Can you name 2 frequent mistakes and 2 non-typical uses for softboxes

Started Jan 15, 2011 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 11,622
Re: The Art of Feathering a Softbox

OK, so I admit I am way past my limit of two - but not two posts

It seems that feathering is mostly discussed in the context of using softboxes – but it is not limited to softboxes. Actually, feathering is easiest to do and most common with parabolic reflectors and less so with softboxes. Feathering is NOT recommended with umbrellas.

Nice post but I'm curious why you don't think feathering is recommended with umbrellas.

I can understand that to some extent for a white umbrella in transmission mode since it is basically a light grenade - sending light out in all directions so feathering doesn't work very well.  On the other hand I have found that some umbrellas have a hot spot when used in transmission mode and feathering works well to fix that problem.

For a silver umbrella or a white umbrella with a black backing feathering works very well to control the light on the subject when used in reflective mode.  I generally aim them in front of the subject so that the light falls off to the back of the head compared to the front of the face.  I may also aim it high so that the light falls off down the body from the face.  All this to concentrate the viewer's attention on the face.

Feathering an umbrella also gives more wrap around, allowing you to use it closer for softer light without producing too high a highlight/shadow ratio.  This is true in either reflective or transmission mode.

Basically an umbrella is just another light diffuser and you need to learn how to use it to produce the effect you want.  Feathering is just one thing you need to learn when you use umbrellas and softboxes.

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