Contest #25: Win a Spiderlite TD6 (a $504 Value)

Spiderlite TD6 with Tilter BracketThe Challenge

This week’s photo contest is to create an image that represents “Soft Light”.  After watching Jim Schmelzer’s video below, try using your own light, whether it be studio lights, or window light to create that extremely soft lighting.

The Prize

Our Prize will be a  Spiderlite TD6 ($504) Along with this amazing light that Jim uses in the video below, you will be presented with a Golden Ticket, which enters you into the year-end raffle to win $15,000 in Westcott gear!

The Inspiration

Our Top Pro Elite photographer Jim Schmelzer shows some great lighting tips on how to get soft light with a single subject, as well as lighting a small group.  Jim also discusses the term “Feathering the light” which is a great way to get even skin tones on your subject’s face.


31 Responses to Contest #25: Win a Spiderlite TD6 (a $504 Value)

  1. Kristin June 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    This image is off my beautiful niece for her senior photos. The soft light is all natural lighting created by the shade of all the trees with back lighting from the sunnier area. This was using an 18-135 lens at f4, 1/180.

  2. dougdeas June 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Last week, I photographed my niece and her week-old son using a Nikon D300s camera and 35-70mm lens. I bounced one Nikon SB800 Speedlight off the ceiling to spread and soften the light. I helped raise my niece along with my two brothers, so we were all more than excited to meet our new buddy. His dad is a great tennis player, so we were particularly impressed with his grip.

  3. spectaclephoto June 13, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    My friend Jax in St. Augustine. This was shot with a softbox during sunset a few weeks ago.

  4. christian0530 June 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    This photo was taken with my canon T2i at 1/100 th f/8 ISO 100, Lens was my 55 – 250.
    Was late in the day with Natural light.

  5. Fatah Muse June 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    This is a photo of my friend Numan, shot at the studio with Canon 7d EF24-85mm, using 26 x 26″ Softboxes with Elinchrom D-Lite 4 lights.

  6. Jennifer Lahman June 12, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    After purchasing my first backdrop and constant on soft boxes, I used my daughter as a model to test things out. This has become a favorite photo of mine and constantly receives praise.

    Shot with a 5DMIII and a 70-200 f2.8 with 2 softboxes and 1 on camera 430EX speedlight with a soft box cover. ISO 400 f2.8 1/200 @ 88mm.

  7. Jamie June 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    I was shooting a music video using a single constant light with a soft box and I decided to do an impromptu photo shoot because of how nice the light was. The subject is Ottawa rapper ‘Spyke Grayson’ and he’s wearing apparel from the Toronto/Ottawa based clothing company ‘Coalition Co.’.

    I got him to look down so that shadows were cast on his face, but not so much as to black out his features entirely.

  8. Alchemic June 10, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Shot with a 50mm 1.4 using natural window light

  9. Thunder Mountain Central Asian Shepherd, a breeder and trainer in South Carolina, had recently imported a new male puppy named Lennon all the way from Hungary. The CAS is a rather rare breed of livestock guardians and when we saw the snapshots of his arrival, we knew we had to go and do a shoot for them.

    The whole setup was designed to bring out the soft textures while maintaining fine details. Two Westcott Apollo 28 kits powered by two Nikon SB910 (driven by PocketWizards) were set up at a low and shallow angle to the subject to wash him in soft diffused light. The inset on the Apollo is perfect for avoiding spill on to the background. I used a higher shutter speed to kill the ambient light.

    I hope you enjoy this photo as much I did creating it.

    Other Info… Body: Nikon D90, Lens: Nikkor 40mm Micro, ISO200, F4, 1/1600, RAW. Developed in Lightroom 4, Post in Photoshop CS6

  10. cislander June 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Used a soft box above and in front of the 6 year Joshua for a soft light exposure. Shot the father in hard light closer to the box and added his reflection into the little boys sunglasses. Silver and black stripe background. Olympus E5 with 50mm f2.0 lens shot at f/4.0, 1/250.
    Joshua would like you to know that he doesn’t really act that way. He was just playing.

  11. jayvo86 June 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Equipment: Olympus OMD EM5 w/45mm 1.8 shot at 1/250th, F3.5, ISO200. Kino Flo 4 Bank and Westcott Collapsable Muslin Background.

    My friend Mark came over to shoot for my portfolio. The idea is to highlight the face and get a nice expression the model could use for modeling or acting. The Kino Flo strip bank allows you to put the light very close and still obtain an even light from top to bottom with a nice contrasty fall off on the sides.

  12. schuenke June 8, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    This photo was taken at an engagement shoot on the beach. Light on the location was very soft morning light. 1/4000 sec at f/2, ISO 200, 85mm.

  13. sengpiehl June 7, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Taken using natural window light, this lovely Momma-to-Be was radiant! (not to mention a real sport, while we lay on her living room floor creating this image)

  14. gmencimer June 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    This photo taken of my good friend Christel Kamlag, was taken on a polar bear photo trip to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The sun in the northern latitudes in November is quite soft and directional. The interior of our polar rover had a white ceiling which further diffused and reflected the available light.
    Nikon D700
    Nikkor 70-200mm @ f/2.8 1/60th sec

  15. Kevin June 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    This shot was done with 3 borrowed TD6s two med softboxes left and right and a stripbank underneath. Was able to shoot at 200 ISO with a shutter of 1/80th at f2.8.

  16. Gary_Winter June 4, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Finally convinced my camera shy girlfriend to pose for some portraits, snapped this while she was getting ready.

  17. Slava Ivanov June 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    The photo of Kai, a talented make-up artist and model was taken on one of the photo expo. I called it “Earring” to highlight the attention on the unusual looking piece of jewelry. This is probably the example of the “softest” light I able to display as the contest entry.

