Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Location Shoot
Sophisticated light-shaping tools give you complete control over the image while using portable strobes and speedlights
Feathering The LightWhen using one of those very small softboxes as a keylight, consider feathering the light by aiming the softbox away from the subject. The result is a soft and flattering portrait. But be prepared to open up two stops or more.
Light-Shapers For SpeedlightsMany small to moderate-sized umbrellas that are used with studio strobes also can be used with speedlights. However, a special adapter is normally required so that an umbrella can be fitted to the flash and the combo mounted to a light stand, or failing that, a tripod. When it comes to using conventional softboxes with shoe-mounts, it’s not always a practical solution, so the choice often falls to smaller boxes designed specifically for this purpose.
|ExpoImaging Rogue FlashBenders|
|HonlPhoto 1/8 Speed Grid|
However you use it, this approach has the effect of throwing more light onto the subject. In this case, flash-to-subject distance isn’t that much of a factor if the main light hitting the subject is bounced off the ceiling. The kicker is just icing on the cake, and rarely the sole light source. Two noteworthy examples of reflector panel light modifiers are the HonlPhoto Speed Lighting System and the ExpoImaging Rogue FlashBenders.
|RPS Studio Snoot with speedlight|
Now, getting back to softboxes, this time for shoe-mounts. These light-shapers have been miniaturized for speedlights to the point where they have limited utility (as outlined earlier for compact boxes). The RPS Studio Speedlite Studio SoftBox is a good choice because it opens and closes easily and uses the same mounting hardware as several other accessories in this system. The Honl Traveller8 also attaches quickly but is circular, making it especially suitable for headshots. Another candidate is the Photoflex Extra Small LiteDome Basic Kit (complete with hardware). As a stark contrast, Westcott offers The Ultimate Flash Kit, complete with strip light and mounting gear suitable for a wider array of portraiture.
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