Super Hero Shadow or I did not think it would look like that!

Super Hero Shadow or I did not think it would look like that!




Working with a Children’s hospital we were asked to provide some funky solution for large murals in an emergency room setting. Dolls were suggested. This is where we started. We eventually tried all sorts of light fixtures to achieve a variety of looks. We found that the best material was translum/flexiglass diffusion material to achieve the weirdness that was requested. After the first go round with a variety of dolls and then a creative meeting, it was decided that we should use real kids because the dolls just didn’t “look right”. After all the work, our first suggestion was taken (use real kids) so we dressed kids as super hero’s and did some funky back light with them. The results were much better than what we started with. Sometimes the client has to see it to believe it.

I guess in their mind’s eye, the doll would be more “human” like and not so much doll-like. Just doesn’t look right to me. How about you?

Rime Light Clip Fix

Rime Light Clip Fix


How it connects to start with.



Using the box clip to stretch the elastic and clip tight to the pole.





You can see the difference in this last two by the edge shown on the Deep Umbrella


I have been using a light that is imported by Dynalight, Grand GSB 79.  Basically a giant umbrella with a diffuser placed about midway in the design. After working with it awhile, I was getting hard spill where the diffuser does not meet right to the edge of the structure. I searched the manufacturer’s web site and found no solution. For some reason Dynalite or the maker do not bring in to the US a front diffuser that would solve this little issue. I think the details make the difference, so I set out to find a solution and it was easy. Those little box clips you get at Staples or Office Depot were the solution. They are strong enough to hold via the elastic that is on the diffuser to clamp tightly to the pole. (See the second picture). This totally eliminates the spill light that is plagued by the initial design. So a few box clamps and the spill is gone.

As far as a diffuser, I have a 8×8 foot 1/2 silent silk made by the Rag place in LA for my front diffuser. This combination has worked very well. I travel with it in a 62″ Flip Lid from Lightware. I clip on the diffuser with little A clamps purchased at Home Depot.


FourSquare 48″ using an Elinchrom Head compared to Speedlights

FourSquare 48″ using an Elinchrom Head compared to Speedlights

Foursquare 48" with both an elinchrom head and a pair of Nikon Speedlights

My former assistant Ted Pruess was recently in the studio when we were working with the 48″ FourSquare bank. Ted is living and working in Chicagoas a fine art photographer. If you have a moment you should take a look at what he does.

These images are just showing a comparison between a “studio” strobe by Elinchrom and a couple of speed lights by Nikon (SB 910). These are straight out of camera no retouching or fiddling with. I think it shows that you can do some really nice work without having all the big gear. Traveling light has become the necessity with the airlines becoming stricter with carry on or lack thereof. Its easier to check a case that may be thirty pounds rather than checking a huge one topping out at max weight. Either way you pay. With the new designs coming out from ProFoto, Elinchrom and Godox rethinking lighting has become a necessity. If you are traveling less is more. I think that this is pretty telling. How most of photography is being used today I think you could easily make a case for traveling light.

Image #1 On Left

ISO 100

Key Light:

FourSquare 48″ (FSK48 with shortened poles to fit a Chimera Speedring) and a Elinchrom A4 head on a 101 pack, power set to 1/4 +0.7

Background Light:

Elinchrom A4 head on a 101 pack, power set to 1/8. Deep reflector with diffusion fabric over the face.

Image #2 On Right

ISO 200

Key Light:

FourSquare 48″ (FSK48) Two SB-900 Speed lights, Zoom set to 35mm, power set to 1/4 +0.7 on each.

Background Light:

SB-900 with a Rogue grid with diffusion fabric, power set to 1/32 +0.7



Overall picture of the set up. View 1


Set up, View 2


You can shorten the poles to work on a regular chimera speed ring. You can order shortened poles by contacting FourSquare or Lightware at 303-744-0202.

The shortened poles work on any of the FourSquare Banks, not just this 48″.


Lights pointing to the left side of background


View looking into the background lights.

MF1217 with B2

MF1217 with B2


Sometimes you just have to show how you do things so you can pass it on. I have here a MF1217 with a B2 Profoto Kit. I have modified the heads using FourSquare Mini Mounts so that they are easily useable in a FourSquare Block and Box. I also have a couple of Manfrotto 026 stand adapters so that I can use umbrella, FourSquare box or a bare head. This kit is easy carry on size no problems local or international. The heads are corded to the small power pack giving you plenty of length to move around.

The beauty is just how compact you can make it and carry on the plane. I could have stuffed more but it would not have been as pretty. Great things come in small packages.

How To Pack And Organize 72 Rechargeable AA Batteries

How To Pack And Organize 72 Rechargeable AA Batteries

Seventy two Sanyo Eneloop Batteries in one compact package

Seventy two Sanyo Eneloop Batteries in one compact packagebatteries showing used and fresh charge

These images should be pretty self explanatory. A Pelican 1060 Micro case and AA battery holders from (they are in the Cool Tools section). This battery kit lives with my speed light flashes. It’s always there. The nifty thing about using this is that battery will insert either way. So if I insert the battery and the little silver top is showing in the hole ( at the top) it tells me its charged and ready. If the battery is inserted up side down and its showing the flat side (-)  it tells me it needs recharging. Simple but effective. They stay organized and makes traveling easier.