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Thread: studio space problems with soft boxes

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    La Quinta, CA

    studio space problems with soft boxes

    My wife and I are moving into a new house and she has graciously said that I can have two rooms for my photography work - one for my darkroom and one for a studio. This will work great for me and am really looking forward to setting things up. However, I'm having a challenge thinking about shooting portraits and figure work with the studio room space. It's plenty long enough but only 9' wide.

    I'm used to working with large soft boxes on each side of my subject, and there clearly won't be enough width in the studio to work with them. Was wondering if I could utilize something like LED strip lights mounted on the two side walls for continuous lighting, but not sure if I will get enough light out of them.

    Any suggestions on how to make this work. One idea i had is to get rectangular soft boxes which aren't as deep, but this still might not provide me with enough space. Are there any new products out there that would be smaller, but still work as well?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    The easiest compact solution is good old foam-core where these are cut to fit where you work and set-up where boxes would go, but without the heavy boom stand and big box... You would then use a smaller stand with reflectors on the heads to illuminate the cards and bounce the light off of them... You might be able to just hinge cards off the wall to save space...

    You will need to carefully shade the lens as the lights will be closer to camera in the smaller space...

    Steve K

  3. #3
    ghostcount's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Condado de la Naranja, CA

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    Congrats on the new house and blessings from your wife in continuing her support for your photography.

    Have you looked into wall mounted booms or a ceiling rails?
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Neverland Blues again...

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    Beauty dishes are slightly more compact, if that helps. Or maybe just bounce the strobe off the wall? Not the same, but closer to a softbox than LED strips.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    There are also some thin-profile soft box options. I used to use only Wafer soft boxes. They were - and still are - very expensive, but also top-quality. They're also half as deep as other pro soft boxes.
    These days, I've abandoned soft boxes in favour of ring lights, or gridded reflectors, sometimes with a diffuser on the front.
    But if you still prefer soft boxes, Adorama has a decent line of stuff for not too much money.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    Start with wall booms and V-Cards

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Atlanta, GA

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    Since a panel LED can be gridded that would appear to be a nice alternative, less need for flags etc. getting in the way.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    I can’t really offer any advice but just wanted to say that I’d like to have this “problem” too :-)

  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    Bounce light. Use black v-flats or fabric as subtractive fill if needed.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    now in Tucson, AZ

    Re: studio space problems with soft boxes

    Can you share a photo of the raw space? It would help us better visualize the situation... although you have some good ideas already.
    I've seen good work done in very small studios (and I've shot in a couple).

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