Sunday, May 27, 2012

HER MAJESTY THE NORMAN TRILITE


One of the key trademark looks of world class glamour photographers has always been their lighting. You have your soft lights, hard lights, diffused lights, spots, kickers, strips, beauty dishes etc. etc., but there is one light that has been unsurpassed in its ability to retouch *any* face when used correctly. It is a secret weapon of many a masters and they are keeping absolutely quiet about it!


The diva of all lights is called Trilite and was made by the well-known US company Norman Inc. until being discontinued some years ago. With its lens, iris, focus knob and gobo holder it can produce the most beautiful glamour light for a female face and body known to mankind (lol). Needles to say, every time this flash pops up on eBay US it is gone in the blink of an eye. I had to get mine from Canada and adapt it to 220V mains. It is heavy, dangerous (dubbed "the widow maker"), prone to overheating and even blowing, but darn it, I absolutely love it!!! These lights are a staple Playboy studios in the US, too.

There are a couple of modern alternatives to this flash on the market today, most notably by Profoto, but by far the best price-performance ratio has to be the Hensel one. None, though, is a perfect match for the good old Norman...

Pictured here: Playboy model Katarina Benček lit with Norman Trilite on a Blofield Big Blo inflatable sofa (top) and Playboy model Manca Mlakar lit with Norman Trilite in a 500-year-old wine cellar in Dalmatia (bottom).