  18. Herrinphotography June 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Model cancelled on me at the last minute, put out a casting call for a immediate session open. Christa came and saved my day!

    TD6 Key light
    TD5 boomed for hair
    TD5 on reflective background
    White plexi on floor

  19. Sandra Burchett June 3, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I took this photo against a white background. I had to have the light set at a 90 degree angle, and about 3 feet in front of the subject to get the soft light effect. My goal was to feather the light enough to turn the white background into a rich gray, and to let the backlight stand out. The feathered light was a White Lightning flash with a westcott orb. The backlight was a single large no-name strobe. This was one of the model’s favorite shots!

  20. Riddle Anne June 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    I shot this photo of my sister and grandfather holding a daisy near window light. It represented a very giving moment, for my grandfather is 83 and he always supports my sister and the whole family, It needed very soft wrapping light which matched the mood of the photo with his hand wrapping around my sister and the flower. I hope you like it.

  21. Rebecca Nash June 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I was thrilled to work with upcoming model Ashlynne Gates and be able to show her all that great lighting can do. Ashlynne wrote to me soon after the shoot to share this feedback:

    “My experience with Rebecca Nash was very positive. Her studio space is tidy and family friendly, which put me at ease before we even started shooting. As for professional equipment, she has it all! Rebecca had what we needed to make my portraits look 3D, instead of flat! I really appreciated the in-shoot feedback, and excellent pointers on poses and arm positions. I’m convinced that she could make just about anyone look completely fabulous in her studio! I received the edited photos from our shoot quickly, and conveniently which is perfect because I’m not tech savvy at all. All in all, Rebecca is a professional to the core and I can’t wait to shoot with her again!”

    Shot on Savage Seamless Paper in Arctic White with 2 TD5’s (One with Large softbox, one with stripbank & grid)

  22. dab_photography June 2, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    P.S. forgot to mention that the shot was made by putting two 1/4 stop translucent Scrim Jims in the shape of a “V”…placing the model as deep into the “V” as possible and blasting the light through the Scrim Jims (from behind)…i love this setup because of its simplicity and it requires very little space to do it…your light modifiers double as you background!

  23. dab_photography June 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    This was my first chance at shooting with this lens (135mm f1.8 zeiss) and really wanted to see if it could live up to the hype…what a relief it was when i saw the images pop up on the computer screen…even past 1:1 the image holds together…shot on a sony a77 at 1/100 sec, iso 200, f 7.1

  24. Susannah June 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Taken in the playground of my granddaughter’s pre-school, this lovely girl was captured in natural light with a Canon 5Dmk2 and a 70-200f4 lens

  25. Karen Vaisman June 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    This is an image composite of my daughter Melanie. Both Images shot at same session. I used 30×30 softbox with 3 speedlights inside camera right at right angle close to model feathered for soft effect. I used a shoot thru umbrella for overall fill with one speedlight. I used a 10×36 softstrip with eggcrate for hairlight with one speedlight. I used 5-in-1 Wescott white reflector from floor camera left angled up to fill under chin. I then overlayed second shot with same lighting, along with an image of bokeh with opacity taken down to add an overall soft dreamy feel.

  26. bradbiringer May 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    While shooting a wedding, I captured an image of the bridemaids helping the bride tie the dress in the back. I brought a 72-light LED flashlight to the shoot, turned it on, and set it on the floor with a 45-degree angle towards the bride. The flashlight casted a soft blue hue right in the area of the dress that I wanted to photograph.

  27. Randy Kepple May 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Sometimes the best light is the simplest light! This image was taken on a foggy, chilly morning in Portland, Oregon. Morgan, my model was brave enough to head out into the cold for this headshot. The light was very diffused and soft, but still directional. I positioned her face towards the direction of the light and popped in a little fill to bring out her beautiful eyes.

    The reflector was a 42″ silver Westcott Bruce Dorn Natural Muslin/Silver reflector.

    This was captured on a Canon 5D-Mark I (the full frame original) and a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS. My Exposure was 1/500 sec; f/5.6; ISO 400 in Manual Mode with a custom white balance.

    Morgan is naturally beautiful, but we also had a great hair and makeup artist to give her flawless skin. Minor color corrections, a few blemishes were retouched with the healing brush in Photoshop and finished off with a contrast boost. Great light, perfect exposure and a beautiful model helped minimize any necessary post-production work.

    This was from a series of images we photographed that morning for her modeling portfolio.

  28. mkimmel5 May 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    This is a self portrait using window light. I love using natural light for portraits because it is so soft but it isn’t always ideal. My studio is in a dark basement and most of the time I’m shooting clients after the sun goes down.

    This shot was taken at f2.8 1/200s iso 400 with a 50mm prime. My camera was on a tripod and I had my 10 year old daughter focus and push the shutter for me. She is an aspiring photographer in training!

  29. Pete Labrozzi May 31, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    My wife and I welcomed our daughter Zoey into the world four weeks ago on May 6th, 2013. I couldn’t wait to make her a part of my biggest passion, photography. So when she was 11 days old I set up my gear for some newborn photos. While I photograph lots of children, I haven’t yet attempted newborn photography.

    For this photo I had my wife lay down, draped a soft white drop over her and pinned it up in the back. Then after dressing and posing my daughter I used a Westcott white umbrella and a speedlite as the main source, and a reflector for fill. The photo was made with a Canon 5d MK II, a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens at 1/200th sec at f 4.0. The umbrella was placed camera left at about a 45 degree angle and very close to produce the softest possible light.

    I am so proud of my new daughter and of this first of many photos to be taken during her lifetime.


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