Up and Running with Studio Strobes

Diffusing the light with a softbox


From:

Up and Running with Studio Strobes

with Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro

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Video: Diffusing the light with a softbox

Now Rich, we're about to look at the soft box, but I want you to try one more thing for me with the umbrella. the umbrella really throws light everywhere. So, could you do me a favor and actually crank up the luminance? Make it as bright as possible. I'm going to have the iris down to compensate for that. And then rotate it around a little bit so that it not only hits Valerie that it hits the back wall. Now this is a very dark gray. If this was a white background or a light colored background it would really pick up that extra light that overflows.
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  1. 4m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 4s
    2. What you should know to get the most from this course
      2m 2s
  2. 6m 26s
    1. Shooting with strobes
      1m 23s
    2. Strobe lighting allows you to shoot with an increased depth of field
      58s
    3. Strobe lighting has faster recharge times than flashes
      1m 39s
    4. Strobe lighting is good at freezing action
      48s
    5. Strobe lighting offers many modifiers to shape light
      1m 38s
  3. 7m 34s
    1. Continuous lighting is easier for a beginner to understand
      1m 47s
    2. Continuous lighting makes it easier to achieve soft-light looks
      2m 57s
    3. Continuous lighting is useful if mixing video into the shoot
      2m 50s
  4. 20m 47s
    1. Buying piecemeal vs. buying a kit
      2m 29s
    2. Criteria for selecting lights
      5m 57s
    3. How many lights do you need?
      3m 0s
    4. How much power do you need
      5m 37s
    5. Mixing brands
      3m 44s
  5. 16m 40s
    1. Monolights and flash heads
      2m 22s
    2. Reflectors and diffusers
      3m 54s
    3. Lighting stands and booms
      3m 49s
    4. Power pack or power supplies
      4m 29s
    5. Sync cable
      2m 6s
  6. 19m 7s
    1. Handling the lamp or bulb
      2m 52s
    2. The role of the modeling light
      4m 36s
    3. Keeping lights cool
      1m 46s
    4. The master and slave relationship for lighting
      4m 5s
    5. Essential controls
      5m 48s
  7. 14m 59s
    1. Connecting the sync cable
      3m 16s
    2. Using a wireless transmitter
      7m 7s
    3. Slaving with a speedlight
      4m 36s
  8. 34m 6s
    1. Setting shutter sync speed
      4m 56s
    2. Setting an initial aperture and ISO
      2m 28s
    3. Controlling power output
      3m 1s
    4. Moving lights (the inverse-square rule)
      2m 8s
    5. Using a light meter in camera
      4m 4s
    6. Using an external light meter
      1m 45s
    7. Test shooting with one light at a time
      2m 5s
    8. Putting it all together
      1m 39s
    9. Controlling exposure with power or aperture
      1m 6s
    10. Refining exposure with ISO
      1m 39s
    11. Tethering to a laptop
      5m 22s
    12. Checking the shots on a computer
      3m 53s
  9. 31m 38s
    1. Modifying strobe lights
      1m 9s
    2. Bouncing the light with a reflector
      4m 26s
    3. Bouncing the light with a bounce card
      1m 12s
    4. Shaping the light with a beauty dish
      3m 5s
    5. Diffusing the light with an umbrella
      5m 50s
    6. Diffusing the light with a softbox
      4m 49s
    7. Focusing the light with a snoot
      6m 58s
    8. Modeling the light with grids and honeycombs
      2m 2s
    9. Using flags to restrict the light
      2m 7s
  10. 14m 50s
    1. Three-light setup
      6m 52s
    2. Three-light dramatic portrait
      4m 59s
    3. Four-light setup
      2m 59s
  11. 46m 56s
    1. Take the challenge
      55s
    2. Solution
      29s
    3. Portrait challenge 1
      8m 6s
    4. Portrait challenge 2
      3m 10s
    5. Portrait challenge 3
      12m 55s
    6. Portrait challenge 4
      3m 19s
    7. Portrait challenge 5
      4m 28s
    8. Portrait challenge 6
      9m 5s
    9. Portrait challenge 7
      4m 29s
  12. 39s
    1. Next steps
      39s

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Studio Strobes
3h 37m Beginner Nov 15, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Rich Harrington and Abba Shapiro give beginning photographers a brisk look at using strobe lights in a studio setting—lessons that easily translate to the field and locations, inside and out. Learn why shooting with strobes and continuous lighting makes such a big impact on your photographs, and how to buy a good, affordable starter kit. Rich and Abba also show how to set your gear up, trigger your lights, and make modifications with accessories like reflectors, umbrellas, and soft boxes. Finally, learn how to make the most of what you have in a series of lighting challenges.

