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                   Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 10:39PM

Video lighting: Omni with Softbox

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Still not much weather going on out there, as is typical for this time of year. October has traditionally been my 'take a breath' month, with only a few mild storm events here and there to worry about before my more active winter season kicks in.

This quiet atmospheric downtime is a good thing, as I have been so busy with CIS work this week that I wouldn't have been able to observe storms anything anyway. So I guess I'll break the blog silence with another boring post about lighting, since this has been occupying a lot of my leisure-time thoughts lately. Scanning the internet daily for bargains paid off this week, as I got a great deal on a used Lowel Omni, complete with a Chimera speedring and Photoflex softbox. This fulfills my current softbox need at about a third of the cost than I expected, and in time for my next interview job. It also gives me another Omni to work with, though I will need to get a set of barn doors for it (about 60 bucks) if I ever want to use it without the softbox.

I also picked up a stand-mounted reflector kit last week along with a 10'x12' muslin backdrop for interviews. With the new softbox as my key light and the reflector providing the fill, this gives a completely different and much more controllable key/fill combo setup than the two Tota lights. Though I will probably not use the Totas much again for indoor interviews, I am still keeping them since they still have uses for special situations (like illuminating backgrounds in large rooms or outdoors). I may sell one Tota if I find a nice deal on an Arri 650 - a move that will likely cover at least a fourth of that cost. My ideal 3-light kit would be an Arri 650 for key, a softbox for fill and an Omni for the hair light. So my current setup is not too far off from that goal. I have however seen some very nice results just from using a softbox/reflector key/fill setup, so I may end up being satisfied with that. Time, and a few more interviews, will tell.

I have also been working on some rigging to the hand truck (cart) I bought last month to haul the gear to and from the car - the main modification being a bolted-on plywood platform to extend capacity. Also, the tripods were too long to fit through doorways when they were laid flat on the cart, so I built a collapsible rack at one end of the platform that, with a couple of bungee cords, will allow tripods and stands to be carried vertically.

All of this is in preparation for several more CIS jobs we've been blessed with in the coming weeks. Things are currently looking promising in that regard, at least in the short term. I'll post more later about things happening at CIS just to give an update, though most of it is probably going to be relatively boring 'corporate' stuff to most readers here.

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