Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Lumiquest Softbox III Testing

Given the harsh winter (and it just officially started this Sunday) I really haven't or rather dared to test this unit outdoors, so I took it along to my camera club's holiday party, which took place at a local pub. I slapped it on my SB-800 set to slave and added another SB-800 to my camera on commander mode. I added the diffuser that comes with the SB-800 to the strobe that had the Lumiquest Softbox III on it to diffuse the light even more. The settings on the camera were as follows: F4, at 1/15 shutter speed and ISO 1000, flash set to rear sync, which is probably the key to the whole setup (thanks for the tip Taylor)

As you can imagine, being indoors and in a dark setting to top it off, the trick resides in positioning the softbox just at the right distance away from the subject, otherwise you walk a thin line between "hot zones" around the face or an underexposed subject. For this particular photo, the power on the SB-800 was set at 1/128 and I still had to handhold the strobe above and behind my head to get a decent exposure on the faces with the minimal amount of blown highlights on the cheeks and forehead. Even then, I had to go into Photoshop and fix/eliminate a few.


Skin smoothing and Glamour Glow were added via Nik's Color Efex Pro 3.0

This next photo was taken using the same technique, but using a different post-processing technique in Lightroom:

Overall, I'm very pleased with the results obtained with the Lumiquest unit so far. I won't be putting the translucent umbrellas up for sale on Craigslist any time soon but it's good to know that whenever I feel lazy enough not to carry around my tripod bag (which I use to carry my umbrellas and light stands)there's a very portable alternative available.


Jared Wielfaert Photography said...

Nice results, Juan. I need to pick one of these up.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jared, after trying it out on several occasions now, I can honestly say it makes for a great addition to the Strobist arsenal.