Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The OctoMom

No, not her! I'm not writing about that chick who had octuplets. And that ain't a picture of her either.

I'm also not writing a follow-up article about my 83 year-old mother. The only thing "octo" about my Mom is that she's an octogenarian and, perhaps, her 51-year marriage to my Father.

How does my Dad relate?

Well, my Dad was the youngest of eight. So, I guess besides Mom being 83 years old, someone could also construe a very minor octo-connection there. How many degrees of separation would that be? i.e., from my Mom who was married to my Dad who was the youngest of eight to all things octo?

Hell. I dunno. Like 179? Degrees of separation, that is.

Who cares?

I don't. And neither do you, I'll bet.

What I yam writing about is the Photoflex 7' Octodome: A light modifier I refer to as the OctoMom. Why? Because, at seven feet from its furthest point to its furthest point, it's the freakin' mother of all octodomes!

Before anyone turns into a green-eyed photo-monster, let me first mention that I don't personally own a 7' OctoMom, I mean 7' octodome. I'd like to own one but I don't. I do own one of the OctoMom's offspring: The Photoflex 5' Medium Octodome. As modifiers go, I really REALLY like the 5' octo. But the OctoMom? Fuhgedaboudit! I love that big fat sexy mama!

While I don't own an OctoMom, I do get to use the mother of all octodomes on a regular basis. Ya see, one of my long-time and frequent clients, a company I shoot for almost weekly, has an OctoMom in their studio. Yup, whenever I shoot at this client's studio I get to use their OctoMom. I also get to use it with their Profoto Acute 2 lighting gear. (It sure beats schlepping all my gear in from my truck sporty SUV every time I shoot there.)

Octodomes are great for pretty girl shooting. Their unique, 8-sided, shape matches, in a vague, subtle, roundabout sorta way, the shape of the subject. You know, wider in the middle than at the top and bottom. Leastwise, when you orient it on the speedring to give it that shape, relevant to the model.

Bigger octodomes means bigger light sources and bigger light sources means softer, more diffuse and less specular, light. Soft light often plays nicely on soft, female skin. D'uh, right? That's a no-brainer. So, the bigger the octodome, the bigger the light source's aperture and, consequently, the softer the light! Voila! Octodomes make for really nice modifiers for shooting pretty girls! Really big octodomes make even nicer modifiers for shooting pretty girls. Hence, I really love the OctoMom cuz, well, cuz I shoot a lot of pretty girls.

The pretty girl at the top--the illustrated chic with the big, uhh... hoop earings--is Mason. I shot Mason just today using an OctoMom and a couple of other heads for kickers; unmodified kickers. Mason captured with a Canon 5D w/Tamron 28-75, ISO 100, f/8 @ 125. And yeah, it says "Who's Next" on her fingers, just above her knuckles, cuz Mason's one feisty feline! She also did her own makeup with those hands/fingers.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Kinda reminds me of the old starfish. Much easier to assemble one of those.

jimmyd said...


Few things are new. Usually, they're adaptations or evolutions of something already in use or something that came before.

BTW, once you're familiar with them, assembling or disassembling Octodomes is a piece of cake.