Lastolite EZ Box VS Calumet Speed Box

For the last few years I own a Lastolite EZ Box 24″x24″ (With the silver interior) and I like it a lot. It is quite versatile, easy to set up and transport and most important I like the quality of light I get with it. On the other side I feel it is on the pricey side for it’s quality. I believe I spent somewhere close to $200 for the box and the bracket. At that cost I would have like to receive a metal flash bracket holder as supposed of the plastic one they provided. The black elastic band surrounding the edges, wore out on one side and now there is a small section on the box showing its metal rib that shapes the box. Back when I got it it came inside a caring bag large enough to fit a sliced bread sandwich. I was able to take it out but is not worth performing the double twist and forcing it back every time you need to use it. To me, the caring case it was worthless.

Two days ago I found out that Calumet is going out of business and I stopped by their store to see what I could find. I ended up purchasing a Calumet 24″ Speedbox for $59 and a beautiful, strong metal bracket for $39. Granted it was on sale therefore I did save about $50 to $60 from retail price between the 2 items. I can’tt say that the box itself it’s better or worst in terms of construction compared to the Lastolite. The fabric does feel a bit thicker though. The lastolite EZ Box does have an internal diffuser that the Calumet speed box lacks. The last noticeable thing between them is that the Calumet Speed Box came with a great caring bag that fits the box perfectly.

Here are 2 images I took of my trusty model Niky. She did not move a muscle during this trial therefore we can see the difference in illumination between these two boxes quite clearly.  I used a Canon 7D with a Canon EF 80mm f1.8 set to manual mode iso 400, speed @ 250th, f8, and manual color temp to 5500K. For the first image I used the Calumet Speed box with  Canon flash 580EXII set to manual at 1/64. I took the picture and then removed the box from the stand and replaced it with the Lastolite. I used the same flash unit to make sure the light source was the same and although the Lastolite EZ box comes with the internal buffer and needs more light output to compensate for that, I decided to leave the light power set at the same to see in real life the actual difference. (in Lightroom 5.5 I estimated that if I increased the exposure by .6o I would get about the same exposure)


Click on images to see large.


The picture on the left side was the one taken with the Calumet Speed Box and the one to the right is the one with the Latolite EXBox. These images are SOOC “straight out of camera” with the exception of adding .60 more exposure on Lightroom 5.5 to the image taken with the Lastolite, there is no other adjustments of any kind. No color correction sharpening etc, etc.





Again the image on the left is the one taken with the Calumet Speed Box and the one to the right with the Lastolite EX Box cropped 100%.



And the last two images are in the same order. Calumet Speed Box on the left and Lastolite EX Box to the right side. the only thing I did to these pictures was bringing the withe balance to the same values on Photoshop CC .Altough I used the same color temp to take both images the boxes show there is a difference and the background shows it quite well. I selected a point on the background right above her hear and took a reading of the RGB and brought the values on those two spots to be the same R30 G30 B30.

So the results…

It’s up to you. You have some of the facts here. Seems like the shadows at 100% are a bit softer on the Lastolite EZ Box; since it has an extra layer of diffusion it was expected. I’n my mundane world I can’t see that fact to make such a big difference. In terms of color cast, that should not make that much of a difference on this digital world. (It might if you mix them in the same shoot since you will have warmer and color tones in the same image)

If you have any thoughts you like to share about this topic or post fell free to make any comments.


Alex Elias


Little league, baseball game pictures.

My little one decided to try baseball to see how he liked it. So far so good. He enjoys the game and training up to now and seems to be a happy camper.

Here are some pictures of his first game. He was really happy when he hit the ball and run the bases.

One of the many joys of being a parent.

Single light source portrait.

Here is a portrait done with a single light. Since the light source was relatively large compared to her and it was not far, I was able to get the look I was after without the need of additional lights or bounce cards.

The strove was an Einstein from Paul Buff fitted with a 35″ octabox. I attached a grid to the Octa to direct and guide the light more precisely. That “on my opinion” makes the light a bit punchier adding a touch more contrast and also it kept the light from spilling over to the background.

The portrait was shot with a Canon 5D MrkIII and a Canon ef 70-200mm f 2.8 is L. A Pocket wizard Mini TT1 and Pocket Wizard power MC2 were transmitting and receiving to power the strove.

And that is how I shot this portrait with a single light source.

Here is a diagram with the light set up.


Natalie's Portrait


This last portrait here shares the same lighting concept of the first one with the exeption of … You guess right, a rim light coming from camera right behind the subject. “In relation to the subject the light was positioned at about 2PM”

Since he was not rearing a cute fuzzy white hat like she was. I wanted a bit of separation between the dark background and his dark hair, and that light did exactly that.

