LED video lights in a FourSquare is more than a Speedlight or two!

We were working on a new project, “Sitting on a Rainbow with the World by a String” and during the filming we used some LEDs that worked out wonderfully bundled in a FourSquare® softbox. That got me to thinking how many small lighting “fixtures” would work in and or on the FourSquare® system. I did a little research on the big ol’ web and found numerous “fixtures” that would work as long as it has a 1/4″ x 2o thread mount and is not to large to fit between the poles. You can use a Four, Three, Two or One. Take a look at this quick pic. Our thanks goes out to Ken Seagren at LSI (Denver, Colorado) for letting us go through his inventory to find these great little LED’s. Necessity is some times the mother of invention. My thanks goes out to who ever coined that phrase.The Foursquare softbox fitted with four LED video lights.

Product photography, just for view cameras?

I did not have access to a perspective 35 lens so I had to use what was around the studio. My main workhorse is a view camera. Yea, I’m old. The days of film. But with the transition to the “35” format digital I think you can get darn close to what you would with a view. The advantage with the “35” is that you can play with camera angles quicker and are not held back by camera movements. The advantage to the view is that you have to slow down and really look at what you are doing, with deliberation. Well which one is which?

I used a piece of white P25 white plexiglass, 2 foot by 3 foot , at a 45 degree angle above the medal. I have a single SB 900 with Pocket Wizard trigger right above, about six inches away from the plexi. I also used small piece of black velvet to kill as much light falling on the background above the top of the ribbon.

 

Purple Heart Medal Shot with View Camera and a DRSL

Lighting Setup for Purple Heart Medal

 

 

What a little “Gel” will do with a Antique Razor

Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, No Gel

Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, No Gel

This whole exercise is based using a “gel” of your choice taped to a plexi mirror. We used a 4×4 inch plei mirror and taped several different gels on it to see what kind of reflection would be accenting the old razor from my grandfather. I tried to get the typography to read but it was one to many shaves ago. It says … The Merchant Biscuit Company, Denver Colorado.

Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, Blue Gel

Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, Blue Gel

Notice how the gel changes subtly the color of the razor head.

Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, Orange Gel

Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, Orange Gel

Ah, you can certainly see how the orange CTO is workin’ here.

Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, No Gel

Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, No Gel

Strobe through P25 Matt white plexiglass

Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, Blue Gel

Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, Blue Gel

Notice how the blue gel is working in the shadows there in the lower right.

Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, Orange Gel

Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, Orange Gel

Here is the orange again. Now here is the lesson…

When you tape a gel over a mirror it doubles its value. Why? Light goes  through the gel once and hits the mirror, then it bounces back from the mirror surface, through the gel again, and on to the subject. So a 1/4 CTO is really a 1/2 CTO. Got it? Have fun. I use this all the time in product photography. Little mirrors and gels.

 

Headshot with a Radiating Blue Background

We were recently on a job where the client wanted corporate head shots to have a particular feel. We found that using a clamp and twisting the black background gives a really interesting effect when you fire your strobe into it. The result as you can see is a blue radiating pattern. We experimented with different blue gels to see which one we liked.

We didn’t “tweak” this image of myself for the post. You can still see reflection of the grid and a weird highlight on my left eye. Something you need to be aware of when you just get fifteen to twenty frames per executive. We would feather the box and grid to allow for glasses and face structure.

You can see how the rest of the photo was lit by the lighting diagram below the photo.

 

Paul Peregrine in a lighting setup photo

 

Each Square = 1 foot

Lighting Diagram of Paul Peregrine on the blue radiating background