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A look back, and moving forward.

A look back, and moving forward.

A long time ago I posted a review on all the small softoxes I used to help light my portraits. It’s still very accurate, I do have and use all these things, with a bit of a change. My highly used Lastolite 24″ Ezybox was replaced by the FJ Westcott 28″ Apollo softbox. At the time, I had never used it, I didn’t know anyone who had one… but that changed, once one of my friends had the 28″ Apollo softbox we all got one. Then we all started to use it, and now it’s in my bag every time I go out. I used it exclusively on my photoshoot with Trevor Pritchard for Kitchissippi Times.

I guess the nice folks over at Westcott noticed, since they recently chose me to be one of their 2013 “Top Pro’s.” Pretty cool stuff, it’s a short list, with some pretty big names (at first I could have sworn it was a mistake or joke) but there I am, and I’ll be building up my Westcott arsenal over the next few months, putting out some video tutorials and testing some new gear.

So let me tell you a bit about the 28″ Wescott Apollo softbox, as an official Westcott™ photo-guy shillionaire I should tell you I did pay cash-money for my softbox and it was totally worth it. The Box folds up long and thin, like an umbrella, which is great, since I’m often already transporting some similarly lengthy items like a light-stand or a painters pole for an assistant to use. It pops open, quickly, and you put a white layer of diffusion on some velcro to soften the light. The inside is intended for a speedlight (or a few), but I also like using my small Elinchrom Ranger Quadra heads to push the power output even further (like in the image above: all I used was a Westcott Apollo softbox at camera left). Finally, and this is something I do love Westcott for, a grid is available at a very economical price (grids can get crazy expensive for higher-end gear) to help further control and direct the light.

In addition to the 28″ Apollo softbox, Westcott offers a 43″ Octa (or “orb” as they call it), a 16″x30″ strip light, and a 50″ softbox (the later of which does not currently have a grid). The Apollo softbox is often the first light modifier I recommend to beginners looking to better get their flashes off-camera. I like the control a softbox gets you over an umbrella (which isn’t closed off, so light goes everywhere) and the price is right – half what I paid for my Lastolite Ezybox back in the day.

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