Strobes direct light vs softbox or shoot through umbrella.

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Alexis Cantury Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Strobes direct light vs softbox or shoot through umbrella.

Bob wrote:

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.

Cheers.

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

Hello again. I completely get this type of shadow and it suits perfectly with the product in this case. But in my case since I'm taking flat top down photos of fabric products and I'm going for a flat sense of the piece, shadows actually go against the desired result.

I will try to post a "finished" demo at least when I edit one, because it will make a lot more sense than the explanation I made lol.

But yes, if I was not taking top down pictures, I would try the approach you described here. I am actually doing some work ad honorem for a couple of friends that allows me to practice while actually help them get a somewhat professional picture for their product (as in the camera is the professional part, but I'm really putting the effort as they were the best paid projects). Thank you and I hope I made myself a bit clearer. I thought I stated the top down orientation of the takes, but maybe I mentioned it in another answer I simply confused them.  Cheers.

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Alexis Cantury

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