In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
This is one of the best purchases I've made! I have a Talk Show and wanted good lighting and a place for my banner without spending hundreds of dollars. Well this was it! The stand where you hang your back drop, extends. It can go extremely wide or small enough to hang a small banner for an event. Same thing with the length. It can go as high as 6/7ft and as low as 2/3ft. Everything came new, nothing broke, everything worked. All four light stands can raise high or go low. For people using this for photography I strongly recommend getting some brighter light bulbs. This would be my only issue and recommendation. The bulbs are not bright enough at all. Its ok for the mean time or if you don't really need bright lights. It's amazing how this entire set up can be broken down quickly and all packed into a large, black, gym bag looking thingy that it comes in (of course inside the delivery box). I've had it for about a year and have taken it down atleast twice. My daughter and I put it back together when we moved in about 20 min or less. It comes with 4 light stands, 2 with umbrellas & 2 with the square light covers, 2 light covers, 1 backdrop stand, 3 sheets (black, green, white), 4 light bulbs, 3/4 clips for sheets & large black gym bag. Highly Recommend!
For gear, I used my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. My camera settings for most of the shots you saw were f1.8, ISO 640 and shutter speed around 250. No flash. Just natural light. You really just need to play around with it a bit depending on your lighting situation and what not. Be brave and use that manual mode on your camera or at least the aperture priority setting. I did test shots using stuffed toys while the little guy was napping so as not to “waste” any precious time with him and risk missing any good shots. If you have older kids that will sit still you can get some really cool shots! If only Mr. C was old enough for an M&M bribe. Mr Moose did well though…. Here’s a test shot…..
This was my first order with this product and I like it. The only thing that threw me off is that I expected it to be as pictured. Brick all as the 9x6 and the extra white on the bottom. It is in fact 9x6. I have included a couple test shots. The product works as expected. I love white back grounds. I think that this adds just a little bit of texture to them. Also important to not be right up against the backdrop. make sure that you get some distant between the subject and the back drop.
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