Dani's Portrait

Portraits with Canon 5D MrkIII

This past weekend I tried a simple lighting set up with my daughter Sofia prior to shooting some head shots of Lucca, a cute young actor.

The lighting set up was basically a main light. Paul C Buff Einstain E 640 with an Octabox and a grid on it to better direct the light. The strobe was placed overhead at 45deg angle. Lucca (the model) was holding a small gold and sliver reflector on his lap to bounce light back into his face as a fill. The other light source was a rim/hair light. This was a Travelite 750 fitted with a 10″ reflector and a 40deg grid to avoid light spill and lens flare. The pictures were done with a Canon 5D MrkIII and a Canon 70-200 ef 2.8 IS L set at f8.

Below it’s a simple diagram of the lighting set up for this two portraits.

Lucca Lighting set up


Sofia's Make up


A dash of color.

I recently took some pictures of Kassandra. Las night I revisit some of the images and decided to try something different. Since she often change her hair color and look, I decides to add a DASH OF COLOR to it and I came up with this image.

The original image was taken  with a Canon 5D Mrk III set at ISO 100 and speed of 200. White balance was manually set at 5600K. The lens is Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 IS L set a f9. The light is from a Paul Buff Einstein E640 and a 36″ Octa with a grid positioned very close to her face at 90 Deg and as a rim light I used a Canon EXII 430 set to manual mode. Black background and everything was triggered with pocket wizards.

Nothing extraordinary or new in concept, but fun and different. I did this playing around with layers and blending modes on Photoshop.  When I can’t sleep, I find it therapeutical to do some edits or watch  tutorials that will teach me some new photoshop tricks and techniques.

Adding a DASH OF COLOR to an image every now and then could be fun. I like the result. I will keep on playing with this idea and see if I can come up with something else along the lines.

#dash of color

Touch of Color

Dash of Color


Fitness photo shoot for Beach body coach.

I just finished a photo shoot for Anna Gray. She is a coach for Beach body, she is all about fitness and sports healthy living and family. In 2013 she made it to the top 1% out of the 150,000 coaches that beach body company has. Now that is one heck of an accomplishment. She lost 70 pounds with pure exercise and healthy eating and now she is a coach for beach body. Here is a link to her Facebook page so you can read more about her. If you need to loose some stubborn weight or need some great inspiration seems to me that Anna Gray is the right person to look for.

We shot quite a few pictures (many that I haven’t work on yet) and they came out great. Here a just a hand full.

I really like this shot of Anna Gray lifting. 


Anna also play Hockey. So why not show that as well.

Hokey player.

Anna Gray 01

Anna Gray 02

Anna Gray 03

Chihuahua dog portrait.

Here is a portrait of the animal in our family. This time is not me.

Our little Chihuahua dog, named Peggy got her dog portrait session. Taking a portrait of certain active dogs is not the easiest of the tasks. Of course our Chihuahua was not the exception. After moving around for a long while here is one of the few shots I was able to rescue.

For this dog portrait I used a Canon 5D Mrk III with a Canon ef 24/70mm f2.8 L set at 48mm f8.0 ISO100 and shoot at 200th. The light was a Paul Buff Einstein with a 36″ octabox with a grid.

Thanks for Looking.

Portrait of Chihuahua dog.

Portrait of Chihuahua dog.

Self portrait. Half winter Half summer.

This is the year when I get to celebrate half of my birthdays on the northern side of the glove. The first half where celebrated on the southern side of the Ecuador, Argentina to be more precise.

Due to the occasion, I thought to make a SELF PORTRAIT showing half of me in a summery look and the other half of my face resembling winter, like a Jack Frost kind of look.

For this project I used a Canon 5D Mrk III with a Canon EF 85mm f 1.8. I used a single light source, which was a Paul Buff Einstein E640 with a large silver beauty dish with a sock “diffuser”. The light was placed high-up  right in from of me, pointing about 45 deg into my face.

The rest was done as you might imagine with Photoshop. A bunch of layers and some hours of moving pixels around.

Thanks for looking. and Happy Holidays to you all.

Half winter Half summer

Christmas picture idea. Portraits with Christmas lights.

Another # Christmas picture idea. Nothing totally new but I love the look of it. Christmas portraits using Christmas lights

The only lights here are those on the floor. I used a Canon EF 85mm f1.8 on a Canon 5D MarkIII set at 1600 ISO, White balance to tungsten, speed 125, and aperture at f 2.2. Shoot some frames and then work your magic on post. The pictures will come out a bit warm “color wise” I desaturated the color a bit on post.

Thanks for watching.