Refllectors and Light Modifiers.
Admin | On 13, Feb 2012
There’s lots of different ways to change the light that you are creating to make a photograph.
Lighting modifiers come in MANY shapes and sizes and each have specific characteristics and purposes. We’re not able to list everything, but here’s a few we use and we like. And why we like them!
The Cheapest light modifier you can buy that yields the best return on light quality, is the StoFen Omni Bounce. I put one of these on every Speedlight I’m using. The light has less directionality, but the Omni does a great job of softening that light and making it infinitely more useful. I always use an Omni Bounce even when running through another form of diffusion. I believe that the loss of power is more than offset by the gain in quality. I’ll take quality over quantity anytime!
Probably my second favorite lighting modifier is a softbox. And the bigger the better. Westcott makes a 50 inch beauty that folds up like an umbrella! It is not super cheap but it’s also really really nice and worth every penny! Why a softbox? Well, softboxes do give light that creamy look that flatters models, ladies and babies alike. Als0, a softbox will be more directional which will allow you to “feather” the light and not put it fully on your subject.
Word of warning though, If your modifier is on the larger size, you need more power to go through that thing. I only use speedlights which means I am often ganging 2 or 3 lights to fire through one larger modifier.
You can buy brackets for that from B&H here!
Softboxes come in many different sizes and shapes. There are Octaboxes, StripBoxes and each has a different quality of light to it.
The Beauty Dish seems to be gaining in popularity everyday, thanks to the quality of light, its directionality and its efficiency. I’ve yet to pick one up, but am planning to in the near future!
There are versions for both Speedlights and studio strobes and there are MANY DIY versions out there. I may take on the challenge of building my own. We’ll see.
Umbrellas are dual purpose and can either be used for shoot-through or for reflecting lights back at a subject. Umbrellas are very efficient, and do a great job of softening light. Some umbrellas are shoot-through umbrellas, meaning the light goes through the umbrella and is diffused, rather than reflecting off the inside of the umbrella. The light from an umbrella tend to be less directional and may spill more than other modifiers. Photographic umbrellas, like all umbrellas, tend to catch the wind, so any umbrella on a lightstand has to be well secured, especially when used outdoors.
There’s countless modifiers and really no one is best for everything. But you can comment below, and let us know if there’s a modifier you prefer and why you like it! We’d love to hear from you!
Reflectors, are yet another way to control light. Using either artificial or natural light, you can employ a reflector to balance your exposure and create a beautiful image. There’s reflectors of all shapes and sizes out there, but there one I found a few years ago that I love. And have proceeded to buy a few more of them. It’s made by Lastolite, and called the Tri-Flip.
There’s an incredible 8 in 1 kit available from B&H. I love this reflector because it can be also used as a shoot through diffuser. But with all the reflective materials included in the kit, you can not only balance exposure, but colour temperature as well.
Also, because it has a handle on one end, I can use it without an assistant. Did I also mention it makes a GREAT hair fan on location?
What reflectors have you found that you like? Comment below from your Facebook account.
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