Friday, September 26, 2008

No more DIY stripbox

Appologies for the long silence, I've been in Texas at a conference, and work has kept me busy. Frequent updates will return now.


I took delivery of my official stripbox, and it is mighty nice. I like how it folds down flat, is much larger than my DIY version, and has less of a hotspot, thanks to the internal, removable baffle.

The best part about a softbox, is how soft, yet volumetric it can be. I love the options of rotating it in different axis to achieve different affects. You basically put it lengthwise in the axis you want to be soft, and perpendicular to the axis you want to be defined and volumetric.

Here's the setup shot, click through to flickr for notes.


2 Vivitar 285hv
main flash at 1/1 power,
through 1/8 CTOrange gel
at wide zoom,
through a striplight (30x132cm),
Striplight was vertical,
top was about 2 meters height and bottom .6 meters,
.5 meters in front and to the right of subject, aimed at face,
rim light was at 1/4 power,
through 1/4 CTBlue gel
at wide zoom,
into a frosted container to act as a bare bulb,
.6 meters to subject left, and slightly behind,
at 1.8 meters in height.

This was just a quick exercise to practice with the stripbox. I find the more small informal practice sessions like this that I do, the more seamless it fits into my more planned shoots. I already know how it will behave, how to set it up quickly, what settings will most likely work, and what will happen if I rotate it, or swap out a different lighting modifier.

I used the secondary light to not only cast a bit of rim light, but also to light the background a bit, which is why I used a bare-bulb modifier. It's just a frosted container, but it turns the flash into an omni directional light, rather than a directional one. This way some of the light got on my face, as well as the wall. Since the stripbox bled quite a bit also, you get a nice blue to orange gradient on the back wall. If I'd wanted to keep the wall relatively clean, I'd need a barndoor or flag for the stripbox, which I do not have yet.

I'm in the process of putting together a lighting/camera case that I want to work out of exclusively. It will be a two light, two stand kit, and I want it to be as flexible as possible. When I get it completely ironed out, there will be another gear post covering it.

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