Using the smick.co.uk 120cm octagonal softbox Gavin Hoey shows how by just using this one softbox and a 400Ws studio flash head, a 300Ws would do the same, for his studio lighting setup to produce some quality portraits.
Live action show shows how Gavin uses several different lighting setups and shows you just how to produce quality results in a simple to understand way.
This softbox has been upgraded to include a grid
Strobe Softbox small softbox used to illuminate the face.
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hello I'm Gavin Hoey and this is the octagonal softbox from Mikan su it gives a lovely even illumination and being an octagonal shape it gives lovely round catch lights in the eye now you'll notice straight away this thing isn't a traditional rectangular or square softbox it's a big huge octagonal softbox in fact this is 1.2 meters in diameter but if that's not big enough for you then they even do a Mikan su one-and-a-half meter octagonal softbox but in my little studio 1.2 meters is perfect the beauty of this octagonal softbox is its size and the quality of light it's lovely soft illumination and it achieves that soft illumination because it's got a double diffuser system let's have a look so we remove the outer diffuser inside we'll find there is a second in a diffusing baffle now that diffuses the light twice and gives lovely even illumination but if you want to you can remove this inner diffuser panel and give a very different quality of light but the idea with this softbox is to give lovely smooth illumination so let's cover that up and let's see exactly how smooth the illumination is by checking the power the light reading at the center and then around the edges now I'm using a macand su 400 watt lamp around the back here to power this softbox and a 400 watt lamp is ideal it's very very powerful lamp that will fill the softbox with light without any trouble at all but it is right in the center of the softbox so what you would expect is the center to be the brightest part and then to get a little bit darker as we go around the edges but how much darker is the question if it's more than a stop then this isn't going to be a great softbox so let's get a flash meter and let's take some light readings okay so we'll start in the center and that's giving me a power of f 11.9 so almost f-16 okay let's go up to the top that's giving me Fe eleven point five so about half a stop difference let's go to the side F eleven point three down to the bottom F eleven point three over to the side F eleven point four so by and large it's about half a stop to three-quarters of a stop of light difference from the center to the edges and that is pretty even illumination okay well that's the theory of the softbox but of course the proof is in its using and I'm going to get a little model in here and we're just going to do a very short couple of lighting setups using the octagonal softbox okay so we've set the light up we've got the octagonal softbox positioned quite low down and very close to our little model say hello Freya and the idea with that is that that close light the big light source it's going to wrap the light around the model and give some beautiful soft lighting there's no other lights using this setup just the octagonal softbox now we've got to work out the aperture so let's get a meter reading I get the flash meter and if I can get to hold that for me just like that lovely and we'll check that and that is giving us a meter reading of f11 so we know the exposure put that into the camera and let's take some pictures okay right so let's just get a quick test shot first of all just to make sure this is going to work okay here we go yeah it's going to be lovely and what I'd like to do is Geoff's ice it just lean your arm out a little bit that's nice very nice indeed super that's great and just turn your head around to face the light a little bit nice and just look up here just up towards my hand you just sort of lean your head just see it just put her down onto your chin nice beautiful and then just look up to my hand just here okay that's super very good indeed okay so if you can spin yourself around so you're facing directly into the light and that's great okay and then bring your head round to me excellent very nice indeed so this time we're doing it a little bit differently this time the octagonal softbox is right back here behind the model because we're going to use it as a background so if you want a pure white background and you're doing just a head and shoulders shot the octagonal softbox is so big that it makes a perfect pure white background so let's go through the setup big octagonal softbox back here smaller softbox in the front just for illuminating the face now the idea is to have the power of the small softbox to match the power of the back softbox now don't think you can just put the same numbers on the two because it won't work that way unfortunately you just need to take a little light reading and just make sure you get it absolutely spot-on so let's take a light reading there if you can hold that for me and point that at the big softbox and we've got F five point six and then if we hold that in the other direction let's give you that one and we've got F five point six point seven so it's going to turn the background light down about half a stop okay so I'd like to do is just to look at me and we'll just this make sure it's working beautiful lovely okay so as you can see that gives us a lovely pure white background really really nice but we get these little shadows underneath the chin because our main light our key light is the small softbox and that's lit from above so we're going to fill those shadows with a reflector so I grab a reflector I'll give you that there we go oh that just there that's perfect got it lovely and looking over at me so again that looks pretty good that lights underneath the chin looks very nice indeed as a final little touch let's just add a bit of movement to the hair so we're going to use a little hair dryer and just blow things around now I can't do this I'm running out of hand so my assistant Sam is going to do this one for me okay let's let rip okay looking over at me lovely beautiful classic this look over here for me up a little higher up here just till it head to the side slightly and again and then back to me then tilt head a little yes fantastic and we're done thank you very much okay so there we are there's using the octagonal softbox as a background as well as using it as a main light now the octagonal softbox is available from the smick store at wwm SEO UK I'm Gavin Hoey thanks for watching