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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.
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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