… beyond the unknown!

Well the photo booth didn’t quite go to plan as I brought everything I needed except my lighting stands!!! What a wally!

However being a inventive chap I cobbled together a lighting stand from my tripod and a lighting boom. It did mean I was restricted to one studio flash, but one was a hell of a lot better than none.

My wifes mum & dad were over the moon with the pictures, however I know that they could be better. Please judge for yourself:

Fred & Judith’s Golden Wedding Anniversary & Judith’s 70th Birthday Party

It was a good experience, everyone was smashing and very enthusiastic. Having the lighting stands and a second light would have helped or someone to assist with a reflector. It was a learning process and I got a lot out of it.

Fear of the unknown…

My mother in law is having a birthday afternoon tea next Saturday. I have offered to run a photo booth so we can get images of all the friends and family. Should be a lively and fun party. I haven’t done anything like this before. I have the equipment as I have slowly been building up my studio flash equipment and modifiers, but have yet to trying all out in anger. I think I will try out a paramount or clam shell setup.


I plan to use the following:

  • Background stand with grey backdrop cloth
  • Lastolite Lumen8 400 studio flash
  • 140cm octagon softbox
  • Stand with sandbags
  • Silver / white reflector
  • Wireless flash trigger
  • Nikon D7200
  • Nikon 50mm f1.8 D AF Lens
  • Tripod
  • Gaffer tape and clamps
  • Extention lead

It will be good practice and experience for me, but I must admit I am somewhat nervous as I don’t want to make a hash of it. If all goes to plan I will post some of the results after the event.

I would be glad if any readers have experience of running this type of event have any advice.

OMG how big is this softbox!!!

One of the areas I am keen to improve on and experiment with is portraiture, and to this end I have been slowly building up equipment to help me do this. This includes a couple of studio flash units and some modifiers (i.e. snoot, spill killers (reflectors), umbrellas etc.). However what I didn’t have was a softbox. I remembered what my tutor said when I was doing my City & Guilds courses that ‘…the bigger the softbox the better…‘!

So with this in mind I researched on the internet for specs and prices. Always one to spot a bargain I found the following on special offer on Amazon for just under £30 (including free shipping) instead of just under £100:

Neewer 140 cm Octagon Softbox, with Bowens Mount Speedring

However I see that the price has increased since I ordered a couple of days ago to just over £40, so I feel I already have a bargain. Update: The price is now over £60! 

It arrived quickly and went together fairly easily. Though someone of slighter frame might find that they struggle a bit with the 8 metal struts which bend to form the ribs of the octagonal softbox (a bit like those of an umbrella).

OMG when fully put together this octagonal softbox is 140cm (about 4′ 6″), it is much bigger than I envisioned! But it should produce a very beautiful soft light when used with my Lastolite Lumin8 400W studio flash unit. I was lucky to pick up two of these very robust studio flashes on eBay 2nd hand, and in almost as new condition.

My initial impressions are that this octagonal softbox is well made and seems to be very robust.

Once I have had a chance to set it up properly and take some images I plan to share them.