Vase, Rods and a Dash of Color



A simple set up showing how the light breaks work. I have talked in a past post about the frame with plastic cardboard sides … this was used to make the pattern on the set wall. (4’x8′) The rods are acrylic colors available from our local plastic supply with a small strobe powering through them to make the “glow”. They kind of act like fiber optic rods. I just threw this together so I could show you how those Lightbreaks work. The wall is for a different idea but after seeing this result I may play with it more. Ah don’t forget

Mentor Series Lighting Workshop in San Antonio Texas


Mentor Series Workshops can be a great learning experience. If you are new or just a avid hobbyist of photography this can be a great way to see some of the world, meet some great people and get educated by some of the best photographers working today. This quick snap was taken on the San Antonio speed lighting workshop sponsored by Nikon and SanDisk. A similar speed light workshop will be happening in NewYork in July. The workshop was taught by Dave Black and David Tejada with sideline help by yours truly. See you in NYC in July!

Quick And Easy Portrait With The FourSquare Softbox And One Speedlight

Quick And Easy Portrait With The FourSquare Softbox And One Speedlight


A keen eye may notice that the setup is a mirror of our final pick. We reversed the set mid way through the shoot and only shot overview images at the end.

My good friend Steve Thornton is always willing to let me shoot a current portrait of him. This was done because I continually want to emphasize what can be done with a single light source and some fill if required. My source is the FourSquare fitted with a single SB 900 and a pocket wizard for a trigger with a Visual Departure Flex Fill. My camera is a Canon 5D Mark II fitted with a 85mm lens. I like to use the camera on a ball head so I can move it, dutch the camera, without having to actually carry or hold the camera. You get finicky as you get older and like to make things as comfortable as possible. Our final image is without the fill, but this is just a personal choice on how I wanted the image to look

Playing around with a single source can be the beginning of understanding what lighting is all about. If you use it outside and find your ambient level exposure and make a shot and then begin to explore with a single source flash (with or without modifier) you can really begin to see how much dimension and feel you could add to your images. Even if you are just shooting your kids or neighbor, adding your own light to what nature gives can be a very good learning experience.  So good in fact, that the little speed light will become part of your regular gear.


Pour Shot




Friday with Dr. Dan resulted in this pour shot.

FourSquare 20×20 Box with Grid, Set Left = 1/32 each 2x SB 900

Top Right = 1/16 SB 900 with red gel Not Shown

Lower Left  = 1/64 SB 800 with red gel Not Shown

Background Blue Through Plastic Sheet= SB900 @ 1/128 and ZootSnoot with Blue gel

Nikon D800, Nikon 100 mm Macro, F-11, 1/160 sec, ISO 800


What was neat in planning this shot for the blog was research at one of our local plastic supply houses. They had all kinds of textured plastic which is what we used for the background. I only bought one to see how it worked. So now when I need something unique I will definitely go back for more research. The product was available on a roll and you purchased by the foot. I spent around eight dollars for this piece.

We tried water, vodka, Karo Syrup thinned with water but eventually through trial and error used glycerin diluted with water and cough syrup to get the color. Now I warn you … be prepared if you choose to try this the mixture is very sticky and makes a beautiful mess. We did not think that it would splash as far as it did but we got it all over the table, floor, background, stands, the box and the camera stand.

The other nifty piece of this puzzle are the two pieces of clear plexi that were cut to match the martini glasses base so that we could suspend them. We used hot glue to adhere the glasses to the plexi but in hindsight I probably would use clear museum putty or gel. Just look it up on Google or Yahoo to find a source. The hot glue worked well but the surface tension wasn’t quite strong enough for the glass to hold it for a long period of time. The total time we spent on this exercise was just around four hours. I spent an additional two hours getting the plexi cut, purchasing the background and the glycerin.

FourSquare Speedring Plate


This is something new for FourSquare that I have been tinkering with. While we have our spindles for retrofitting to other boxes, we have one customer who wanted a “Make it Eight” to fit into a Chimera Octa box using there speed ring. Well I took this as a challenge and came up with this solution.  I am only showing one half of a “Make it Eight”, just a standard FourSquare mounted to the ring.  As of today (3-6-2013) we have a few that fit the Wafer/iConcepts speed ring (shown) and a few that fit the larger Chimera 7.3/185mm speed ring. If there is enough interest we will put it up in the LightwareDirect store.

If this is something that interests you lets us know. We don’t even have a price yet! Oh You gotta have your own ring! Better known as, we don’t sell the speed rings!