Test Shoot with a 54" x 72" Softbox

November 16, 2015


For those familiar with my work, for portrait, lifestyle, and fitness, I've been using either the 36" x 48" softbox or 12" x 50" stripbank as my Key Light. I would also put a 40° egg crate grid on the softbox or stripbank. About a month ago I did a shoot with the Westcott 7' Diffusion Parabolic Umbrella. Yes it is a huge umbrella. What I like about the 7' Parabolic Umbrella is how the light wraps around the subject and you could take a full body shot without having to set the light further. What I didn't like about it was, it's difficult to control and shape the light. If you are looking for a large soft source of light you can't beat the 7' Parabolic Umbrella. For around $100 you get a large soft source of light. If you do decide to get the 7' Parabolic Umbrella, I recommend getting some black fabric, so you can put it over the umbrella to shape the light.


Next came the Westcott 54" x 72" softbox. I've heard about it several times but have never seen one. As I was preparing for a test shoot with my good friend, Maynard, who also happens to be a great photographer, I needed additional c-stands and sandbags -- safety first. I rent most of my equipment from Keeble & Shuchat Photography rental department. They have a well-stocked rental department. While I was there, I noticed they have a 54" x 72" softbox. Took them awhile to find it. Apparently it's been a long time since anyone rented it.


Here is my setup.

Tech Notes:

  • Key Light - 54" x 72" Westcott softbox with 2 36" x 48" 40° egg crate grids (I didn't have a 54" x 72" egg crate grid).

    • ​Key light set to f/5.6.

    • If you are interested to know more about grids check out this video.

  • Hair/Rim Light - 12" x 36" Westcott stripbank with 40° egg crate grid.

    • Hair/rim light set to -2-stops from Key light.

  • Fill Light - 2 x 42" Westcott Sunlight reflector.

  • With the exception of the Fill light, all other light sources were feathered away from the subject.

  • White balance using ExpoDisc.

  • Sekonic L-358. Yes! I still use a light meter.

  • Lens hood, useful in block stray light from hitting your lens.

  • Camera setting; Manual Mode, 1/125s, f/5.6 and custom white balance.

  • Images shot as raw and edited in Adobe Lightroom™.

Disclosure: I am not sponsored or have any business relationship with any of the companies or vendors mention in this blog post. All equipment used are owned by me, borrowed or rented.


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