Or at least some Harry Potter cosplayers…
Some photo tools work well for today and others simply stand the test of time. For me one of those tools has been the LumiQuest Softbox II. It’s been used and abused for over 15 years following me from my time as a journalist-in-training at WSU to today at the Yakima Herald-Republic.
And yesterday it was a faithful companion shooting exuberant Harry Potter fans outside Yakima’s Majestic Theatre. (See gallery here) — Watch video at bottom of post…
No matter how much I love natural light, I oftentimes find myself wanting to dabble in strobe work. Not often enough I admit, so I try to break out lights every now and then.
So before the Potter assignment, I broke out an old friend, my LumiQuest and Velcro’d up the head of one of my work Canon 580 EX strobes and tested it out.
My initial though of shooting the Potter assignment was to shoot them on a black background. So I tested using a single strobe with the LumiQuest attached in the darkened basement of my home.
The best part, I had exuberant kids on hand to help me test.
NOTE: This is how I have almost always used the small softbox: While having the strobe on manual and on a cable or chord. The softbox is not a ring light and can be a bit too much as a camera mounted strobe with close in subjects.
Now I know there are some LumiQuest haters out there, but I have found the medium soft light and shallow falloff a comfortable friend compared to bouncing or using a complex lighting setup.
The photo of Declan above is a good for instance. He was running around me in circles. There was no way I could have predicted where he would be to eliminate the background and just cast him in soft light without direct control. I just pivoted around following him by holding the chord-mounted strobe relatively in the same place above him to get several shots to choose from.
This next shot of Liam was just as challenging. He was basically attacking me on the floor. It was really close-in.
To get precise light control, like in this situation, I prefer to put the strobe in my hand.
As for the Harry Potter portrait above and the ones in the gallery? I used the LumiQuest to soften the bounce off a nearby wall. I did that because I didn’t have a black background at work to duplicate the tests I did with my boys. Even with the change of plans, it helped me do my job yesterday and I expect it to help me out for years to come.
There are a few more images in the video I shot for this story.