Strobies Shoe-Mount Flash Accessories; Turn Your Shoe-Mount Flash Into A Versatile Studio Lighting Tool Page 2

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I often make my barn-doored light do double-duty: as hair and background light, by opening the panels just enough while still controlling spill. That means keeping the subject within 2 or 3 feet of the backdrop, which isn’t difficult when you work in a confined space, such as a home studio. If you get even more ambitious, add a third flash with snoot as a dedicated hair or accent light, with the barn-doored light restricted to the backdrop. Of course, these are just starting points. In my own setup, I experimented with different combinations, as well as the relative position of the lights.

Flex Mount
The Flex Mount is the adapter that lets you fit each component neatly and securely onto the shoe-mount flash head. It’s available in different sizes, for various flash brands and models.
Courtesy Interfit Photographic

In Use
Frankly, when I looked at the size of the softbox and beauty dish, I was concerned. As everyone knows, a softbox should be larger than the subject for it to work effectively. That creates the characteristic soft, window-like wraparound lighting. As for beauty dishes, they normally start at 18” in diameter. The aim of a beauty dish is to soften the light but still keep an edge to it. The light from a beauty dish is harder than that from a softbox, but considerably softer than light coming straight out of a regular dish, owing to the baffle that bounces the light back into the reflective surface. Well, suffice it to say, with the proper light placement, I was pleasantly surprised to see that these accessories worked quite nicely. I did find greater utility in the softbox than the beauty dish. Admittedly, I would like to see these two accessories a bit larger, with a secondary fabric baffle added inside the softbox for an even softer light.

As for their use, a softbox and beauty dish are traditionally placed fairly close to the subject. In this instance, distance is very important, given that we’re starting with small light sources. Move them back too far and the light becomes specular—hard rather than soft. When it came to portraits, I found these two accessories most useful for head-and-shoulder portraits and headshots. The globe, on the other hand, can be used to cover a broader area. A fill light or large bounce panel will help to alleviate any shadows. As for the barn doors, snoot, and grid, position them farther away so that they don’t create hot spots or wash out highlight detail. Finally, you may also want to tweak the image during Raw conversion or in post to reduce contrast further, as I did.

Judging by my experiences with Strobies, I’m thoroughly convinced that I have a new portable lighting solution at hand. While I don’t expect to get exactly the same results that my monolights would give me, when similarly accessorized, I still found Strobies to be eminently practical. More than that, they were fun to use.

Strobies XS Bracket
The one Strobies accessory that was not available for my tests is the XS Bracket. As Interfit explains it, this essentially lets you attachvirtually any third-party light modifier with an “S”-type fitting, which of course includes Interfit accessories. The major benefit of the XS Bracket is that, by keeping the infrared port exposed, it doesn’t interfere with the flash unit’s built-in wireless triggering system. The XS Bracket comes with its own 7” dish (reflector), which immediately gives your shoe-mount the appearance of a studio flash head. You shouldn’t need more than one or two of these brackets, unless you’re really ambitious with your studio lighting.

Shown here in two typical configurations, with conventional-sized square softbox (available as a kit) and beauty dish (sold separately), the XS Bracket permits use of a wide variety of light-shaping accessories, including full-sized beauty dishes.

Street Pricing
Strobies Portrait Kit: $149 (components are also available separately)
Strobies Flex Mount: $8
Strobies XS Bracket: $45

For more information, contact Interfit Photographic at: www.interfitphotographic.com.

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