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Saturday, March 2, 2019

End of an era


Over a decade ago I purchased my first pair of "softboxes," light bulb receptacles with each a flimsy tent-like pyramidal reflector structure and a translucent sheet of cloth over the big end.  It kicked off the second phase of my quest for an ideal backdrop & lighting setup for YouTube video reviews of radio controlled model cars & trucks.

Today, I disassembled that very piece of equipment, its base yellowed from hundreds of hours of being cooked by storebought household CFLs and LEDs.  I had collected and employed other softboxes over the years, but it's fitting that one of my first to enter service would be the last to be exit.  This strange geeky detail has meaning to me because so much of my work, literally thousands of videos across three main channels and several spin-offs, has been defined by that ever-whiter background and steadily diminishing shadows.

My goal was always to maximize viewers' ability to focus on just the products they came to see with absolutely minimal fluff.  I tried some different options when I ventured into brick-based construction toys, but the lure of the white void was irresistible and viewers all but unanimously applauded its return.  Since then, my methods of achieving the increasingly complete nothingness have evolved significantly, but there'll always be a special place in my memory & heart for those first two, perpetually awkward, always in the way, front- and top-heavy softboxes.  Who knows, maybe they'll get a new lease on life when I start up the inevitable "Studio C."

1 comment:

  1. The suspense is killing me. Why are you retiring it??? Did it fail? Just replaced by newer better gear?

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