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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:26 AM   #1
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Been experimenting with softbox - some questions

I received the coollights softbox kit today. When I put the diffuser and grid on and pointed it at me from 4-5 feet away it overpowered my face and reflected like crazy off my guitar which has rather reflective surface (has anyone modded this light to add a dimmer?)... And seeing it out of the corner of my eye shining so bright is quite distracting...

Can anyone think of a good way to place this softbox so I get a nice even look (not totally even - little shadow is no big deal) that isn't distracting as I play the guitar?

I suppose if I had another light I could hang a couple from the ceiling as someone had mentioned but I am really trying to make due with one light.

thanks,

brian
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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:35 AM   #2
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Two options I can think of.

1. Place a white sheet over the front of the softbox. Maybe double it by folding it. That will cut the light by quite a lot and not change the color like a dimmer would do.

2. Point the light away from you and bounce it off the wall or wall and ceiling. Or simply bounce it into a piece of white foamcore.

Your situation is EXACTLY why I try to convince people that the fluorescent package available on the Lowel Rifa is such an excellent idea. You can stick 1 CFL in there, or 3, or half a dozen and really shape the light for what you need. And it stays nice and cool.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:56 AM   #3
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I'll let Richard Andrewski comment but here is my 2 cents...

Did you put in the internal diffusion panel too? I doubt it will change your "problem" much but it is a thought.

I am unaware that the CFL in this fixture can be dimmed. You will have to solve your "problem" with a larger diffusion area as Perrone has suggested or use reflected light.

I had not thought about a reflecting surface (e.g. the guitar).... you CAN buy spray cans of water soluable "dulling spray" you can remove later.

Sorry I am not more help. Trust me, in the long run you will love this flo softbox...well, I hope you will, I certainly do. Oh, btw..If you try a "bounce" remove the beehive (eggcrate).What's the point in that situation?

Chris
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Old January 8th, 2009, 06:21 AM   #4
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different wattage bulb maybe? I agree, some sort of additional diffusion, bounce off a wall, the ceiling or another form of reflector raise the light up as high as possible point down more like overhead lighting, move the light back farther. A softbox is more of a general lighting solution so it does throw a lot more than people think.
Many years ago when I was doing catalog still work (8X10 view cameras) we used dulling spray by the case load-not recommended for a guitar that you will be using for the video-won't necessarily harm the guitar but it can get messy for you.
You might be better off lighting with a couple of smaller less powerful more direction lights

Don
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Old January 8th, 2009, 07:25 AM   #5
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You can't use a dimmer on this type of light. You run the risk of damaging the ballast. Only dimmable fluorescent ballasts will work for that and this one is not.

With a fluorescent non-dimmable, the best option is to add more diffusion to the front of the softbox or back it off farther (if you can).
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Old January 8th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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Here's a lighting term for what your describing: Angle of incidence.

Dimming your light will only make the reflections less bright, but they will still be there. You need to move your light away from an angle that reflects off the guitar.

If you read your previous thread... my post has a lighting suggestion that will give you a natural look for the room. Basically you need to get the whole room light level up by bouncing light off the ceiling, then use a light to "rim" light your subject to give it shape.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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General rule of thumb for key light placement:

45 degrees up, and 45 degrees to the side of the subject.

As a starting point.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #8
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Saw this vimeo clip and thought you might benefit:

Promotional Showreel on Vimeo
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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Lots of good info as usual from you guys.

I was wondering what that smaller piece of white fabric was! I will add that.

My situation is not that bad. The amount of light I have limit is pretty small. Indeed I did raise the softbox and point towards ceiling which has me pretty close. That does cause some pretty dark shadows on my neck but I am willing to deal with that. I have a rectangular patch of glossy white foamboard (about 3'5) to try and use as fill but it doesn't seem to really do much...

Maybe I'll try the 150W rfesnel as fill to soften those shadows which means I suppose I need a gel? What type of gel turns 3200K into daylight?

thanks,

brian

thanks,

brian
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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The gel is known as Full CTB (color temperature blue). You might also experiment with clamp on reflector light from Home Depot and an N:Vision 30w bulb as a fill and to cover the neck shadow. I bet that would be just enough to get it and should be an inexpensive solution.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #11
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You mean something like this:

Hampton Bay Brushed Steel Clamp Lamp - EP602BA at The Home Depot

I take it the N:Vision 30w bulb is daylight temp? Being a standard flo light would it have flicker issues?

thanks,

brian
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Old January 9th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #12
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The N:Vision bulbs come in three color temps. 2700k (which closely matches the inexpensive construction work lights), 3500k which closely matches most tungsten movie lights, and 5500k which are "daylight" balanced. Read the label. The blue package are the daylight ones.

No, they do not have flicker problems. I *LOVE* these little lights, and have probably 15 or so in different wattages and color temps.

-P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Huether View Post
You mean something like this:

Hampton Bay Brushed Steel Clamp Lamp - EP602BA at The Home Depot

I take it the N:Vision 30w bulb is daylight temp? Being a standard flo light would it have flicker issues?

thanks,

brian
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Old January 9th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #13
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No, I was more thinking about something like this:

Buy our 5.5 in. Clamp Light with Aluminum Reflector by Bayco at GoodMart.com

We call it a clamp light or an aluminum reflector clamp light. They're something like $6 at home depot.

You would get the N:Vision blue package which is 5500K and will match your 200w bulb just fine. No flicker unless you happen to get a defective one which I got once but you could return it immediately for another one.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #14
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Yeah, I ended up getting pretty much the same clamp light at Home Depot. I also noticed some accent lights that got me thinking. What do you guys think of them? I can picture them mounting to the ceiling right above my backdrop. They have Halogen and Flo versions. Do you think something like that could be useful? If so, would the halogen be preferred?

Also, I noticed that internal diffusion panel rests right up against the light. Is that normal? I can't figure out how to install it any other way.

thanks,

brian
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Old January 9th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #15
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Its only because the bulb is a little longer than normal. The heat output isn't too bad so it shouldn't hurt the material which is heat resistant anyway.

Any light is fine as long as you know why your using, and where you'll be using it. Also the fact that consumer lights and worklights don't have barndoors or other light modification built into them so you may have to make some yourself if you need more light sculpting around as you get more sophisticated with what you want in lighting. Many are using worklights every day and getting good results. No need for halogen unless you prefer 2900K color temperature and if you gel it to match your 5600K then you'll lose a lot of light. Plus they do generate a lot of heat which is why a lot of people seek out fluorescents to begin with. Less heat output and why we call them "cool lights" as opposed to "hot lights" like halogen tungsten.
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