Why use shoot-through umbrellas?

Yesterday evening was one of those interesting sessions at the camera club, with lots going on.

Kevin, the chairman, was continuing his occasional talks on Photoshop Elements for beginners,  Dave Woods was doing some HDR demos, with photoshop, Photomatix and HDR Efex (and possibly others), and we had 2 ‘studio’ sessions.

Bill was doing a macro session, and had 2 tabletop setups: a tent and a square area with backdrop and white walls, while I was trying out 3 portrait techniques with interested parties.

For my setup I had:

Setting up the autopoles and paper is extremely fast, but assembling the softboxes is slow, even though they have one spreader pocket closed with velcro to make the job easier, the octabank really needs 2 adjacent spreaders set that way, as getting the ends of the final 2-3 spreaders into the flash head ring is murder when everything is under tension from the already placed spokes.

Umbrellas are so much easier, as they just pop up and slide in, but they don’t give such nice light.

Anyway we managed a back-lit clamshell beauty look, using the stripbank to get a perfect blown-out white backdrop, and also a 3/4 profile with just the big stripbank, unfortunately our model had been struck by a lurgy so we just had brave members standing in (hence no photo here on the blog)

Some members found out how to set their ISO, speed and aperture, which is part of the exercise.  One failure though, was convincing a new consumer DSLR to actually fire the hot-shoe radio trigger

The owner will need to RTFM for next time, as the menu icons are not always self-explanatory enough for a more experienced member to help them, and no-one was otherwise familiar that make of camera.

In the end, even with help, it took 3/4 hour to unload and set-up, and the same time to re-pack the jeep at the finish, of each 3/4 about 15 mins were devoted to unpacking and striking the softboxes.

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