School Pictures

Natalie's School Picture
My daughter goes to an in-home preschool/ daycare with a few other kids here in Lakewood. My wife thought it would be cool for me to go over there and take some “class pictures” of them. So I took my new Homemade Softbox and went over. I think the pictures came out pretty well. But let me say this about groups of young kids (ages 3-4) – you have to have patience. When one would start to do something silly, the rest would start doing similar things and bedlam would ensue. It was all good fun though. They were excited to be in front of the camera and look nice for their parents. And thanks to Whit House Custom Color, I’ll have prints by the end of the week, in time for the holidays.

I did learn one thing though – I definitely need to get some sort of mobile backdrop system for portraits. Relying on surfaces on location just isn’t giving me the kind of background I want. Oh Santa…

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Homemade Softbox

This weekend I decided it was time to build the homemade softbox featured in my article of Do It Yourself Light Modifiers. With shopping list in hand, Natalie and I went to Michael’s to get everything we needed (and a craft for her to do at the same time).

Once we were at Michael’s, I had to make some substitutions. They want $35 for a piece of mat board, so I opted instead for a 3 pack of white poster board pieces. Also, the staff there had never heard of mylar drafting film. Wasn’t totally sure what to do, but as I was walking down the drafting/ needlepoint supply aisle, I spotted something called “plastic canvas”. I grabbed a couple sheets of varying sizes and hole densities and figured that would work.

Than I got into the construction phase. Cutting the foam was pretty straightforward (the authors tip about using a thin sheet of plywood for a cutting board was perfect). Then I started cutting the posterboard. In the authors revised directions, he indicates you should leave extra around the edges (on the trapezoidal pieces). I did this, but I am not sure what function that serves. As I was finalizing construction, These oversized pieces were difficult to work with and I still don’t see the point. Somehow I managed to get it all together though.

NatalieNatalie, exposure reducedCactus remote trigger, I had to fiddle with the flash settings a few times. The photo at left is still overexposed, but a quick treatment in Lightroom makes it suitable, as you can see in the photo at right.

In the time since I made my original post, I think the author of the instructions for this softbox has made some revisions. I’d love to see more detail on why the trapezoids should be oversized, since it caused me problems. But overall, I am happy with the output from this box. I am actually going to be playing with it later today when I do “class photos” for my daughter’s small preschool class here in Lakewood. I’ll post up another time about how that shoot goes.

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