photography: image projection effects in the studio

image projection effects in the studio with the Light Blaster

Shooting in a studio can feel like a challenge at times – you’re in a big box of a room, and somehow you have to work past that restriction with light and ideas, create something. I’ve been curious about using projection effects in the studio, but always seem to come up short against equipment that is either too expensive, or too limited .. until Udi Tirosh of DIY Photography, turned me onto the idea of the Light Blaster.

The Light Blaster attaches to your speedlight on one end, and a lens on the other end. In the middle, you insert a slide with colors that you can project onto a background, or onto your subject. Alternately, you can use a metal gobo to create shadow patterns on the background. Quite simple really, but the effects are great.

For this series of photographs, I mounted my Nikon 35mm f/1.4 since that was the wider lens that I had accessible in the studio at the time. The Light Blaster comes with a Canon mount, so you need an adapter to mount your Nikon lens to that. The adapters aren’t expensive so it’s not an issue.

Photographing Olena this evening, we had started off with just a stripbox to the side, and a rim-light behind her. It looked pretty good, but it wasn’t exceptional. Then I decided to mix it up a bit. I added a smoke machine, and added the Light Blaster as well. Instead of one of the metal gobos that comes as part of a Light Blaster kit, I decided to use a metal gobo by Rosco that I had never been able to put to any use. I just dropped it into the slot where the frames would’ve been put inside the unit.


 you can order the Light Blaster kit from these affiliate links


For the first sequence here, I projected the shadow pattern on the white backdrop, through the smoke to give this sultry effect.

The pull-back shot will show how we triggered the smoke machine – Olena had to tap it with her toe, and keep the sexy pose. Hey, it’s better than me running to and fro without an assistant there. Then I backlit the smoke for more dramatic effect.

Here is the comparison: On the left is just the stripbox that I used as a main light. No rim-light, and no projector or smoke.

The pull-back shot shows the lighting setup. The two flashes were both Profoto D1 Air 500 W/s Monolight (affiliate).

The main light (camera right), was modified with the Westcott Asymmetrical 18″x42″ Strip Bank (affiliate), that I use without a grid. It gives me some control over how the light falls off, without being too dramatic and narrow.

The rim-light was via Profoto RFi 1’×4′ softbox (affiliate); and a Profoto 50 degree 1×4 grid (affiliate) to control the spill light.



With just this short experiment with the Light Blaster, I am very impressed, and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of what can be done with this device, and some imagination.

For more info about the capabilities of the Light Blaster, check out their website.


 you can order the Light Blaster kit from these affiliate links



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5 Comments, Add Your Own

  1. 5Stuart says

    What size was is the Rosco metal gobo? is it venetian blind 2 size A?
    Living in the uk makes it tough to find these items.
    P.S. Have read all your books.

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