Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions regarding our products, please call our customer service line at +49 (4172) 9878787. Our customer service phone line is open 10:00 - 17:00 clock / Monday - Friday.
Why is the SUNBOUNCE SUN-MOVER called SUN-MOVER?
Very simple: It moves the sun. Admittedly, the sun moves on its own, or to be scientifically correct: The earth revolves around the sun. But that is too much information.
What we need to know is that the sun moves from east to west. Unfortunately, not every subject is aligned along this axis - not to mention the fact that the height is not always ideal. So what the SUN-MOVER does is "move" the sun and its rays to where the radiance is needed for perfectly enhanced lighting of the subject.
It does not matter to the SUN-MOVER whether the sun is shining at full width or too brightly. The patented design of the SUN-MOVER enables the user to soften the sunlight by using the side grip to bend the SUN-MOVER out a little, creating a convex surface. If the sunlight should be reflected on the subject more like a spotlight, move the grip in lightly, forming a concave reflective surface. For the sun itself, convex and concave are foreign terms.
If you simply want to divert the light because it is coming from the wrong direction, the SUN-MOVER stays flat and directs the sun where you need it.
All of the SUN-MOVERs offer 2-in-1 functionality. The back is always white, providing neutral light projection.
With the new SUNBOUNCE TIGHT-FIT-SCREENS, the SUN-MOVERs are even more versatile. They are stretched over the existing SUN-MOVER like a second skin. The perfect tension of the SUN-MOVER transfers 1:1 to the TIGHT-FIT-SCREEN, delivering ideal results every time. There's no comparison to the so-called 5-in-1 reflectors on the market.
What ist the moiré effect in photography and videography)
Handheld or tripod-mounted reflector?
I have a CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE with a zebra/white screen. I have a very good assistant who can use it perfectly. I would, however, like to have him do something else. Can I mount the Sunbouncer on a tripod?
Yes, of course - you can attach your reflector to a tripod using practically any standard adapters - although optimally with the SUNBOUNCE GRIP-HEAD ENTERPRISE. Your assistant will have more time for other tasks.
» View GRIP-HEAD ENTERPRISE
The sandbags slip off the tripod legs - what should I do?
I fondly remember when the good old C-stands (Hollywood tripods) still had horizontal legs and the sandbags could just be laid over the legs like a saddle. Tripods today are lighter, thankfully, but have slanted legs that always cause the sandbags to slip down. I've cut my finger so many times trying to squash the bag onto the horizontal brace. Any tips?
Don't cut up your hands anymore! Of course CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE has the right solution for this problem with modern tripods. We've developped a small belt that goes around the central pole, from which the individual CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE SANDBAGS can be hung, using carabiners.
» View SAND-BAGS
Sand in the gears?
I have a little tip for you: Whenever I work in the sand, ie. on the beach, I always have problems with sand in the tripod legs and threads. Now I use the empty water bottles or pop cans that are always lying around. Another advantage is that the tripod legs don't sink into the sand anymore.
Great tip; here's another: when you work in large villas with delicate floors, use old tennis balls (cross-cut tennis balls) with a cross cut into them, so you can stick the tripd legs in them. Works on the beach, too!
Who develops the products at your company - a photographer?
Ich always thought that everything that the photo and film industry required had been invented and tried over the decades. How is it possible that CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE develops totally new and better things every year that are so great that you can't but go out and get them. How develops your products - a photographer?
You're right, he is a photographer. Several years ago, our director, Wolfgang-Peter Geller, found himself sitting in a hotel in Los Angeles while he was on a production trip because there was simply too much wind - yet the sunlight was perfect. It was impossible to work on the beach with equipment available anywhere in the world, and costs were increasing by the day. The only usable reflectors at that time were those heavy plywood sheets covered in reflective foil. They're good, but to use them you need professional staff and transportation; and flying is out of the question. That's why Wolfgang-Peter Geller sat down right there in the Hotel and designed the best possible foldable reflectors and diffusors. The prototype was built in the hotel room during the stormy weather and saved the shoot. For decades, Geller was travelling for about 9 months of the year, so he knows exactly what the travelling professional photographer absolutely needs - and what every photographer has tried to build at least once, namely, the CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE SYSTEM. The prototype developped int the hotel room was so revolutionary, that it was later patented worldwide.
» SUNBOUCE Lighting-System
DIFFUSER / SUN SWATTER? What's the difference?
We use a BIG diffuser with translucent material, 2/3 BLENDEN VERLUST?. A photographer friend of mine recommended that I purchase a SUN SWATTER. What is the difference between my diffuser and the legendary SUN SWATTER?
Your diffuser is great for soften severe sunlight, but uses two tripods. If you need more distance from your model to incorporate more landscape into the image, or your model wants to move, we recommend the SUN SWATTER, the "SHADE ON A STICK." Just imagine being able to use a diffuser the size of your PRO with a long BOOM-STICK (extendable/telecoping pole) over your model. The SUN-SWATTER is framed on only three sides. The front side is open and doesn't cast a shadow!
» View SUN-SWATTER
Too much light? TUNING CLIPS
My boss likes to work with the silver screen. Good heavens, it produces a lot of light! Sometimes we'd like to be able to reduce the light somewhat.
