An exercise in improvised lighting

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August 28, 2012 by N@

I recently spent 2 weeks in Asia with Joe McNally and Zack Arias for the Creative Asia conference. One of the things they kept saying over and over was that when ever possible they try to make small flash look like big flash. I was on a job the other day and this message jumped into my mind. I was shooting corporate lifestyle shots for a speaker company. They had a prototype that they needed shots of in a hurry and asked me if i could add this to the job because I was already there. We negotiated the terms of the extra work and then I got to it.

The problem was that I didn’t have the gear with me that I would normally have for shooting product so I improvised. I had 2 x 580exii with me and a small softbox. So I hunted around their factory and scrounged up 3 sheets of white polystyrene foam board and a small sheet of white acrylic.

I put the acrylic under the product and 2 of the large polystyrene sheets behind at 90 degree angels to create 2 walls and a corner.

I then took the last sheet and used it to the left of camera in front of the product. I Fired one flash at the back wall and bounced it onto the other to blow out the background in white and wrap the product in light. I then bounced my other flash into the large sheet (pointed away from the product) which turned the sheet into a big wall of white light… Small flash into big flash 🙂

I was pretty happy with the end results. Here are a few of the shots.


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