lowering output). It’s not the cheapest system out there, but worth every cent.


This year I advised a lot of people to check out the Tethertools products and the responses were overwhelming, everyone loves them. I liked them so much I “forced” my wife to take up the complete line via her company for the Dutch/Belgium market 🙂 Start with the Jerkstopper (you really need this to protect your very fragile port when shooting tethered) and build from there to the tether table and accessories, including great cables for shooting tethered. Tethertools delivers a complete line of products that are all working flawless even in the most demanding situations.


Matt Kloskowski Compositing secrets

Yeah I know my motto is “why fake it, when you can create it” so why would I advise a book about compositing ?
Well you know, sometimes you simply can’t create it and than…. well at least fake it as good as possible and this book gives you all the options, tricks, tips etc. how to do this, add your own creativity and you will within a few minutes make some convincing composites. When Matt send me the book I was not using compositing in my normal workflow (well actually still don’t use it a lot) but I read it right away and somehow was motivated to test-drive some of the techniques on my own images and see there a whole new world opened up for me…. in the mean time I’m teaching a workshop on compositing techniques mainly focusing on the lighting setups and the Photoshop techniques to make the light and mood convincing and my opinion is very simple at the moment, with the techniques we have in Photoshop CS5 it’s so easy to make convincing composites that you really have to add this to your arsenal, there will be a day that you will really need it.


There are of course a lot more products I got to use this year that I love, but these are the ones that can have a real impact on your photography/Photoshop and are not that expensive to boot.

If you like what we do here, and want to support the blog please buy from our affiliate companies by following the links or the links below.

6 replies
  1. Boudewijn Berends
    Boudewijn Berends says:

    He Frank, schiet jij nog wel eens met je Quadra’s? Ik overweeg een set te kopen, of kan ik beter wat SB910’s kopen? Ik zie eigenlijk nooit iets wat je met de Quadra’s hebt geschoten.

    • Boudewijn Berends
      Boudewijn Berends says:

      Bedankt Frank! Quadra’s worden het… Is die LED modellinglamp bruikbaar ook als er iets omgevingslicht is en er bijvoorbeeld een deep octa op zit?

      Ik vraag het jou, want echt een goede review kan ik niet echt vinden.

  2. Greg Cary
    Greg Cary says:

    Hello Frank I don’t speak Dutch so you will just have to suffer thourough my slow sothern accent. I have been watching this year both on Kelby training and your blog post and have enjoyed your style of teaching. I find it entertaining and Highly informative. Have a happy New Year.

Comments are closed.