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Elinchrom 190 Indirect Softbox - The Secret to Perfect Soft Lighting

Elinchrom 190 Indirect Softbox - The Secret to Perfect Soft Lighting

by Christina Mitrea

Welcome to the world of light modifiers, where flash meets technique! With so many options available, is easy get overwhelmed with making a choice for the perfect modifier for you vision. I have always been an advocate for experimenting with as many softboxes and reflectors as possible (Try Before You Buy with our rental service), as that will give you a good starting point to know what can you get from each one of those and how you can combine and make them work for you. But having a brief visual idea of what each modifier can produce before you plan a shoot it’s always a help.

A Photographers Secret Weapon

For this shoot, we're diving into the realm of the Elinchrom Litemotiv Indirect Octa 190cm, the secret weapon for photographers who want to achieve very soft light with their flash. Picture this: you're on set, ready to capture THAT shot, but something's missing – that magical touch of soft, diffused light. Fear not, for the Elinchrom 190 Indirect is here to save the day, illuminating your subjects with the grace of a thousand fireflies (minus the hassle of wrangling actual fireflies, of course). We will be using the Elinchrom FIVE for this shoot, which is a great companion for such a large modifier.

In this article, we will touch on the features, performance, and user experience of this super softbox along with the FIVE head, used on their own or in combination with a couple of other strobes and modifiers.

One light setup - Elinchrom FIVE & 190cm Litemotiv

Build Your Setup One Light at a Time

Whenever I’m experimenting, I’m slowly building my setup, starting with one flash, and adding others if necessary for the overall vision board of the shoot. For me it’s important to see what that one modifier can offer on its own before adding anything else.

Due to its size, you will most likely shoot with the Elinchrom Litemotiv Indirect 190 Octa while in a studio set up. Even though the softbox is easy to set up for something of this size, it still requires secure rigging, in this shoot I used an Avenger Baby Combi-Boom, but something even sturdier like Phottix Studio Pro Boom Stand W400 would be better. Unless you are in a position to carry sturdy stands, and sandbags, and possibly an assistant along with you for a location shoot, I see this setup mostly as a studio one.

Super Sized but Super Simple

Despite its impressive size, this softbox is surprisingly easy to put up, it comes built and folded straight out of the box, and when you open it, its internal bracket clips into place, setting up it’s a less than 30 seconds job. For this shoot, I mounted the softbox on a boom stand, as I wanted the light to come from above and wrap the model from top down. It’s at this point when the convenience of the Elinchrom FIVE head cames into play: being a battery powered unit, there were no cables and plugs I had to worry about. That’s a win for me. The 500w power of the flash head is also enough to fill such a large modifier.

One light setup - Elinchrom FIVE & 190cm Litemotiv

These first two images were a one light setup, and as you can see the light is very diffused, almost resembling a large window. Any indirect softbox will offer you a much softer light than a direct modifier, and a better ‘wrap’ of the subject.

Adding Warmth with a Coloured Gel

For the second light setup, I’ve added an Elinchrom ONE head with an orange coloured dome (included in the OCF Coloured Dome Kit) to the left of the model, my right. This was because i wanted to introduce a bit of colour in the scene. I feel like this went particularly well for the close up shots, the overall feel being of a warm, diffused light that highlights the makeup and complements the flower setup.

Adding an Elinchrom ONE with Coloured Dome warms the scene
Close up portrait with the two light setup

Building the Scene - Adding a Third Light

To build a bit more on the set, I’ve decided to point the Elinchrom ONE with the coloured dome towards the back of the model, lighting the fabric we used as a background, giving it texture and translucency. There would have been a contrast to the left side of the model if I would have kept only these two heads (I wanted to keep the light feel), so I’ve added a third light opposite the 190 Indirect Octa, to fill the shadow on the left hand side. I’ve used an Elinchrom Rotalux 70cm Deep Octa mounted on another Elinchrom ONE for this because of its directional light quality.

 Three light setup with the a background and fill light

There we have it, the Litemotiv Indirect Octa 190cm is the perfect studio softbox for the softest looking light. It's large but portable, quick to setup and not cumbersome. If you've got the space in your studio I can't recommend it enough!

My final three light setup

Visit us at TFC London

All these images were taken in our studio at TFC London. If you want to try out a new piece of gear, or pick the brains of our passionate team about anything photography, then drop by and say hello... We'll pop the kettle on! 

Gear Used on this Shoot

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