Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Melissa Meets Hard Light or Testing the Retro Reflector and Poor Man's Hardbox

Today we have photos again, I know it's been a while. June was a busy month shoot-wise. Four shoots plus a wedding, has left me swamped enough until right now, that I didn't realize until the other day that I didn't shoot anything in the period spanning June 19th until whenever my next shoot ends up being. Scary.

Anywho. This shoot was a test for a future project, seeing how we worked together, etc, and also trying out some new stuff. First up was the Paul C. Buff Retro Laser Reflector, followed by an attempt to mimic the outrageously expensive Profoto Hardbox, which involved wrapping the light with cinefoil (essentially matte black aluminum foil specifically created for this purpose so it doesn't catch fire and such).

The retro-reflector is something of a long-distance use item (it concentrates and sends light over long distance in a narrow beam), but I wanted to see what I could do with it up close. As it turns out, it's pretty close to a gridded beauty dish, but I think there's a certain specularity and contrast that differentiates it. Shadows are a little deeper, and highlights a little shinier.

The "poor man's hardbox" with the cinefoil seeks to emulate what is essentially a $900 black box that fits on your lights. Not even a terribly sophisticated black box...but apparently sophisticated enough to warrant people buying them.  The aim is to mimic the sharp-edged shadows cast by the sun.  Using cinefoil to cover the light and make the source as small as possible, this got pretty close on this attempt, and I think with some monkeying around, I can get things pretty much indistinguishable.

Anyway, without much further ado, photos. As always, click for a bigger view. First is a set with the retro reflector, with a bit of a faded look applied...next is a melange of other photos...top row is retro reflector, the crazy colored one is with a beauty dish, the one above that is ambient light, and the series of four left of those are with the "hardbox".