It’s not every day you get a phone call asking if you are interested in using a softbox larger than you have ever seen. (a 20ft softbox to be more specific) To a photographer that is all about lighting, it’s hard to say no to that; and I didn’t. It turns out that a softbox larger than I have ever seen was an understatement. This softbox wouldn’t even fit in my two car garage. IT WAS AWESOME.
UPDATE: it occured to me that a shot of the softbox was something I did not have in the original post.. SO I submit it now. This thing is BIIIIIIIG.
So lets back up a bit. The call I got was from Jody at Roberts and it was in regard to a automotive softbox they had built in their classroom to show to prospective clients. Problem was that my hero Dave Black was coming to town for Roberts grand opening and they needed to get the softbox out of there. First however they needed to do something awesome with it. Enter Dandy Horse. Dandy Horse is a bicycle that Robert’s Camera’s web Guru Derick Martin restored to it’s original glory. Beautiful Bike, great subject for such a glorious softbox. The carpet in the Robert’s classroom was a bit odd, but I think it actually worked out just fine.
Setup was the epic softbox which included 6 Dynalite heads and two 1600 watt second packs. Being that these are Dynalite Studio heads, we were able to ramp them all the way up to Full power and Hypersync the camera to them using my Pocket Wizard TT1’s and TT5’s which was super sweet because it allowed John and I to shoot at a very shallow aperture by adjusting only the shutterspeed and aperture, as opposed to needing to change light power or used ND filters. The hypersync even created somewhat of a dark to light gradient in the photos, which was greatly preferable to the relatively evenly lit shot created by the gigantic softbox. For an automotive shot, I would prefer the shot to be lit very evenly at the 1/250th@F8 settings, but for the size of the object we were shooting, the slight gradient that the Hypersync created was a nice touch.
The giant softbox is better illustrated in the video below as well as there is a breakdown of components all used in the softbox and the shoot. The equipment used was a Nikon D800, various Nikon lenses (70-200F2.8VR2, 24-70F2.8N, 14-24F2.8N ect), Macbook Pro which was powered by one of the new Wescott Encore units, Tethertools Aero table, Tethertools Aero Hard Drive caddy, Tethertools Articulating Arm, Tethertools 50′ USB2 Orange cable, Capture One Pro 8, Pocket Wizard TT1′s and Pocket Wizard TT5’s, and the Automotive Softbox Featuring 6 dynalite heads and two 1600w/s packs. All photos above taken by either myself or John Scott at Roberts. Cheesy music from the video below is from a 15 Year old Free play Royalty Free music CD. You’re welcome.
Really cool experience, really cool custom product from Roberts. If you’re an auto dealership or shoot vehicles inside of a studio space you should consider it a option as I can’t think of an easier way to get awesome, magazine quality lighting on a car with very little effort. More Soon.
For more information about ANY of the gear that I use, please visit my gear page.