It began as a not-so-unusual post on the Glamour1 forum discussing the wisdom of spending big bucks on a high-end ringflash system (think Hensel @ about $2500) versus a very moderately-priced system (think Alien Bees @ about $300.)
Rolando Gomez, the G1 forum's founder and owner, jumped into the discussion and put forth his own views which weren't overly supportive of Alien Bees' ringflash. (For whatever it's worth, I should note that Hensel is one of G1's corporate sponsors.)
Another G1 member then provided a link to the G1 discussion on the Fred Miranda forum and invited Paul Buff, the CEO of White Lightning and Alien Bees, to respond to Gomez's comments which is exactly what Buff did.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of the ringflash. I think they're faddish, over-rated, and only gained ocassional celebrity status due to their use by some fashion photographers and others. Sure, they have their uses-- Mostly, IMO, as a fill-light in certain shooting situations but, for me, that's about it. I don't own one and I don't plan to purchase one. And although I'm fairly ambivalent regarding the use of a ringflash, I still found the evolution of this thread interesting.
It's not often that a somewhat routine discussion ends up hop-scotching forums and sucking-in a notable lighting manufacturer's CEO over the pros and cons of one of his company's products.
Although, as of this writing, Gomez has yet to respond to Buff in the Fred Miranda thread, I'm guessing he probably will. I'm hoping someone from Hensel also jumps into the fray. That would make the discusson even sweeter. It's likely, however, that Gomez will remain Hensel's forum front-guy in this dialogue. Regardless, it's not often that users and manufacturers go cyber-head-to-cyber-head in this fashion and I find it refreshing and informative.
The pretty girl pics accompanying this post are of Jayna. MUA was Charlene. For this series, I played around with some red and sorta-red gels playing out with her red-ish wardrobe set against a brown-ish seamless. Captures were with a Canon 5D w/85mm f/1.8 prime, ISO 100, f/5.6 @ 125th.