For this month’s Elinchrom Accessories Spotlight, I decided to feature the Elinchrom Rotalux Indirect Speedring. I now use this Speedring most of the time. I use two Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox Octas, whether paired with my Rotalux Octa Softbox 100 cm (39’’) or my Rotalux Softbox Octa 175 cm (69’’).
The Elinchrom Rotalux Indirect Speedring allows me to mount my strobe inside the Softboxes, directed inwards toward the silver plate of the Speedring, instead of having my strobe outside the Softbox and pointed towards the diffusion baffles.
When inverse mounted, the light will flash and hit the silver reflective plate, creating contrasts, then bounce back and go through however many diffusion baffles you have on your Softbox. This is going to help create softer and more even light distribution. There will be a smooth gradation between the shadows to highlights instead of abrupt shadow lines.
Here’s an example from the Capture One 20 photoshoot I did where my key light is inverse mounted and paired with my Rotalux Octa Sofbox 175cm (69’’). I have two other lights paired with my Rotalux Octa Softboxes 100 cm (39’’) bouncing off my white ceilings and used as additional fill lights.
My inverse-mounted key light is raised above and tilted down towards my model. The light in this image would be considered broad lighting, where the side of the face nearest the camera is primarily lit. I still have my shadows where I want them, directly under her jaw, along the edge of her neck, the side of her body, and the side of her head. These shadows create a more three-dimensional look and flatter the model.
Here’s another example with indirect speedrings. My key light, the Elinchrom ELB 500 head, was paired with the Litemotiv Para Softbox 120 cm for this shoot. On either side of the Litemotiv, I have a Rotalux Octa Softbox 70 cm (27”) and a Rotalux Octa Softbox 100 cm (39”) with the Rotalux Indirect Speedring used as additional fill. To add an edge of shadow and depth to my model, I placed black v-flats on either side of her to absorb the light.
I did some Dodge & Burn work during post-processing and played with the levels to decrease.
This last example is from the Elinchrom ELC 125 & 500 campaign. The Litemotiv Para Softbox 120 cm was used for fill light this time, and my key light was an inverse mounted on the Rotalux Deep Octa 100 cm (39’’). I also have one more ELC 125 behind the set wall and pointed into the white ceiling, which bounces back onto the set for more fill.
This lighting setup created some beautiful, soft light that’s well balanced in shadow and highlight, creating a dramatic feeling. To bring some light back onto my model from the left-hand side of the set, I had my assistant hold a white v-flat to bounce the light. This not only helps light my model but it is also bouncing light onto the set wall. The composition of this image has her walking towards that light which I prefer to her walking towards the shadow.
In my work, I tend to gravitate towards dramatic lighting with a beautiful fall-off from light to shadow, and using the Elinchrom Rotalux Indirect Speedring helps me achieve that lighting. If you haven’t tried one out yet, pick one up and compare shooting with and without it to see if it works well with your style.
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