My Live Shoot at the Westcott Booth


I just wanted to give a quick thank you to all that came to my live photo shoot at the Westcott booth during Photoshop World Vegas last week. During my demo I showed how I use the Spiderlite TD5 daylight flourescent lighting system. When I got to the booth my lovely model was already there and waiting and the one thing I hadn’t considered was what she was wearing. As you can see in the photo she had lovely long black hair with a very lovely black outfit on and we were shooting against a Westcott popup "black" backdrop. In case you haven’t detected the theme here, there was a lot of "black" going on! I could have certainly flipped the backdrop around to the white side or I could have moved everything over to the Westcott uLite green screen setup, but I really decided to accept the challenge of lighting her with the Spiderlites. 

Usually I have time to shoot, make adjustments, shoot, make adjustments, etc. However, in this case there was a crowd of people standing around and I had to make it work quickly. So I just went for it! I set my Nikon D5000 (my new travel DSLR) to 400 ISO at f/2.8 with my Nikon 28-70mm lens. I shot at a 1/60th of a second and my goal was to use just the Spiderlites and a reflector. Of course the shots were imported into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 and minimally retouched using Adobe Photoshop CS4.


I started with just one Spiderlite (medium softbox) and a reflector. I wanted to see what I could get with just one light. In this situation I got good results and I really like her pose and expression in this one, but I wanted to add a hair light so that she would stand out more from the background.



So I added a second Spiderlite with a strip bank softbox and cloth grid spot. The 2nd light is slightly to her right and behind her. 


The Bottom Line

As I have said in the past, the Westcott Spiderlite TD5’s are AWESOME! Since it’s a continuous light source what you see is really what you get. They are also awesome for product photography. If you’re really interested in this setup, B&H Photo has put together a Spiderlite TD5 "Scott Kelby" kit that contains everything you need to get going. Here’s the link.




P. S. If you missed Photoshop World, don’t forget to check out the Full Adobe Keynote Video here. It includes some new technology sneak peeks!


11 Replies to “My Live Shoot at the Westcott Booth”

  1. Hmm, the hair and dress top of model in top photo sure doesn’t look the same as the model in two shots below. Was there a make-over in between?

    1. Laurie, actually two different people. The production shot above was taken the next day after I realized that I didn’t have a production shot to show. 🙂

      1. You burst my bubble, Terry. I thought lighting induced wardrobe alteration (LIWA) was the newest thing by Westcott!

  2. Terry,

    Love the shots. I have the same wescott system, but have not gotten the same results as you (I have the D300). I did have one issue with wescott. I turned over one softbox on carpet and the blue handle broke off. I was disappointed in the quality to so easily break. (Of course it was my fault to turn it over)

    I see Kelby,McNally use Elinchrom strobes. I am saving my pennies for these strobes, I think. What is your take on Elinchrom strobes (I know they are more money than Wescott stobes, but B&H has some nice “package kits” etc, that are nice.

    Like to have your input as to the quality of light of both or anything else.

    I leave for Egypt next week for my photo journey, so any tips are appreciated


  3. Hi Terry,
    Thanks for your great presentations at PSW. You are turning me in to an Adobe 12-step group starter.
    I bought the Westcott “Scott Kelby” Spiderlite kit from B&H after last year’s PSW to help me do photos for a church directory. It’s excellent.
    Thanks again,
    Stan Burman
    Page, Arizona

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