Topics include:
  • Why shoot with strobes?
  • Buying a lighting setup or parts
  • Mixing brands
  • Understanding the components of a studio strobe kit
  • Getting to know your lights
  • Triggering a light
  • Setting up your lights effectively
  • Testing your strobes
  • Modifying strobe lights
Subject:
Photography
Authors:
Richard Harrington Abba Shapiro

Diffusing the light with a softbox

Now Rich, we're about to look at the soft box, but I want you to try one more thing for me with the umbrella. the umbrella really throws light everywhere. So, could you do me a favor and actually crank up the luminance? Make it as bright as possible. I'm going to have the iris down to compensate for that. And then rotate it around a little bit so that it not only hits Valerie that it hits the back wall. Now this is a very dark gray. If this was a white background or a light colored background it would really pick up that extra light that overflows.

In the case of this dark gray it'll lighten it up and it will give us some separation. Three, two, one. Now this has changed the shot a lot. First of all, when I first snapped and you had turned the light up and repositioned it, everything was completely blown out and I had to actually crank up my aperture, make it a smaller hole. To F19 and that way Valerie was perfectly balanced yet it did change the look of the background. And by changing the look the background we've changed the whole feel of the shot.

So that's a good thing that you can use with an umbrella. But if this was a light background I really need to be able to control my light because the background would've been completely blown out, and that's where a soft box comes into play. So Rich, could you go ahead and switch out the umbrella with the soft box and we'll take a few more shots of Valerie. >> So we just loosen this up, and we take it out. Being careful not to hit the hot bulbs. There we go. Any time you're going to be moving things around, make sure you're careful, particularly here, a large metal object. I got lots of lighting equipment.

So I don't just want to wave this around and hit something. because that can be bad for both me and the gear. And we'll go ahead and attach this softbox, now you remember softbox from earlier, pretty straight forward, it's going to diffuse the light, the flip side here is we have some sort of ring to attach it to the light itself. >> Now with some soft boxes have an inner diffusion and an outer diffusion, and it just softens the light that much more. And we'll lower this back down a little bit, right? >> Yeah, let's lower it back down and aim it at Valerie, just like we did earlier with the light.

And we're going to do two things with this soft box. We're going to shoot with the diffusion on. And we're also going to remove the diffusion. Now, I like using soft boxes because I can control the spill of light. It has a hard edge, so I can simply rotate or tilt the light and make sure it falls only on my subject and not on the background. Three. Two. One. So Rich, I like this. Again, it's that really dramatic look. But I want it to be softer. So I want you to come around more towards the front of Valerie, and I want you to actually push in Because that's going to make a larger light source.

And it's going to give me a softer look. >> We're at 10. You still want to be that high? >> Let's keep it at ten for now. And what we'll do is, we'll keep the aperture really small, we'll keep it at f 19. And then we'll do the same thing. We'll dial down the luminance, and open up the aperture. And take a look at the difference of the images. I'll take that down to 75, you want to try that? >> Yeah it's pretty brigh, 75 is good and I'm going to leave the aperture the way it is. And in that case its too dark, but we're going to lower the aperture anyway. As a matter of fact, take it down all the way to 5.

And I'm going to open up my lens as much as possible. >> Because she's sitting on a stool, it's easier to shoot with shallow depth of field. >> Exactly I'm shooting this at 2.8 with this lens so it has moderate depth of field, but if I went down to say a 1.4, a 1.2, literally her eyes can be in focus, and her nose would be out of focus So, Rich. Do me a favor. The soft boxes have the ability to remove the front of them. Rich, go ahead and remove the diffusion of the front of the soft box.

I still get the ability to focus. But I'm going to get a much harder and a much brighter light. Let me close down my aperture, and take a couple more shots. So as you see, the fall off is much greater. And this shot works for me, but it's, the light's a little too harsh. I might use this if I was shooting a male, or shooting an athletic shot. But when shooting a fashion shot or portrait the diffusion's really nice, it gives me a little bit softer of a wrap so I would probably put the diffusion back on, but either way, I'm a huge fan of the control I get with the soft box.

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