[guide] ----- D70 in the Studio: Portrait with Strobes

Started Jun 15, 2005 | Discussions thread
OP tao.design Veteran Member • Posts: 5,632
4 / Light Modifiers

4 / Light Modifiers

The particular light modifiers I used for the shot were octagonal softboxes, like these from Alien Bees pictured below:

Naked flash bulbs are rather harsh, due to their small size and intense output.

A light modifier is basically anything that alters the quality of light produced by a artificial lighting source, and usually softens or directs the light.

One way to think of light modifiers is to think of the sun. At midday, the sun is very harsh and bright, even though it takes up a very small arc of the sky. Cloud cover is one thing that can diffuse the light to render a more pleasing outdoor portrait, for example.

A softbox is a light modifier that, like a clouds on an overcast day, diffuses light and effectively enlarges the source. Shoot-through and reflective umbrellas can act in a similar way.

Both diffusion and reflection are two techniques employed to spread light to create a broader, softer light source. This wrap-around light is often more flattering to a portrait subject, as it renders pleasing skintones while highlighting the features of the face without casting harsh shadows.

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