Mastering photography means forever chasing the light.  I am a completely self taught Photographer and still learning.  There is no one perfect camera and lens that will guarantee you the perfect shot.  There are so many more factors to consider. True, most of the work is done for you with certain cameras, but it means nothing if you don’t know what to do with it.  It really comes down to your ‘eye’, framing the shot and light. Whether you opt for natural or flash, light is arguably the most important element of a composing an image.  Most of my shoots are indoors and consist of still life, food styling and flatlays.   I prefer natural light, but I do constantly turn to my studio lights for more illumination. When a chance to collaborate with Calumet Photo arose, I thought this was the perfect time to build on my lighting equipment for more professional images.

Ben and Jerrys cookie dough ice cream wich

For those that don’t know, Calumet Photographic is such a good online camera and photography equipment store. They stock cameras & camera accessories for semi- professionals and professionals, and is one of three main stops I make when I need something new.   I wanted to venture into using a soft box, as all my research has shown they are the best at filling the frame in a subtle light which in turn reduces contrast,  and softens the edges of  shadows. To accompany my latest SMD 200 light, I opted for their Calumet Illuma large soft box, as it could work for my product and portrait photography.

funkin cocktail slushie

So what did equipment did I shoot with?
This was my first time using a soft box and I am beyond happy with the results ( see all examples above) but considering that I thought it would be straightforward to set up, it really wasn’t straightforward. This particular style is not some pop up that comes out of the bag and presto! it required accessories to all come together.  When making any photographic purchase make sure you do your research, to ensure everything is compatible to what you have. We all know this, but it is so important to fully read the specs.  Open that accessories tab because it may be an additional essential purchase. I had to purchase a light ring adapter to accommodate the accompanying universal adapter ring and speed ring to my light.
Strangely there were no instructions but it’s nothing a YouTube tutorial video couldn’t fix.  Piece by piece the puzzle came together as I slotted in rods, clipped in diffusers and adjusted screws. Be particularly careful when slotting in the rods to the speed ring, which acts a skeleton  forming the shape of the soft box. The brilliant thing about this style is that it comes with a removable front diffuser, silver with white interior surfaces and two graduted inner baffles for contrast changes.

calumet photo soft box

The Illuma is huge, and my images were flooded with light after each flash and the expansive face meant more of my still life was in focus. Take into account what size is actually necessarily as I felt my light was weighed down, so I am going to look into a smaller option. I rely on post production editing to create effects, but after using the setup with the Calumet photo soft box editing was so minimal, and I feel I got that real life HD look I have been striving for so long.  I am going to enjoy and continue experimenting to get the most of the box, so be prepared for a hell of a lot more images that have more style