I was graciously given the chance to check out 2 of Gamilights offers in some of my current work flows.
My normal arsenal includes shoot thru umbrellas, a Fong dome, an Fstopper dish and a few reflectors. Weddings are my usual bread and butter, so portability is a HUGE thing for me. I use speed lights due to portability and not needing to find power or lug heavy batteries. Some of my weddings are a few miles on trails and such since I am located in the Portland, OR area with the Columbia Gorge and its waterfalls right up the road.
When my friend Grey told me about Gamilight and the portability of bigger soft boxes, I thought I would try some of them out. I wanted a main light, so I went with the Octave 53 to give me the soft light I wanted. I also wanted to try a strip light to work more with my rim and backlighting. I have been wanted to kick up my contrast game lately, so now was the chance.
The Octave 53.
Unpacking it, the material is thick and seems like it can hold up to the wear and tear of constant folding, unfolding, and snapping. That being said, it can be a little tricky to work with on the first setup. unfolding the diffuser and folding it more into a dome shape (as per the instructions) was a little tricky, I don’t think I got it in the right shape my first go.
You open the diffuser, press the center down a little bit, and then snap it into the larger Octave frame.
Once it was snapped in, my octagon was a little wonky due to the center not be perfectly round. I am hoping that once I get to shooting with it, it will decide to relax a little bit.
I like the idea of an inner diffuser. Also, the white instead of the silver should offer a nice soft light. That is what I want with a main light, especially with weddings. I find that silver boxes seem to add too many harsh highlights.
Next there is a fabric diffuser that goes over it all. There is a panel in the fabric that has a little tab in it. Pop that out and match it with one of the notches on the side. I am taking it that this helps the fabric from shifting around while you use it.
viola! You now have a 20″ soft box that can go just about anywhere with you! They also include these bags that fit perfectly and make them super easy to bring with.
Next Up: The Box 60
This is a 60cm strip light that I am hoping to use mostly as a rim and backlight. I also light the idea of a fading light on one end, which may make for some amazing boudoir and modeling light.
This one is a bit tricky as it has a tendency to try to fold over on itself. However, it makes a great alligator mouth to chase your child around with.
Opening it up you see a silver lining and a small diffuser. As this is one of my off lights, I am perfectly fine with the silver. Once I get my main light dialed in, I can make the adjustments to these to make their area pop. Again, I plan on using the strip box mostly for rim and backlight.
The instructions are very handy on this one as it tells you to layout the fabric first and then put the top and bottom in. I tried just putting on the fabric and it came one a little too wavy. Watch for the colored snaps though. One side is black, and the other white, they won’t snap onto each other. Once the ends are on, just snap the fabric onto the sides.
Like with the Octave 53, the first attempt at putting this together left me a little wanting on construction. While the plastic is stiff and seems like it will hold up to wear and tear, it does have some straight line issues. I am hoping that once I get this baby in use more often, the lines will come.
The Box 60 went together quite quickly once I got the fabric trick down.
So all together, they seem like it might be a great portable for those who don’t have the options to use giant roll arounds. I mean I could, but if you’ve hiked in the Columbia Gorge, you would go light and portable as well.
Next up, testing! I have a model coming into the studio tomorrow which I will hopefully be able to get some good shots with. I’ll be finishing up the post for that after.