Studio photography with the Rotalux Go

Two Rotalux Go Strip Sofboxes in a studio

FashionPortraitStudio

Studio photography doesn’t necessarily require an over-equipped space with giant softboxes and thousands of accessories. Just two small Rotalux Go Strip softboxes and two strobes are everything you need for a decent portrait session.

Why the Rotalux Go range?

Rotalux Go is a great range of Softboxes. It’s quick to set up and fully equipped with diffusion layers and a grid. The system allows you to achieve a studio session without heavy and oversized accessories. Anthony packed up a studio photo shoot in this session with 2 Rotalux Go and two Elinchrom ONE strobes.

The Rotalux Go Softbox product line

The challenge:
Achieving a studio job with only two Rotalux Go Strip

Typically, when I work in studio, I bring my most extensive modifiers, such as Deep Umbrellas, Deep Rotalux, or even Litemotiv Para Softboxes.
I went the other way this time and brought the smallest modifiers from the Rotalux Go range: the Strip (35x75cm). I set myself a photography challenge during a complete journey with just that gear in hand.

I had in mind three different looks using two Strip softboxes, and to do so, I still had many options to try out:

  • Play with the distance between my subject and the background to darken my environment. 
  • Experiment with the softbox distance and angle to give different light aspects to my portraits.
  • Adding layers to my softbox, like grids and/or diffusers, to modify the light spread and diffusion.

A whole bunch of options to produce quality pictures in a limited time and to see if the reputed versatility of the Elinchrom Rotalux Go was really up to scratch!

Simplicity is not a bad thing.

For instance, the folding system. The mechanism is already in place; you don’t have to plug anything in or switch anything on. It’s also very robust and straightforward to use.
Deploying the box is child’s play; you just have to push the center part to unfold the softbox, almost like an Umbrella.

The Rotalux Go Strip comes with a grid, and two diffusion layers (inner and outer layers), all of which can be attached with a Velcro system.
You don’t need anything else to start working except a Rotalux Go Adapter to mount the Rotalux Go on your light system. I used the Elinchrom Adapter, but most other brand lights are available such as Broncolor or Profoto.

You can attach the adapter to your softbox with the screws. You can then use them to adjust the angle of your softbox during your shoot.

Elinchrom Adapter

Broncolor Adapter

Elinchrom Q-Mount Adapter

“Deploying the box is child’s play;
it’s almost as quick as an Umbrella.”

The setup:

Mounted on two Elinchrom ONEs, handling and carrying the setup is fairly easy.
I can move lights around alone without help and remove diffusion layers or a grid without a second thought; I just try to see if it works. If I’m not happy, I can replace the layer with no issues. It’s very satisfying to be in control of everything so quickly and easily.

A lit background with 2x ONEs and Rotalux Go Strip with diffuser.

I found a rhythm in shooting and experimenting with multiple portraits in three different setups:

  • One setup with a dark background, helped by the grid to reduce the light spread and focus exclusively on my model’s face.
    This way, the light comes out sharp and clear. When you add an inner diffusion layer, you can avoid a visible hot spot, and that’s all you need. 
  • A second set with a light straight to the blue background to light it with the outer diffusion layer, one at 45° to light the model with a smooth light, helped by the two diffusion layers, creating a bright portrait. 
  • And the third is with one light pointed at the model with two diffusion layers and another with a grid to create a precise rim light around her arm, face, and body. 

A black background with 2x ONEs and Rotalux Go Strip with grid on model.

After half a day in the studio, my mission was accomplished, delivering three gorgeous images for my model of the day and using only Strip softboxes, as promised.