The Inflatable Softbox

24 06 2011

I went out today to buy some new Eneloops at a camera shop located close to the Central Market. I have bought various camera related gear at the shop over the past 2 years and am impressed with some of the KIRF items that they stock.
While checking out the owners White “Macbook Air”, she dropped the “Inflatable Softbox” in front of me.

“Only 2 dollar”

She also sells softboxes for $10 that fit directly on an attached speedlite but after trying it out in the shop, I just wasn’t impressed. But for $2 dollars?

Why not.

So I brought it home and did some tests to see if the inflatable softbox would be the next piece in the strobist light kit.

The deflated inflatable softbox

The deflated inflatable softbox

The deflated inflatable softbox

The deflated inflatable softbox

As you can see, it is pretty small and portable. I actually put it in the side pocket of my cargo shorts for the moto ride home!

Now inflated.

The inflatable softbox inflated

The inflatable softbox inflated

When inflated, it goes to about 8 inches long, 5 inches wide and about 7 inches deep. You can see the blowhole and the nylon drawstrings that keep the the softbox onto the speedlite.

So onto the pics!

I didn’t have my usual model around as she is at work so I had to use my cat Sam who loves to sleep on my product table.

First shot is just a Viv 283 bare bulbed.

Bare bulbed flash

Bare bulbed flash

Pretty harsh light.

Second shot is the Viv 283 with the inflatable softbox.

With the inflatable softbox

With the inflatable softbox

A bit softer but not too much. At least there is some serious light fall off at the corner.

Third shot was with a cheap Chinese diffuser bought from you know where.

Diffuser

Diffuser

Definitely a bit softer with more even lighting. Also, the diffuser takes the exposure down a stop.

Last shot was with the cheap Chinese diffuser and the inflatable softbox on top of it.

Diffuser with Inflatable Softbox

Diffuser with Inflatable Softbox

The fall off at the corner isn’t that bad and the light is a bit softer but still not anything like a proper softbox.

Question is whether I would ever use it?

Probably not as the light that it produces is still a bit harsh for my needs but who knows? It doesn’t take up too much space in the camera bag and used in combination with the diffuser, can be another useful tool in the kit.





Strobist session

7 03 2010

Had a little strobist session with Rick Valenzuela from the Phnom Penh Post in the evening. This might turn into a regular event as its nice to throw ideas back and forth on lighting.
First up is Rick. Lighting was a gridded Viv 283 (1/2 power) at Rick’s 10:00, a gobo’ed Viv 285 (1/16 power) at Rick’s 2:30 and another Viv 283 (1/2 power) on Rick’s hands for an interesting effect. Looking back a day after, I should have thrown another flash just above Rick just to give his hair a bit more oomph. Well, there is always next time.

Rick and a light globe

Rick and a light globe

Second is a portrait shot with Brian Calvert who works at VOA. Lighting is simple with a gridded Viv 283 (1/2 power) at Brian 2:00 and a Viv 285 (1/8 power) at his 7:00.

Brian profile

Brian profile

Lastly is Brooke who also works at the Phnom Penh Post as a journalist. Before that, she worked as a model in London and Milan. I had the pleasure of working with her on a previous shoot with the Post on a Hunter S Thompsonesque theme. Lighting is another three flash combo with a gobo’ed Viv 285 (1/4 power) at Brooke’s 11:00, a gridded Viv 283 (1/2 power aimed at her face) and a monster Sunpack 622 Super (1/4 power) that can light a whole city block directly at Brooke’s 6:00.
Also, to Brookes immediate left and right are a couple of helpers using a broken down Anchor box as fans to flip up her hair.

Brooke and her hair

Brooke and her hair