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Photoflex Lighting School

Monday, July 02, 2012

Small OctoDome® Shoe Mount Flash Kit - Product Demonstration

Lighting Equipment

This Product Spotlight will cover how to set up an OctoDome®: small with the accessory hardware used to add your shoe mount flashes for a portable and compact lighting setup. This lesson also demonstrates the variety of results the OctoDome can produce by utilizing its interior removable gold and silver panels.

(Click on any thumbnail image below for an enlarged view.)

Topics Covered:

  •     Setting up the OctoDome: small
  •     Example Result Variations

Here’s what you need:

OctoDome: small
Includes a carry bag, soft box with rods, cowling with removable gold/silver panels and interior gold/silver panels, baffle and face.
Basic OctoConnector
Adjustable Shoe Mount Hardware
Heavy-Duty Swivel
LiteStand (not shown)
[figure 1]

Figure 1

First, attach the Adjustable Shoe Mount Hardware to the Basic Connector. Screw the brass thumb screw into the OctoConnector, lining up the guide pin next to the brass thumb screw to the alignment hole adjacent to the threaded hol in the OctoConnector. [figure 2]

Figure 2

Next, attach the brass stud from the Heavy-Duty Swivel to the hardware. [figure 3]

Figure 3

With the rods already inserted in the soft box, you can now assemble the rods into the connector. Be sure to follow the pattern of inserting the rod opposite from the previous one. As you finish inserting the rods you will have a snug fit. [figure 4]

Figure 4

Screw in the brass stud to the Adjustable Shoe Mount Hardware. The stud can be tightened with pliers at the knurled section of the stud. [figure 5 and 6]

Figure 5

Figure 6

Place the Heavy-Duty Swivel onto the LiteStand and secure by twisting the knob. [figure 7 and 8]

Figure 7

Figure 8

Add the cowling to the back of the OctoDome. This helps to eliminate light spill out the back of the soft box. The cowling has removable gold/silver panel for varied lighting effects. [figure 9 and 10]

Figure 9

Figure 10

Here’s the view of the cowling from the interior. [figure 11]

Figure 11

One feature of the OctoDome is its removable interior panels. They are reversible gold and silver and attached via Velcro. Using the silver panels increases contrast in your results, while the gold panels warm up your result. Or mix the two together for a more subtle warming effect, especially suitable for medium to darker skin tones. This feature doesn't come on any other brands! Take your lighting to a new level with these additional ways to be creative. [figures 12 and 13]

Figure 12

Figure 13

Next, attach the interior baffle to the soft box. This is simple to do—just attach the Velcro tabs on the baffle to the Velcro in the middle of the box along each rod. [figure 14 and 15]

Figure 14

Figure 15

Attach the front face to the Velcro around the rim of the soft box. [figure 16]

Figure 16

Attach your shoe mount flash or Speedlight to the Adjustable Shoe Mount Hardware. [figure 17]

Figure 17

The second shoe on the Adjustable Shoe Mount Hardware is available for remote wireless receivers. [figure 18 and 19]

Figure 18

Figure 19

Comparison of Setups using Shoe Flashes

Of course, it all comes down to—“Will the OctoDome really improve my results?”

Here’s a lineup of results of the same model in the same pose. Notice the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between bare flash, to OctoDome with white interior, silver interior, gold interior and more!

Result #1

Bare shoe mount flash as sole lighting. The light falls of quickly and creates a strong shadow on her cheek and severe highlights in her red hair and on her nose and lip. [figure 20]

Figure 20

Result #2

Shoe Mount Flash loaded into the OctoDome with white interior, no face or baffle. The highlights are lessened but the light still falls off more than is ideal. [figure 21]

Figure 21

Result #3

OctoDome with white interior, face and no baffle. The diffusion of light is increased with fainter shadows. [figure 22]

Figure 22

Result #4

OctoDome with all silver interior, face and no baffle. The contrast has increased, overall the result is much harsher. [figure 23]

Figure 23

Result #5

OctoDome with all silver interior, baffle and no face. The light is considerably softer on the model. [figure 24]

Figure 24

Result #6

OctoDome with all silver interior, face and baffle. The contrast is still there, but the addition of the baffle and face help further diffuse the light and ease the highlights on her face. [figure 25]

Figure 25

Result #7

OctoDome with all gold, no face and no baffle. The gold warms up the skin tones yet without any diffusion, results in a high contrast image with strong specular highlights. [figure 26]

Figure 26

Result #8

OctoDome with all gold, baffle and no face. The gold warms up the skin tones and the baffle softens the light and improves the specular highlights. [figure 27]

Figure 27

Result #9

OctoDome with all gold interior, face and baffle. The gold wams the skin tones and the combination of the baffle and face create the ultimate in soft lighting and control of the specular highlights. [figure 28]

Figure 28

Result #10

OctoDome with half silver and half gold interior, no baffle and no face. The light is warmed slightly but is too harsh. [figure 29]

Figure 29

Result #11

OctoDome with half silver and half gold interior, baffle and no face. The specular highlights have been reduced. [figure 30]

Figure 30

Result #12

OctoDome with half silver and half gold interior baffle and face. The scene has soft diffused light rendering warmer skin tones for a nice result. [figure 31]

Figure 31

Result #13

OctoDome with white interior, baffle and no face. Improved diffusion over the bare bulb, and decrease in shadows. [figure 32]

Figure 32

Result #14

OctoDome with white interior, baffle and face. Much more diffusion, little to no specular highlights—this gives most accurate color rendition, with softest possible light. [figure 33]

Figure 33

There you have it! Over a dozen variations of the same portrait. You’ll never get bored using the amazing OctoDome. With these added features you’ll always be able to create the right lighting effect for your situation.

Lighting Equipment

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