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speedlight softbox set up

BigRick 15 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2012 5:57AM
You really need to leave the difuser on when using a speed light with a soft box, it forces the flash into the widest zoom setting, and spreads the light into the box.... if you shoot without, then the light goes forwards too much, and doesn't bounce round the inside of the box. Just what I have found anyway. Smile
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
12 Mar 2012 7:11AM
you can always zoom out on the flash itself to the widest (24mm) ? or is that not wide enough?
BigRick 15 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2012 5:59PM
i guess that you can set the zoom to manual and zoom out yes, although i have found a few times, that for whatever reason (i think its when the flash goes into sleep mode) that it reverts back to zooming to whatever the lens is at.

i just know that if the diffuser is fitted that it goes to its widest, and stays there, plus the diffuser pushes the light sideways that little bit more too. Smile
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
16 Mar 2012 6:29PM
Took delivery of the 100x100 softbox and the bracket Paul recommended.
I am well impressed with the bracket. Brilliant, and strong, and steady.
Whether the softbox is going to be too large on location, I don't know. But it would have to do.
(BTW, is it just me hate putting a softbox together?)Grin
BigRick 15 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2012 8:36PM
i leave mine built up for just that reason, lol Grin
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Apr 2012 1:00PM
I am just wondering:
Have anyone used ND grads (rather than ND) with off camera flash on portraits before, and how did it go?
Would you still see the band (transition of the ND grad) in the shots?
Nick_w Plus
13 4.3k 99 England
3 Apr 2012 4:46PM
Not tried it Cole, but my guess is you would still see it( unless all the item your flashing at is either above or below the transition). You are stopping (say) 3 stops of light entering the camera for part of the image, it's irrelevant whether that light is from the sun, lamp or flash.

What you can do is use rear curtain flash, so the shutter stays open and you expose for the ambient light, then dial in whatever flash settings you want for the model( in effect blending natural and flash light).

So you can underexpose the background say 2 stops to retain sky detail - then use the flash to correctly expose the foreground.
jimthistle73 16 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2012 6:16PM
Sounds like you're hoping to try some outdoor portraiture Cole? Just be aware that even without modifiers, light stands LOVE blowing over, even in the slightest of breezes! It's happened to me so many times I've lost count. Most recently during a shoot near the beach but with a perfectly flat bit of concrete and a very gentle breeze. Flash over, batteries eveywhere!

Top tip is to stick your bag over the legs of the light stand - usually works! I hardly ever use brollies these days as they're just wind catchers. Best of all, take someone with you to hold the stand up.
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Apr 2012 6:26PM
Nick, your reply is a bit confusing....LOL.
Yeap, Jamie. Do you fond yourself use bare flash more or with modifier? I will have to use my bag as I haven't got assistant......Smile
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Apr 2012 6:35PM
fond? find! bloody predictive!
jimthistle73 16 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2012 6:42PM
Bare flash mostly Cole, but that's because; a) I mostly use them at weddings, so simple is good, and b) because I really like the harsh, contrasty effect. I think Nick's trying to say that ND grads aren't really needed, and I agree. Here's how I do it. Meter for the whole scene, drop a couple of stops using shutter speed where possible or apperture once you hit 250th and then adjust the flash power on your subject until you get what you're looking for. With your background slightly underexposed, your skies can be as dramatic as you like without the need for ND grads.


That photo was taken with a remote SB-800 to my left, using just this technique.

Up the ISO a bit to retain more of the background...


Or pretty much kill the ambient light altogether and let the flash do all the work!

Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Apr 2012 6:55PM
Aye, I understand that theory, Jamie.
I just thought maybe there are occassions when I want to darken the sky only, not the whole scene.
jimthistle73 16 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2012 6:56PM
Without getting all spammy, this photo is actually a better representation of what I'm talking about - it's many years old now and perhaps a little overdone (badly balanced) but it does illustrate the 'underexposing the scene and lighting subject with flash' method...


Just read your last post... I guess it would work fine, so long as the dark strip doesn't hit your subject!
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Apr 2012 7:01PM
it would be if the subject (person) is large enough in the frame....LOL.
ok then, just a thought really....Smile
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
8 Apr 2012 9:17PM
After using my interfit 100cm x 100xm softbox on location the last few days, I think I need something more portable and faster to setup.
I had the pop up type as well, but I found it too heavy on the light stand.
I have came across this wescott apollo kit that set up like an umbrella.
I am just wondering if anyone uses it and how do they feel about it.

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