Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Creating a gobo pattern backdrop with a Pixapro PIKA200

My blogs are like buses, there's never one for ages and then two come along together!

This is another favourite from the May Day studio lighting tutorial with Justin Goh in Burgess Hill.




The lighting moved up a notch or two for this sequence of images as we progressed through various modifiers to the 120cm (4ft) octa easy-open soft box from Pixapro - the light was provided by a Pixapro CITI600 portable battery flash, which is becoming a studio favourite as there are no trailing cables and I can get 500 or so full power flashes from one fully charged battery. As I recall the flash was set to around 1/32 power. The soft box is double diffused, in other words both the inner & outer diffusers are in place along with the egg crate grid which along with the soft box being feathered away from Ibu controls spill giving a dark background.  The background is the plain white painted studio wall, nothing fancy.


I wanted to add depth and interest to the backdrop so decided to use a second light with a gobo projector attachment in place. This is where the fun starts as I decided to work exclusively with Pixapro battery flash, my gobo projector is the wonderful *Elinchrom Mini SpotLite in which steel gobos are inserted between two lenses (GoBO = Goes Between Optics).

The Pixapro PIKA200 (aka Godox AD200) fits the EL clamp bracket with a slight modification to the material on the moving clamp. To increase efficiency by stopping backward light leak I use a 144mm Speedring soft box adaptor - in controlled tests this gives between ⅓ & ⅔ stops power advantage with a variety of other modifiers on the S-Type & EL brackets.


To get the the subtle window blind effect I didn't need too much power from the PIKA200, most likely about 1/64 with the flash positioned about 12 feet behind and to camera right - the Mini SpotLite was gelled with a ½ CTB.


The background gobo flash is positioned purely for effect in this image - as you can see the image created by the gobo is somewhat small at this close range!

My thanks to Yang Wu, Ling Tang & team at Pixapro for providing such great service. If you're in the UK do support them as they do offer a 2 year warranty on their products and it really does save a pile of hassle by not dealing with a overseas supplier of potentially unknown provenance who may not be there when you need them . . .

There will be more workshops for both off camera flash & studio flash soon - keep an eye on my social media channels for more information.

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That's it for now and don't forget if you really enjoy lighting to visit and join The LIGHT Side - a place to learn, be mentored, nurtured and learn about lighting, lighting and photography, whatever your level or experience.

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