Shooting it: Light Blaster for the Background


Last week I had some really big strobist seminars in Tokyo and so many people have been asking me about the gear I will be talking in this article! Also it is the first time I upload photos taken with the Light Blaster – a pretty cool modifier which can project images on the background! This shoot was a very recent one, I know usually I take quite long to upload my articles, I promise to be quicker from now! 



Here it is, the first photoshoot for my new Canon 1Dx Camera! I’ve been shooting almost 3 years with Canon 5D Mark II, and finally I’m changing to the highest class body! One of the main reasons is that quite often I’m shooting in locations with tough conditions an I want to have a tough body that I shouldn’t worry about when I shoot in a hard rain, or something else happens! And my lens for the shoot is Canon 135mm f/2, probably my most used lens!

Nissin MG8000 are the 2 strobes I am using for the shoot, awesome when I need full power to overpower the daylight and if I need to shoot quickly without caring for overheating the strobes! I’m also having Nissin Power Pack PS8 on the strobes!

My triggers are Cactus V6, recently I switched to them from Pocket Wizard, and that was a great decision to make! Using them I can control the flash power of my manual flashes without the need to go and even touch them! 

Light Blaster – ok, this is a new tool that I’m writing for the first time! Jump to the lighting section below for more info about it! Basically using it I can design a boring background into something interesting, and much more! 


まず、カメラはこれから Canon 1Dx Cameraです!3年近く使ってたマーク2はしばらく休みです!なぜ1DXに変えたかというと、一番メインの理由はかなりめちゃくちゃなロケで撮影することが最近多いからです!最近の土砂降りで5D がほぼ使えなくなりました!レンズは Canon 135mm f/2, で、ポートレートとるときに大好きなレンズです!

ストロボはNissin MG8000 です!マシンガンストロボはパワーが必要なときにとても大事です!ストロボも結構フル発光で使うことが多いので、純正のストロボだったらオーバーヒートして、しばらく使えなくなることがあります!MG8000は一切暑くなることがないので、撮影に集中できます!バッテリーパック Nissin Power Pack PS8 も使ってます!

ラジオスレーブはCactus V6です!

Light Blaster を使うとつまらない背景でも、面白くすることができます!ブラスターはプロジェクターみたいですが、ライトはストロボになります!ロケでも使えますよ!


2014-06-24 - Paiting with light SETUP

 The location for this shoot is an old mine in Shiga Prefecture – it was a bit different than what we expected but still had great time being there and using it as a location for this shoot! Well to be honest most of my photos I could have taken at any other location 😉 


For my main light I’m using a shoot-through umbrella, I have around 2-3 of them on almost every shoot I go to! Why do I need so many – because they break very easily! So for this shot I preferred using the umbrella rather than a softbox! I set the light left from her, and balanced it so I can expose her correctly at around 1/8 – 1/16th power! I was shooting at the sync speed for my camera – 1/200 no ND filters and ISO-100, so it was pretty good timing of the day! I’m at wide open aperture on my 135mm lens at f/2. I have a Nissin Power Pack PS8 on the MG8000 strobe, but since I was not shooting at very high power even without it it would be fine! 



For the background I’m using Light Blaster, it is a really powerful too to create your backgrounds and add some different things to your photographs! I started using it recently, and I’m quite a lot having fun with it! Here is how it looks like:

ILKO0658_1 - Copy

Light Blaster

Basically you need a strobe and a lens and it turns into a projector. But unlike a normal projector it is using the strobe power so it is quite powerful! The strobe is tightly fixed on the back side of the Light Blaster, and the lens is mounted on the front side! If you use Canon lenses you can mount them the way they are, and for Nikon lenses you might need some adapter! You don’t really need that quality lens for the projector part, but I would suggest you to use as bright lens as you can! I personally prefer something like aperture f/1.4, which compared to the lens on this image for example (Canon 17-40 F/4) is giving you the advantage of 3 stops of light! So how about the backgrounds? Here is the slide I’m using for the top photo of this post, it is a part of their Pro Gobo Kit:

ILKO0691 - Copy

There are a lot of slides that you can purchase together with the Light Blaster, and some of them are really cool! Of course you can get creative and create your own slides! Also you can use the 35mm film slides of you have any! 

So for the strobe at the blaster I do have also a battery pack, and for it was really good to have it since it was at 1/1 power and I wanted it to charge quickly! Well to be honest in most cases when I’m using the blaster from the beginning I set my strobe at Full power and usually I adjust everything else after that! I trigger both flashes with Cactus V6 Trigger as I said already! In a separate article soon I will write more about the blaster with some more of my examples created using it! 


ライト・ブラスターはかなり面白い機材ですよ!それを使えば、あんまり面白くない背景でもプロジェクター使ってるみたいに、自分の好きな背景作れます!この写真もライトブラスターで背景をいじっています!上記の写真にブラスター自体が写っています!ストロボとレンズをつけて、そしてもともとついてるスライドなどを使うと背景を何でも変えれます!手で持ってるのがこの撮影のメインのフォトに使ったスライドです!日本にもライト・ブラスターを取り扱ってるお店がひとつあるので、ぜひご確認ください: OMNIVAS | 機材屋オムニバス ← 名前を押していただいたら、ブラスターのページに飛びますね!


Final Results

 This was the first time I’m showing you photos with the Light Blaster as a background modifier, and to be honest it really kind of motivated me to shoot more indoors and even in some boring studios! For this shoot I was having my friends Ken Isaka and L-a Paquette Photograph, definitely check their pages as well, and also the model is Aki! I’m uploading a few images with different slides for the background! They are taken basically at the same time, I just changed the slides! And I’m quite excited now to try to make some new interesting backgrounds for my next works! 




In the end

Now, I am preparing a series of new articles on some general topics, let me know which one of them you want to see first, so I get it ready earlier! Also other ideas are welcome too! Here are some of them: Portraits at night / Lens article (I guess 135/2) / Portraits in the rain / Use of gels / Using backlight / One light setups / Shoots with just one umbrella / General shooting portraits / Can cheap lenses make good photos / Swing the camera shots / Using snoots / Shaped bokeh / … or any other idea welcome, post it in the comments, and I will see if I am able to write about it! Also stay tuned for my new blog section starting soon called “Strobist Diary” There I will talk about many of my off-camera flash techniques from basic things to some advanced stuff! 



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