Have you seen our TUNING CLIPS? The only costs a few Euros, but they can are a wonderfully simple solution to your problem. Look for old fabric, like curtains, MOLTON? Or crocheted tablecloths, then cut or tear them to the size of your frame (+10cm width) and simply clip the pieces of fabric to the frame using the TUNING CLIPS. Tulle (netting) works just as well. Cut some holes, play with the effects and say goodbye to expensive sheets with rubber corners!
Wind on the beach - what now?
I use a reflector (from a different company) with an aluminium frame that has plastic fasteners at the corners. When the wind comes up, our extra corners are always used up. It's annoying! What does CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE use in the wind?
We love the wind and our frames don't break in windy conditions. On the contrary, the stronger the wind, the stronger the combination of frame and screen! No replacement corners necessary. More like your assistant will fly over the sand dune! Even the MINI is a relatively large and unbelievable stable sail. Don't leave it lying around unsupervised!
Mobile Change Room
I work on beaches all over the world, shooting for international fashion magazines, cataloges and swimwear calendars. The location bus is usually parked a good distance from the water and the models have to a long way just to change their tops. That costs money because usually they have to take an urgent call from their boyfriend or gossip with the hairstylist. Couldn't CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE just develop a small folding change room?
Yes, we can, and we've had one for a while. After getting caught changing in the open once in Malibu, we quickly developped something. Just check out our DRESS TUBE! It allows for inconspicuous and quick changing.
» View DRESS-TUBE
What does SUN-SWATTER mean?
SUN-SWATTER? Weird name, what does it mean?
We took the name SUN-SWATTER from the American term FLY SWATTER, because it looks similar with its long BOOM-STICK and it gets rid of light, just like a fly swatter gets rid of flies. So, the translation* would be: SUN-SWATTER. Additionally, it's as light as a feather. It is so uncomplicated and effective as a fly swatter. However, the Pro, for example, offers a 2.5m2 surface area - and that's really large!
» View SUN-SWATTER
Why use a diffusor?
I already have a reflector. Why should I additionally get a diffuser?
Your reflector sends the light in the right direction. But the sun will likely still shine unwanted light on your model. Reduce this direct light with a diffuser. A diffuser creates fabulous base-light. You can work just as sensibly outdoors as in the studio. Also use the usually impossible noon sun for your own purposes!
How do I get/achieve softer light?
The metal coating of my silver Sunbouncer reflects a lot of light. I think that's probably what most photographers really want, but my personal style requires reduced light (I love my good old Gold/Silver reflector, dirty as it is.) Do you also make softer ones?
You can always use the other side. It's usually white, the reverse of the 'black' reflector? is light grey. That produces much softer light. The best solution in your case is to wash your favourite Gold/Silver reflector in cold water, without detergent or bleach and let it air dry in the TROMMEL?. It loses a certain amount of its metal particles - depending on its age. The result looks horrible, like a mangy dog - but it will produce the most enchanted light for you. Wonderfully tender and soft - my favourite screen. Or clip fabric or curtain material over the metal layer with the TUNING CLIPS. That also makes the light softer.
» View TUNING-CLIPS
Can I wash the screens?
I purchased your Sunbouncer many years ago and have used it often. The frame is still fine, but the screen looks pretty dirty. What can I do?
Wash it at the lowest temperature setting (max. 20°). Just let it air dry or in the dryer on the "cold" setting. It won't be like "new," however it produces a wonderfully soft light after some of the metallic particles have been washed off the surface.
Why no velcro fastener?
Why doesn't CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE use velcro fasteners to fasten the screens to the frame? Wouldn't that be a good idea?
We did think of that, however had to give up on the idea. The tension on the screen and frame created by our system - almost as much as a drum membrane - pulls off any type of velcro. Also, have you ever tried to get fuzz and sand out of the velcro, so that it sticks again? Thanks for the suggestion, but we must politely refuse.
Blinded by the Light?
- Your talent should be told in advance not to wear any sunglasses before and during the entire shooting session. This makes the eyes have a chance to accumulate to the bright sun light. It also prevents preassure marks on top of the models nose.
- Follow the 45/45 rule. Try feathering the light from a forty five degree angle. Feathering is taking the panel and making it just "kiss" the talent with the light, not using the full force of the light. You turn the panel so it's just catching a little of the full sun, not all of it. This can be done from the side (45 degrees)or the top (45 degrees) to simulate the natural light.
- Never ask the model to look directly into the sun, strobe or reflector. This is dangerous for the eyes. The saying: "Sunbounce light - as strong as the sun" reflects pretty good the powerfull efficiency of the Sunbounce reflectors. This allows to shovel the light over a distance of 40 to 50 yards right into the set, which might be positioned under a gigantic tree where only little, or just green light is available. Or think about the shady side of a house.
- Should the ligh character of SILVER or ZEBRA be to harsh (do not confuse with brightness) you can easily clip cheap tull or curtain material or Bobbynette to the SUNBOUNCE frame with the TUNING-CLIPS. This reduces and softens the light output - you get a smoother light feeling. Attention: this is a "creative decision". If you pay attention to rules one through three you should be fine with blinding the models.
» View TUNING-CLIPS