Video of Dave Black’s Surfing Shoot

Take the time to check this out. Dave is one of the nicest guys to work with and he really knows his stuff. Check out his “Workshops at the Ranch” articles at as they are packed full of information. Look for him at Photokina this year as I was told he will be sharing his thoughts on photography for Nikon. I’m sure they are probably going to have a great deal of new toys to announce as well. Dave has a down to earth style and is a super teacher. If you ever have the chance to attend one of his workshops in person, it is well worth the investment. Tell him I said hi!

I won’t spoil it here in the intro, but what you will see is someone thinking “outside of the box” to make great imagery. I can only image if we had the chance to do this on the north shore of Hawaii. I think this can only be done to this level with Nikon equipment as I don’t believe the other makers have the high speed sync all together worked out without the significant loss of light. I am sure this technique could be done with “studio” strobes but hey … only eight speed lights  … it’s amazing. Take a moment and check it out. The optic triggers were powered by RadioPoppers with some fiber optic magic dashed in by Now on with the show …………


FourSquare photo from Ray Lloyd

FourSquare photo from Ray Lloyd

Just thought I would put this up so you guys could see what some one is doing with the FourSquare product … other than myself. This young lady is the daughter of the photographer and is the one she selected to be published.

I think the image is a fine example of what can be done with just using simple speedlights. Enjoy and know you don’t have to follow the rules to make a beautiful image.

Nicky - By Ray Lloyd

Hello folks, my name is Ray Lloyd.  I am a professional photographer in Tinley Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago.I am an avowed strobist follower and use my Nikon SB-800’s for any conceivable photoshoot, and have done commercial shoots resulting in a furrier billboard ad, work for The Asian Restaurant News, Lawyer and Physician office portraits, custom portraits, engagement photos, senior graduation work, weddings, and the whole photography gamut with them.

I am always looking for innovative devices to couple more power from ganging up the little SB’800’s, and have normally resorted to “rubber banding” two or three of them together in a softbox from another manufacturer.  It worked, but was inelegant at best, and wobbly and not secure at worst.

Then, I read about the FourSquare on Dave Black’s website.  I was quite intrigued, and looked at the photos of the FourSquare on his website, and then on your company website……

WOW was the only thought going on in my head!  Now THIS is a SOLUTION to my multi-SB-800 “rubber band” syndrome!

I immediately ordered the FourSquare complete kit, with the additional swivels to aim the SB-800’s.  I waited patiently (well, not really!) for the package to arrive. When it did, I was absolutely surprised at how small the package was!  I tore into the package, removed the components, and quickly had my FourSquare together.  It assembled in an intuitive and easy fashion.

I grabbed four of my Nikon SB-800’s, attached them with the very secure cold shoe clamps, got out a studio stand adaptor, clamped it to the lightstand, attached the FourSquare, dialed the SB-800’s to Remote, and sought out one of the resident Models I live with…….  (Daughter Jeni, 22 years old, frequent test Model)

She sat on the posing stool patiently as she always does, and I attached the Nikon SU-800 Commander to my D3X.  I decided to let the CLS system handle all the lighting decisions at this point, just so I could play with my new FourSquare.

After a mere 10 minutes of shooting with the FourSquare, I knew I had both a winning device that functioned perfectly in every aspect I can think of, and THE ANSWER to my “multiple SB-800 dilemma”!

Guys, this thing is GREAT!  I can not think of a single aspect of this piece of equipment I would change.  It produces soft, well difused light, is lightweight, fits in the back seat of my car easily completely assembled and ready to go, and is just a fantastic piece of equipment.

I did a Model portfolio shoot yesterday with the FourSquare and four Nikon SB-800’s.  I set the camera on manual to control the ambient light, and let the CLS and SU-800 take care of lighting decisions again, purely as an experiment.  Performance?    -Utterly fantastic in every respect.  With the sensors of the SB-800’s aimed out the open back of the softbox, the SU-800, even in bright shade, fired the SB-800’s every time.  Locations incuded bright shade with sky under a tree, bright shade under an overhang, and inside a very dark, abandoned barn.

I am so thouroughly impressed by the FourSquare that I am actually ordering another one today, with the 90 degree swivels to set up the second FourSquare identically to the first one I purchased.  I can’t wait for it to arrive, and do some high-line studio Model portfolio work.

I have attached three images from the Model portfolio shoot yesterday.  You immediately notice the great, soft quality of the light,and the large and nicely shaped catchlights in her eyes.  What you can’t see, is the smile on my face from not carrying a large, heavy studio light on a large, heavy stand and a large, heavy battery power source attached!  My back thanks you!

Kudos to your company and design team for producing one of the best pieces of photography equipment I’ve seen in 30 years of making images.  I have this gut feeling that if I had purchased one of these years ago, I would not have had to buy all the big, heavy, awkward cords all-over-the-place studio lights I own.  Who knows, perhaps I will be listing them on e-bay soon!

I post frequently on “The Nikonians”, and will be sending them photos from this shoot, along with part of this testimonial

Thank You again for a wonderful product.   Are grids and perhaps a large strip softbox in the works?  Ha!  Keep up the good work!


Ray Lloyd Photography

Supercharge the FourSquare with the Jackrabbit II

If your speedlights are chewing through a ton of AA batteries or you have a long shoot and can’t afford the time it takes to swap out a fresh set, then consider using a Jackrabbit II battery pack from Dyna-lite. One pack can simultaneously power two SB-900 Speedlights and will last all day. They also work with the thermal circuit. They work particularly well with the FourSquare where you would only use two Jackrabbits to power all four Strobes.

You can find the Dyna-lite power packs at

Makes for a neat travel kit and you can pack it all up in a Lightware 2012. Easy carry on size. You know at a quick glance you have what you need for the shoot.

FourSquare and two Jackrabbit II power packs

A few nifty gadgets that are great to have on a shoot.

A few nifty gadgets that are great to have on a shoot.

How far is it to that wall? Is that socket HOT? Is it wired right? Is that extension HOT? Before I plug in a camera, computer or high end strobes I like to check the wall circuit. My three pronged buddy tells me just that, and if not it tells me what’s wrong so I can tell building maintenance. My Fluke buddy tells me if that extension cord is “Hot” without walking back to find out it got pulled from the wall. The laser measure is used for keeping notes on big sets how far things are from each other as well as the camera from the subject. Helpful if you are working on a project where things need to be reset many times over. In total, I think I have about one hundred dollars here and they have saved my electrical connections many a time. As much as a new camera is these days, cheap safety.

Rangefinder, and two electricity testers