Using a gridded stripbox as the main light
As I show in the video clip how to use gridded strip boxes as the main light, I love how I can flexibly shape the light falling on and around my subject. Specifically in the studio, I mostly use the large gridded Profoto 1’x6 strip-box (B&H / Amazon). It is simultaneously capable of dramatic light and soft light. Or an interesting combination of that. More than that, I can vary the interplay between light and shade, by how I swing the softbox around, or rotate it. I often do this while shooting so that I continuously get light & shade that varies. A great example would be with these dramatic portraits of kids.
As I shoot, and check the camera’s preview, I can change the way the stripbox is rotated on its axis, or rotated on the light-stand’s axis … or just swung around in an arc around my subject. This behind-the-scenes photo was taken by Claudia, and will better illustrate exactly what it is I do with the gridded stripbox. It is on caster wheels, so it easily moves around with just a light push and pull on the edge.
Camera gear (or equivalents), and lighting gear used
The light was from a single Profoto D1 studio flash (500 Ws) (B&H / Amazon), with a Profoto 1’x6’ gridded strip-box (B&H / Amazon). I love how I can scallop the light, and either have some of the light fall on the wall … or not. The long shape of the softbox, as well as the grid on the softbox, create a unique light fall-off – giving soft, but dramatic light.
- 1/125 @ f/9 @ 100 ISO
- Nikon D810
- Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR /equivalent Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II
- Profoto D1 studio flash (500 Ws) (B&H / Amazon)
- Profoto 1’x6’ gridded strip-box (B&H / Amazon) with a Profoto 50 degree soft-grid
Two more examples (with minimal retouching):
- Profoto: How to use gridded strip boxes as the main light
- Changing the background color with gels (model: Olive)
- Portrait lighting setup – Chiaroscuro (model: Frankie)
- Using a big gridded strip-box / soft-box (model: Anita DeBauch)
- Photoshop: Adding texture layers to photos (model: Claudia)
- NJ photography studio rental
- Studio Photography Workshops
- More articles on Studio lighting and Photography
Studio lighting workshop
If you are interested in learning more about studio lighting, including lighting for headshots, I offer workshops on studio lighting. The workshops will be held at my studio space in NJ, and it has a wide range of studio lighting gear to play with!
7 Comments, Add Your Own
I see you’re using the D1 strobe, however I curious about when you are using the B1, do you use the TTL feature to establish your exposer then change the on camera transmitter to manual for the balance of the shoot? I would guess not, however my reason for the question is do you trust the TTL exposer established by the B1?
2Neil vN says
Del … that’s how I most often start with my exposures.
I set my camera’s aperture and ISO (and shutter speed), and fire the B1 in TTL mode, and then check my exposure. From there I will adjust it if necessary, and then switch the controller to manual mode.
It’s a very easy way to get to initial settings that are on the mark, or close to.
Thank you so much for the reply. I use the same approach, however I was not quite sure if I was on the correct path. I have also
found some adjustments are necessary.
Last picture is simply amazing! I wish I would be able to even try doing something like. Have access to a studio, but my wife is far from being excited about me shooting models/girls etc. Any advice how to deal with that?
3.1Neil vN says
Have her assist you. More than that, I don’t have advice.
4Luc Slegers says
What is the color of the backdrop? Is it black, white or grey?
4.1Neil vN says
It’s a grey wall. Keep in mind that a grey wall can appear every shade from white to black, and every shade of grey in-between, depending on how much light you throw on it.