Deeppara90 "Parabolic reflector" and central focusing pole thoughts and mini review

Started 9 months ago | User reviews thread
ronscuba Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: Unique qualities of paras

Sailor Blue wrote:

ronscuba wrote:

I have a hard time distinguishing the difference between soft and diffused.

I have a 32" softbox that has 2 layers of diffusion, a grid and a deflector plate. The softness is the same regardless of the mix of the options ? The biggest differences I see are:

- bare, no diffusion, no grid, no deflector

- bare with the deflector

- double diffused with grid

- double diffused no grid

Double diffused is the most flattering. I would normally say the softest. I guess this is the wrong terminology ? Adding the grid keeps the light off the background and adds some contrast to the subject.

What is the correct terminology for the differences I see ?

Softness is about shadow transition and diffusion is about skin texture ? So for less than ideal skin, diffusion is the key ?

Soft light vs hard light is all about shadow edges,

Use your 32" softbox without diffusers at a distance of 48" to put you approximately the mid point of the normal range for a diffuse light source. Take a test shot of a subject with Short Lighting. Then add the inner and outer diffusers and take another shot. Compare the sharpness of the edges of the loop of shadow from the nose. That is the difference between hard and soft light.

Portrait Lighting - Project 3 - Portrait Lighting Set-Ups

The reason for using soft light for portraits is that it makes the edges of the shadows less sharp, which "fuzzes" out the shadows cast by things like the "bags" under the eyes or the edges of the pores in the skin. If done properly you don't want to "soften" the skin in a portrait, just fuzz out the shadows a bit more. You can do this by using something like the High Pass filter to preserve the skin details and a blur layer to smooth out shadows and adjust the size and brightness of shadows and colored areas.

So now we go full circle. Some say softness is about size of the modifier and diffusion is different. Your explanation is the light got softer by adding diffusion. This is why I am confused about the terminology of soft vs diffused. There does not appear to be a clear consensus.

For my modifiers , I think of it as how flattering do I need the light to be, how much coverage and do I need to limit where the light goes.

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