Strobes direct light vs softbox or shoot through umbrella.

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Bob Senior Member • Posts: 2,770
Re: Strobes direct light vs softbox or shoot through umbrella.

Alexis Cantury wrote:

Bob wrote:

Direct, softbox, and umbrellas produce different types of shadows. It's not a matter of advantage or disadvantage, but just depends on what look the photographer is trying to achieve.

Thanks you for the answer. I don't use shadows because I need a flat photo of the product. I edit out the product and remove any shadows along with the white background and then edit in the plain color or background I require. I am going to test everything once again, but from what I tested, there was not difference when I adjusting the light so that direct light takes have the same exposure than the modifiers, that is why I wanted to know if maybe it altered the color beyond what I can notice at simple glance.

I'm just trying to learn by doing even if some of the question might some amateur. This forum continues to provide me with helpful answers that I wish one day I can give to someone else myself.


Experimentation is the BEST way to learn!!   I would suggest that you think about lighting differently.   It is ALL about shadows.   You say you don't use shadows - well that translates to having the type of lighting that is a large source coming from multiple angles.  So, by wanting a "flat" image, you're actually doing quite a bit of shadow management.

We also need to think about what exactly we mean by 'shadows'.

These kinds are shadows are distracting:

But you need some 'shadow' to bring out the three dimensional characteristics of your products.  Like this.... Notice the subtle EV difference in the front vs right side.  This was likely a three-light rig.  One to blast the white backdrop. One main light to the left, and another weaker light to the right (or a reflector).  There's also a slight shadow under the camera to indicate it's resting on a surface (not floating in the air).  So, if you want "zero shadow" be careful what you wish for

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