Saturday, 31 December 2011

Lumiquest III arrived today

Lumiquest iii
My new lumiquest iii softbox arrived in the post this morning, and this is it attached to my speedlight 580 exii. I was a little uneasy about the installation as it involved sticking the supplied Velcro to the speedlight. I decided to go ahead and positioned the Velcro far enough back on the head so as not to inhibit the use of my sto-fen diffuser.

I haven't had a chance yet to shoot with it properly but i did a few test shots with my youngest son and the results looked very pleasing so i look forward to taking a few shots to show you in the near future. I quickly set up old black curtain on the floor draped over a radiator to give this black background, not ideal but you have to work with what you have. Used the built in flash dialled right down to just produce some minimal lighting also used a hotshoe diffuser which i have found helps greatly.

This afternoon i found myself in Hobbycraft of all places and purchased some black paper on a roll to use as a backdrop for future shots. I also found some self adhesive Velcro and black foam sheets in A4 and A5 size so i aim to make my own snoots and gobos.

Hope to be able to take some shots with this flash modifier and my home made snoots and gobos, when i get a chance to make them so please check back regularly to see my pictures, as usual feel free to comment or if you have any questions i will try and answer or at least point you in the right direction.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year ;-)

Ok top tip just ordered a lumiquest ultra strap from Jack the hat this stops you having to stick velcro to your flash head, its universal so will work with any flash.

Really wish i found this out first lol, hope it helps someone :-)

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Friday, 30 December 2011

Lee & Tash Low Key Portrait

Low Key Portrait

So Christmas has been and gone and this year santa was kind enough to bring me amongst other things a canon speedlight 580 ex ii with a sto-fen diffuser a light stand and a shoot through umbrella.
After a very brief look through the instruction manual and a look at my Canon EOS 7D menu system I managed to get the speedlight working without to much fuss. I worked out how to use it off camera using the 7ds built in wireless transmitter. I have to say that I did refer to the Magic Lantern Guide for the Canon EOS 7D to clarify some of the menu system options. This guide is just a must have for any owner as the manual is so informative and concise I don't regret that purchase at all.
All I needed now was some reluctant models so here enters my eldest son and his girlfriend who thought they were on there way out until I grabbed them for my maiden shoot.
A simple pose in my front room but with a fast shutter speed I managed to eliminate all the ambient light in the room so all the lighting in this shot is flash.
I attached the Sto-fen diffuser which was no easy thing the first few times as it just pushes on with a tight fit over the rubber moulding on the side of the speedlight.
Strobist info:-
  • Canon speedlight 580 exii to camera high left at 1/8th power with sto-fen diffuser
  • Aperture f6.3
  • Shutter speed 1/250 sec
  • Iso 100
  • Lens Tamron AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) 

I then imported picture into Photoshop CS5 via Lightroom 3 and made very few adjustments I tweaked the background slightly to get it black I used Niksoft Silver Efex pro 2 to convert it to black and white used a few control points to lighten certain areas and darken others ,then used Niksoft sharpener pro 3 to sharpen image before adding a simple border and watermarking.
If you would like to comment on this image please view it HERE on my flickr photostream. Thanks for looking, look forward to reading your comments, more soon…..