Putting a Softbox on a Boom

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” Robert Frank

Photogenic has been making studio equipment for more than a hundred years. Their 640 WS Soft Box Portrait kit is a two-light system that includes a softbox that can be mounted on a boom, something beginning portrait photographers sometimes overlook as because they think this particular tool is too expensive or complex to use. My experience with this kit demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth.

The 640 WS Soft Box Portrait kit contains two AKC320 StudioMax III monolights, each rated at 320 Watt-seconds. Twisting a knob on the monolight’s back adjusts output power over a six-stop range. At three pounds, each AKC320 is lightweight and compact making them ideal for location work or for hanging from the boom arm that’s included in the kit.

My first shooting session with the AKC55K 640 WS Soft Box Portrait kit went smoother and faster than any lighting kit I’ve tested. For the portrait of Amber made in my in-home studio, I placed the main light at camera right with the other 320 Watt-second StudioMax III monolight on the boom at camera left and slightly over her head. Power on the second light was at three-quarters power. Camera was a Canon EOS 5D with with EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 135mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/13 and ISO 100.

Tip: With the StudioMax III eight feet in the air I thought making power output changes could involve lowering the boom, changing the setting, raising, and then shooting but I ended up just lowering the whole lightstand to make adjustments.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AMIf you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting, in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from Amazon.com, where your purchase helps this blog.

Author: Joe Farace

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