Today on our new Fstoppers Live channel, we had the chance to interview Vasyl Nykolyshyn, the owner of Raycrown accessories, about a brand new shoot-through octabox concept he has designed. Not only is this light modifier wind-resistant and easy to build and break down, but it can also be used off-axis as a large soft light and on-axis as a massive ring light. Let us know what you think!
The Venera is a new light modifier that aims to reproduce the soft yet specular light created by some of the most expensive deep parabolic modifiers on the market. A few of these modifiers you might be familiar with are the Broncolor Para 222, the Profoto Giant 180, and the Briese Focus 220. These massive light modifiers produce amazing light that can illuminate your subject's entire body but can also cost over $7,000. While they work amazingly well off camera, a photographer has to stand in front of the light when lighting straight on, which often blocks much of the light and decreases its efficiency.
One of the many things that makes Vasyl's Venera light modifier so unique is that its design lets you shoot directly through the middle of the light. This allows you to create a massive, unobstructed soft light source that can be used both as a key and fill light. So, if you want soft directional light or if you want a soft ring flash look, the Venera can accomplish both of these looks without any adjustments to the light modifier. Here are a few sample photos of the Venera in action.
The versatility of the Venera should be obvious to any photographer who has wanted large, soft directional lighting for one look but then needs a soft ring flash "beauty light" for the next look. The other interesting design element of this light modifier is that it makes shooting with a large octabox out on location much easier. Because the back of the Venera is completely open, it can withstand much higher wind than other light modifiers its size. This means less sandbags, less complaints from your lighting assistant, and less disasters caused by your light falling over.Vasyl's Venera light modifier is still just a prototype, but he hopes to release his final design on Kickstarter by the end of the year. While he hasn't released the pre-order price yet, he estimates the full retail price will be around $3,500, which is about half the price of other light modifiers in this category. Vasyl also hopes to release both a large and medium Venera, but the final sizes will be based on the recommendations he gets from photographers in the next few months.
If you think this light modifier could be something you would love to use out on location in the future or if you have suggestions or questions for Vasyl, you can check out the Raycrown Facebook page and the Raycrown YouTube page. As someone who loves tinkering with light modifiers myself, including helping create our own Fstoppers Flash Disc, I love the overall idea behind the Venera and hope to see it come to market.