Hands-On with the Westcott Zeppelin

By Spencer Lookabaugh

Spencer Lookabaugh Zeppelin
ISO 125, 1/250th @ f/4 at 45mm.

This image is from a fashion shoot that I did recently while testing out the incredible Westcott 59″ Zeppelin Parabolic Softbox. This modifier is fantastic for full body portraits because of its large size. This helps to maintain even, soft lighting while the modifier can stay far out of frame. A Profoto B1 was mounted to a boom arm on the Zeppelin.

While I only used this one light, there are two things that I did toWestcott Zeppelin work it even more to my liking: first, there was a white V-flat (large white matteboard) to fill in shadows on the right side of the frame. This allowed me to have more control of the contrast through dodging and burning in post production. The second piece was a large (roughly 8’x8′) scrim (thin translucent fabric stretched on a frame) that help to soften the light even further.

The light in this image looks like large, natural light from a window. The combination of black curtains over the windows, a low ISO of 125, aperture of f/4 and shutter speed of 1/250th of a second ensured that no natural light would interfere with the frame. While natural light can look pleasing, I wanted absolute control of the light. The B1 and Zeppelin did not let me down in the slightest.

What the set up looked like in the studio.

This image was processed in Capture One Pro 9 prior to being retouched in Photoshop CC. Retouching consisted of skin healing, tone matching to even out skintones/makeup, and dodging and burning to adjust contrast and accentuate features. A black and white adjustment layer with red and yellow channels adjusted was added as the last step.

Gear used:

Check out Spencer’s work here!

TJ Hansen

Photographer at MPEX.com

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