Rogue FlashBender XL Softbox Mk2 on location

Working light and in tight space could mean compromise with lighting, not if you have a Rogue FlashBender XL Soft Box mk2 in your bag or pocket.

Chris Foss, Head of Wine Dept, Plumpton College

For this assignment I needed a head shot in a working winery with no more than about 6 feet between the rows of fermenting vessels. This precluded my using and umbrella or soft box which would be too deep at around 24"-36" - Rogue FlashBender XL Soft Box mk2 and a Canon 580 EXII Speedlite is ideal in this situation.

Cr4ppy Lighting Sketch (CLS)

Av 160 ISO, 1/60 ƒ/2.5 WB daylight

Surprisingly the ambient light level was relatively high at Av 160 ISO, 1/60 ƒ/2.5  WB daylight - the strip tube lights suspended in the ceiling were about 12 feet above head height and had recently been upgraded to Phillips LED fluorescent tube replacements, which still emit a cool light, some say blue, some green - I don't have a colour meter or time to measure and test so decide to improvise.

Av minus one stop WB daylight, shutter speed 1/125th sec

I dropped the camera exposure by one stop using the exposure compensation dial as I was shooting in Av, aperture priority mode. Av maintains a constant aperture and adjusts the shutter speed to control exposure. Av was selected as I wanted a shallow DoF (Depth of Field) look to the image.

To warm the background and complement the blue of Chris' jacket & shirt I placed ½ CTB gel (LEE Filters 202, Rosco 3204) in front of the flash using one of my Gel Clip accessories.Why a blue gel?

½ CTB gel over flash, Rogue Flashbender XL Softbox mk2, Xrite Color Checker Passport 

By taking a colour reference frame and ensuring I'm recording RAW files the colour is adjusted during RAW processing to neutralise the blue skin tone - as orange is opposite blue on the colour wheel the blue cast is neutralised. As the ambient light isn't lit with blue it becomes orange and warm which many prefer to cool blue.

That's it, a one light portrait with a single Speedlite, simple modifier and a cut of lighting correction gel. The Speedlite was mounted to a Kupo Grip 055 Handy Stand, by means of a metal clamp type Cold Shoe Adaptor & Umbrella Swivel.

Kupo Grip is available from in UK and Mac Group in US

If you're a member of The LIGHT Side Facebook group contact and speak to one of the team who I know will look after you!

The Expo Imaging Rogue FlashBender XL mk2 is available from Colour Confidence in UK and direct from Expo Imaging and other fine came stores in US.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.


  1. Great post Ian. The warm ambient looks so natural compared to the blue tint.

    I really need to bring a notebook along on my shoots for quick diagrams like this!

    1. Thank you Chris - the Phillips LED "tubes" were a weird blue/green which in industrial applications is quite common as there's a gap in the output spectrum with many non-photographic/film making LEDs - I have to confess to not even considering a overall white balance correction, but going into "complimentary colour/colour correction mode"!


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